An awful sixth inning leads to Orioles' seventh straight loss - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

An awful sixth inning leads to Orioles’ seventh straight loss

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

BOSTON—The most brutal part of the Orioles’ 2019 schedule ended with arguably the most brutal inning of the season.

Orioles starter Ty Blach began Sunday’s sixth inning with a 6-3 lead. By the time the interminable inning ended, the Boston Red Sox had scored six runs and knocked three pitchers and a catcher out of the game. Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said his team gave the Red Sox six outs in that inning.

Boston’s 13-7 win over the Orioles ended a 13-game stretch with the New York Yankees, Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox. The Orioles lost 12 of 13, and come home to Baltimore with a seven-game losing streak after a winless road trip at Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park. Their record is 39-85.

J.D. Martinez began the bottom of the sixth with a double against Blach. Andrew Benintendi flew out to center, and after Sam Travis walked, Gabriel Ynoa replaced Blach and allowed a double to Christian Vazquez that scored Martinez.

With the score 6-4 and Paul Fry pitching, Mitch Moreland popped up to short left field, where Jace Peterson, third baseman Renato Nunez and shortstop Jonathan Villar converged on the ball. Villar was playing near second in the shift, which gave him a longer run than Nunez, who might have been thinking that his teammate was closer.

Somehow, the ball fell for a single, and Villar needlessly threw the ball home. The throw was wild. Travis had scored, clipping catcher Chance Sisco in the neck and shoulder, and Vazquez followed to tie the score at 6.

After an extensive exam, Sisco continued and Chris Owings struck out. Fry walked Betts, and Rafael Devers slammed a double against the left field wall to score Moreland, and Boston led, 7-6.

“We didn’t catch the popup and the wheels fell off following the punch-out of Owings,” Hyde said. “Should have been out of there with a two-run lead and unfortunately it steamrolled on us.”

During Devers’ at-bat, Sisco was hit in the groin by a pitch, and this time he came out of the game.

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“Obviously, he had a terrible inning and got hit in a bad spot,” Hyde said. “He’s getting checked out medically right now, so hoping that he’s OK, but we’ll have to wait and see.”

Xander Bogaerts’ infield single scored Betts, and Hyde brought in his fourth pitcher of the inning, Shawn Armstrong.

Martinez hit a grounder to Chris Davis at first, who looked to second base, but no one was covering. He threw late to Armstrong, which allowed Devers to score for a 9-6 lead.

“Thought that was my only play,” Davis said. “I was the only guy on that side of the infield and looked up and there was nobody at the bag. I turned, and it was too late.

“Those kinds of things are the kind of mistakes I’m talking about. Lack of communication. We can’t leave bases uncovered. We can’t be overthrowing the cutoff guys. We’ve just got to do little things right.”

Hyde knew where things went awry.

“We’ve got to catch the popup,” he said. “That’s a play that needs to be made obviously. So then after that the walk to Betts, which I’m OK with. Left on left and a two-strike mistake to Devers. And then just didn’t go well that inning. Anything bad that could happen happened for us, and it’s unfortunate.”

Boston scored four more runs against Armstrong in the eighth on Betts’ sacrifice fly, Devers’ two-run home run and an run-scoring single by Martinez.

That gave the Red Sox 13 unanswered runs after Orioles took a 6-0 lead in the third. Hyde thought Blach pitched well in a performance that will be overlooked.

“That’s hard,” Blach said. “We’re battling, trying to figure out a way to get a zero right there, a few weird plays, a ball drops in, a guy gets knocked over at the plate, things kind of spiral. It’s tough. It’s tough.”

Nunez hit his 27th home run, a three-run shot, in the first, and Trey Mancini, who’s batting .370 at Fenway in 24 career games, singled to drive in two in the second.

Mancini was thrown out trying to stretch the single into a double, ending the inning.

Nathan Eovaldi, who underwent arthroscopic elbow surgery in April, made the start, but was limited to two innings.

In the third, Darwinzon Hernandez allowed an RBI double to Hanser Alberto for the sixth Orioles run.

Blach walked Owings to begin the third. Mookie Betts doubled him to third. Both Owings and Betts scored on infield outs, and it was 6-2.

Travis hit his sixth home run in the fourth to cut the Orioles’ lead to 6-3.

Nunez hit a sacrifice fly in the ninth to make it 13-7.

The Orioles are finished playing the Yankees and Astros, and begin a seven-game against Kansas City on Monday. Their final three games of the season are in Boston September 27-29.

“I actually like playing these teams because they make you play your best baseball,” Davis said. “If you have a weakness, they expose it, and you find out what kind of team you are when you play the best teams. Everybody’s good in the big leagues. This division is tough, but you’ve got to come in day in and day out, you’ve got to work, you’ve got to prepare yourself and get ready to win.”

Lots of moving parts: Dwight Smith Jr. (calf) is nearing a rehab assignment. When Smith returns, his playing time might shrink because Hyde wants to give DJ Stewart, another left-handed hitting outfielder, more extensive playing time.

“I’m just going to be shuffling guys,” Hyde said. “DH helps. I’d like to see as many guys play as possible. Obviously, this year has been an evaluation year and we’re going to continue throwing guys out there through September, watch guys perform and see who’s going to be around going forward.”

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. Bhoffman1

    August 18, 2019 at 6:11 pm

    I blame this loss directly on Elias. If we had a outfielder in left instead of a infielder Moreland ball would have been caught end of story.

    • Phil770

      August 19, 2019 at 12:46 pm

      Actually, there were three players out of position. Villar is an infielder, but really not a shortstop, Nunez is not a position player (maybe 1st base, in a pinch) and Peterson is an infielder, but only an okay one. It was Villar’s ball to catch, but certainly not to throw.

  2. CalsPals

    August 18, 2019 at 7:00 pm

    Hyde, “this year has been an evaluation year”, for everybody…him included…have been an O’s fan for over 50 yrs…2020 can’t come quick enough…go O’s…

    • Ekim

      August 18, 2019 at 8:31 pm

      Sorry Cal… it’s 2021… at the VERY earliest. At Norfolk today Akin imploded… again. 8 runs, all earned on 8 hits including 2 homers with 2 BB’s thrown in. Do I see Bowie in his future? Then, there was DJ Hall being shut down for the season. Even with all the “hype” they insist on throwing his way, someone has to be aware of the number of bases on balls that he gives up each game. Lowther and Wells are good, not great, in double A but don’t look ready for the bigs. AND…. then there’s the hitting”. Other than Mountcastle and Williams (who they don’t want) there’s nothing there. Anyone who believes that they do is ??????? Just saying…

      • Jbigle1

        August 19, 2019 at 1:50 am

        The Baltimore Orioles won’t be in the playoffs in 2021 either. That’d be asking a lot out of largely rookies. The Rays have an excellent farm system and a ton of young ML talent. The Yankees have a solid farm w a ton of ML talent and the checkbook to match. The Sox could certainly slide by that time w their weak farm but perhaps not. The Jays have their own rebuild going on. They have higher impact prospects already on the ML team.

        I really don’t see a way we’re any better than 3rd in 2021. Which would be a remarkable improvement over where we are now. I don’t think realistic to see anymore than that. Rodriguez, Rutschman and Hall would barely be getting their feet wet in the bigs. I’d bet we’re worse than 3rd in ‘21. As unfortunate as it is to hear I think 2022 is the season where we could finally be back in the October conversation. I don’t see it before then.

    • CalsPals

      August 18, 2019 at 8:50 pm

      Actually I meant 2021, 2020 was crazy optimism…go O’s…

  3. BGrich2B

    August 18, 2019 at 7:20 pm

    I am ready for Mason Williams to have a chance in the outfield. He has had a solid year in Norfolk.

    • CalsPals

      August 18, 2019 at 8:53 pm

      Don’t understand why there is no love for Williams…go O’s…

  4. cb

    August 18, 2019 at 10:05 pm

    My guess is that the scouts have determined that he is not major league.

    • Ekim

      August 18, 2019 at 10:28 pm

      … and the jokers that can’t catch pop flys and get hit in head are????? Just saying…

  5. Jbigle1

    August 19, 2019 at 1:39 am

    Mason Williams gets more praise on these comments boards than any 4A player I’ve ever seen in my life. With that being said there is really little reason to keep him down for Jace Peterson. We know what Jace Peterson is. We probably know what Mason Williams is but he is at least an outfielder. Peterson is not. Doesn’t make much sense to have him up here. He’s been given enough opportunities.

    .The #1 pick is certainly still within reach this year. Only a game back of Detroit.

    • Orial

      August 19, 2019 at 10:29 am

      Agree. Stop with this “out of position” crap.

  6. Bman

    August 19, 2019 at 1:45 am

    Os suck, lose baby lose! Sounds like Hancock would be the right pick at this point, always need pitching……

    • Jbigle1

      August 19, 2019 at 1:58 am

      Doesn’t make a difference what position it is. Way too early to project next year’s draft but we just need the best talent available. Not a catcher obviously because we have Rutschman but anything else is fine. The Stros took Correa and Bregman, two SS’s and made that work out. That’d be fine if that’s our path in the next few drafts as well. Just need to take the best talent available; regardless of position. (Other than C) .

  7. Boog Robinson Robinson

    August 19, 2019 at 7:42 am

    Go South Riding!!

  8. Orial

    August 19, 2019 at 8:38 am

    How will 2020 be any better? Clean up the mental deficiencies and out of position defense and start from there. Whenever the ball’s hit to Nunez he looks around first saying–“you got that”? Whenever a ball’s popped to LF the player takes a step back and also says–“you got that?”. Until they replace that fundamental flaw 2020 will start to make this “rebuild” look far from happening. I’m all for the rebuild but please address this idiocy on the field in the mean time.

    • CalsPals

      August 19, 2019 at 9:53 am

      Agree, playing out of position, they seem to have adopted the “Don’t hit it to me” mentality, gotta want the ball, kinda like taking the last shot, my kids always asked themselves what do I do if it’s hit to me, easy to do, fundamentals & baseball IQ’s aren’t very good…go O’s…

  9. 33d St

    August 19, 2019 at 10:06 am

    Back in the Syd Thrift days, Post columnist Thomas Boswell described the O’s as a “fan-repellent” team.

    This one is even more so. I’ve seen enough out of Hyde to say he’s not a major league manager. Even with being dealt a bad hand, you can’t possibly say he’s done well with what he has to work with. This team is so fundamentally unsound, it’s disgusting.

    I hate this team.

  10. Birdman

    August 19, 2019 at 10:58 am

    Where is Mike Wright when you need him?

    • ClayDal

      August 19, 2019 at 12:36 pm

      Seems like 20 years ago, but if you remember Mike Wright actually pitched real well at the beginning of Spring Training. Scoreless in like 8 innings or so. We were all excited-then he reverted to form.

  11. willmiranda

    August 19, 2019 at 11:29 am

    I have to disagree a bit about the criticism that Peterson isn’t an outfielder. A short fly to left in Fenway is an infield pop-up anyplace else. We just had three infielders, all playing out of position. A worse predicament, when you think about it.

  12. WorldlyView

    August 19, 2019 at 3:48 pm

    With a minor league-caliber pitching staff, if O’s had all fielders in the ‘right’ position, they would merely lose by a slightly lower margin.

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