BALTIMORE—The Orioles returned home after a winning West Coast road trip and their first non-losing month in nearly two years. They began August with a decisive loss.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit two home runs and drove in four as the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Orioles 11-2 on Thursday night.
Guerrero, whose father played the final season of his major league career with the Orioles in 2011, hit a two-run home run against Asher Wojciechowski, who gave up four runs in 4 2/3 innings.
Wojciechowski left after Randal Grichuk hit his ninth home run against the Orioles in 23 career games in the fifth.
Jimmy Yacabonis gave up four runs in the sixth, highlighted by Danny Jansen’s three-run homer.
Dillon Tate retired the first six batters to face him until Guerrero hit a 450-foot shot against him in the eighth. Billy McKinney added a two-run shot with two outs in the ninth.
The Orioles allowed five home runs for the 14th time this season and have given up at least 10 runs for the 20th time in 2019.
Trey Mancini hit his 25th home run, a career high, in the eighth.
Wojciechowski was dealing with a sore right hip, Hanser Alberto injured a shin and Stevie Wilkerson fouled a ball off his knee. Manager Brandon Hyde said all had X-rays that were negative.
“I just didn’t feel that great today,” Wojciechowski said. “The hip was a little sore. I’ve dealt with it in the past. I’ve just got to get to work in the weight room and training room, just get the inflammation calmed down a little bit. But it’s something I’ve pitched through and I’ve dealt with throughout my career and it just came down to I didn’t execute some pitches today.”
Yacabonis’ ERA has inflated to 7.34.
“It just looked like he was yanking a lot of pitches and had a tough time putting guys away,” Hyde said. “Lot of deep counts. Almost 40-something pitches and got three outs. Just had a tough time finishing hitters and struggled through his three outs.”
Hyde was impressed with Tate.
“Dillon Tate’s the highlight of the game for me,” Hyde said. “I thought he threw the ball great. That was really good stuff. That was three pitches, 95, 96-mph sinker. Left the slider in the middle part of the plate to Vlad, but this guy threw 41 pitches [Monday]. He had two days off, and then today … extending him way further than I wanted to, but we had multiple guys down in the ‘pen today, so he picked us up big time. I loved the stuff that I saw. That last home run is on me.”
Players happy to stay: Jonathan Villar, who came to the Orioles from the Milwaukee Brewers at last year’s trade deadline, thought he might be moving again.
“I looked at my phone all the time,” Villar said “I feel happy here because they’re always telling me, ‘play the way you do.’”
Mancini was certain he wasn’t going to be traded.
“I’m thrilled,” Mancini said “I’ve said that the whole time, that I want to be here. It’s definitely a good feeling. I wasn’t really expecting anything to happen. I would have been surprised. It was nice when everything came out at 4:15, 4:30.”
Trumbo looking at September: Mark Trumbo has again halted his rehab assignment but hopes to play next month.
Next month will be a year since Trumbo underwent surgery on his right knee. He’s played in the minor leagues on rehab assignments but has stopped them when he didn’t feel quite right.
“With the expanded rosters and how September usually plays out, it should be a little easier,” Trumbo said.
Trumbo is in the final year of a three-year, $37.5-million contract, and he wants to earn the money.
“My motivation is, I’m getting paid to play,” he said. “I think you owe it to yourself to give it everything you have. Personally, I feel an obligation to keep pushing ahead and doing what I can. It’s been a unique season. We don’t have any playoff aspirations, but I’d like to still help when I can. If that’s contributing a few hits in Septembers, that’s where it’s at.
Trumbo isn’t sure if he wants to continue his career in 2020.
“I don’t know yet,” he said. “Probably going to have to see a little bit of improvement with the health. If the symptoms don’t subside, then it’ll probably be pretty tough. If I can get some relief and feel like I did a few years ago, I think it would be something worthwhile … If I can be produce and look like a decent big league player in the month of September, I think it would give me a better shot to have a chance to get a job next year.”
Rondon arrives: Infielder Jose Rondon, who was claimed on waivers from the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday, is looking forward to playing with the Orioles.
“This is a great opportunity to stay in the big leagues,” Rondon said through a translator, “and I’m looking forward to it.”
Rondon will play second, short and third.
“He’s an extra major league player that’s going to provide depth in our organization,” Hyde said.
Rondon pinch-hit for Wilkerson in the seventh and fouled out. He played third base for the final two innings.