BALTIMORE—The Orioles lost their 99th game in a very strange way. Starter Dylan Bundy thought he had the Dodgers’ Russell Martin struck out with the bases loaded in the sixth, then watched as the third strike got away from catcher Pedro Severino.
Cody Bellinger scored and, as Bundy watched instead of covering home, Corey Seager scored, too.
It was another unusual loss for the Orioles. Their next one will secure their second consecutive 100-loss season.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, who clinched their seventh straight National League West title on Tuesday, won two of three against the Orioles, winning 4-2 on Thursday.
Los Angeles used eight pitchers to two-hit the Orioles. In the three-game series, the Dodgers employed 15 pitchers.
The Orioles were leading 2-1 after five. A.J. Pollock led off the sixth with a double, and Bellinger dropped a single in front of Anthony Santander in left. Seager walked and, with two outs, Kiki Hernandez’s grounder to third was muffed by Rio Ruiz to load the bases.
On a 3-2 pitch, Martin struck out, but the ball eluded Severino and the Dodgers scored the decisive runs.
“He punched him out,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “I think the swing kind of got in the same sight line as Sevy. That’s what he said. It just kind of ticked off his glove. I think Dylan was stunned at first, not expecting that.
“Then he probably thought it was a foul ball like the rest of us and froze. The ground ball before that, a routine ground ball, and then you punch Martin out. Should be out of that inning, should be 2-2.”
It was Severino’s ninth passed ball of the season.
“I was supposed to catch the ball right there,” Severino said. “The game is supposed to be tied right there, 2-2, if I catch that ball. So, I lose [sight of it]. When he swung, I lose the ball, and I can’t handle it. Next time, I have to do a better job of that.’
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts saw it another way.
“The credit goes to [third base coach] Dino [Ebel] and Corey to be heads-up because that extra point was big,” Roberts said. “Corey running like that and obviously Bundy threw the ball well, got frustrated and, to be quite honest, quit on the play. For us to take advantage of it was big.”
Bundy allowed four runs, two unearned, on six hits in 5 2/3 innings, but all that will be remembered was the passed ball.
“I thought it was a strikeout,” he said. “From where I was I couldn’t really see where the ball was.”
The Orioles scored a run in the first without a hit as Los Angeles starter Rich Hill, working for the first time since June 19, struck out Hanser Alberto and Jonathan Villar.
Hill suddenly lost his control. He hit Trey Mancini with a pitch, walked Santander, and hit Nunez to load the bases. He then walked Austin Hays, forcing in Mancini and ending Hill’s start. He was diagnosed with a strained MCL.
Gavin Lux’s RBI single scored Bellinger in the second to tie the score at 1.
Tony Gonsolin, the fourth Los Angeles pitcher ,allowed Severino’s 13th home run for a 2-1 Orioles lead in the fifth. Ruiz singled after the home run, the Orioles’ last hit of the night.
Ruiz took second on a wild pitch but was thrown out third when he tried to advance on Alberto’s ground ball to short.
“We just didn’t play fundamental baseball well tonight,” Hyde said. “We’re continuing to run into outs in big spots, which is really unacceptable.
“The baserunning mistakes, the majority of our baserunning mistakes are over-aggressive, are trying to do too much, are not understanding game situations, and I’ve never seen a team talk about baserunning more than we do or practice it during batting practice.
“It’s a little mind-boggling to me. I think the game just speeds up on certain guys on the bases. You can’t make outs in this league on the bases, easy outs. There’s acceptable outs, but there’s unacceptable outs also on the bases. We make too many of them.”
Gonsolin pitched three innings and got the win. Kenley Jansen picked up his 29th save.
Davis cited: Chris Davis has been named the Orioles’ nominee for the Roberto Clemente award. He was cited for his community service.
Some of the charities he and his wife, Jill, support include the LUNGevity Foundation, the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital, Casey Cares Foundation, Helping Up Mission, Compassion International, Maryland Food Bank, International Justice Mission, Water Missions International, and Feed My Starving Children.
Davis will be honored by general manager Mike Elias before the September 18 game.
Minor honors: Aberdeen right-handed pitcher Kevin Magee won the Orioles’ minor league pitcher of the month for August, and Delmarva catcher Adley Rutschman was awarded player of the month honors.