DETROIT—The Orioles thought they had Saturday’s game against the Detroit Tigers won twice. Instead, they found a way to lose their 100th game of the season.
Orioles reliever Mychal Givens had two outs in the ninth with a one-run lead. But he fell behind in the count and threw a 3-1 fastball down and in, and switch-hitter Victor Reyes hit his second home run of the season to tie the game, 3-3.
With another one-run lead in the 12th, Paul Fry loaded the bases with one out. Ryan Eades came in for Fry and walked Brandon Dixon to force home the tying run. Eades then hung a breaking ball to John Hicks, who hit a grand slam to beat the Orioles, 8-4.
The teams with the two worst record in baseball showed why they have those records. They combined to use 18 pitchers, 10 by the Orioles.
“We obviously have a big number [of pitchers] here and going with guys trying to win the game,” Hyde said. “A lot of these guys are going to get some opportunities here these next couple of weeks, so hoping they can come in and contribute.”
After Trey Mancini’s two-out, three-run homer in the eighth nearly won it for the Orioles, they took the lead again in the 12th on a clutch single by Rio Ruiz that scored Mason Williams for a 4-3 lead.
Fry walked Harold Castro to begin the bottom of the 12th. With one out, Travis Demeritte doubled to right, and Dawel Lugo was walked intentionally by Fry to set up a force at any base. But Eades walked Dixon, and Hicks blasted a 2-2 pitch.
“It’s tough because we’re all battling all game long, and come back,” Fry said. “We take the lead in the last inning there. It’s tough to lose that way, for sure.”
Hyde had already used Tanner Scott, Dillon Tate, Richard Bleier, Miguel Castro, Givens, Shawn Armstrong and Branden Kline before Fry and Eades.
“Tough spot to put him in,” Hyde said about Eades. “I feel bad for it. That’s just a tough spot. All right-handers coming up, I needed a right-hander there and just wasn’t his night.”
With so many pitchers in the bullpen because of the expanded roster, Eades’ opportunities to pitch have been few and far between. This was just his second outing since August 30.
“That’s a difficult spot for anybody,” Eades said. “I just didn’t do my job tonight. Timing was a little off and threw some balls, got behind in counts, put myself in a tough spot. Big league hitters take advantage of those mistakes, and that’s exactly what he did.”
The defeat marked the first time in franchise history that the Orioles have lost 100 games in consecutive seasons.
Until the seventh, the Orioles had just four singles against Daniel Norris and Drew VerHagen.
Bryan Garcia struck out pinch-hitters DJ Stewart and Rio Ruiz to begin the eighth. Hanser Alberto and Jonathan Villar singled and both moved up a base on a throwing error by leftfielder Christin Stewart.
Mancini then hit his 32nd home run, and the Orioles had a 3-2 lead.
Givens was an out away from his 12th save, but he grooved his 3-1 pitch to Reyes.
That was the first lead blown. The second one in the 12th was also difficult.
“Just being in the dugout when we scored that run and seeing how excited we are, it just hurts to go out there and have it end the way it did,” Fry said.
Gabriel Ynoa allowed two runs in four-plus innings. Harold Castro homered with one out in the third, and Reyes’ single in the fifth scored Willi Castro.
Before the eighth, the Orioles best chance to score came in the sixth. Richie Martin was hit by a pitch and stole second.. With one out, Villar walked, but Anthony Santander was called out on strikes. Santander ended the day 0-for-5, extending his hitless streak to 24.
In the seventh, Renato Nunez led off with a single to left-center, but he unwisely tried to get to second and was thrown out. Austin Hays appeared to have a triple with one out in the ninth, but he overslid the bag and was thrown out.
Tayler Scott returns: After helping Double-A Bowie in the Eastern League Championship Series, Tayler Scott was recalled by the Orioles on Saturday.
Scott, who has a 15.07 ERA in 11 games with Seattle and the Orioles this season, had an 0.56 ERA in 13 games for Triple-A Norfolk.
He has a goal for the final 15 games.
“Get back to who I was when I was down at Norfolk,” Scott said. “Bring that up to this level. Finish the season strong and make up for what I’ve done here.”
After he was sent down by the Orioles on August 29, Scott went back to the Tides and was with them until their season ended on September 2. He worked out with Bowie, staying sharp until their best-of-five series against Trenton, which they lost, 3-1.
‘It was a lot of fun,” Scott said about being with the Baysox. “… To go back and see where you were a year or two ago and see those guys working hard to get to where you are now.
“They have some serious arms down there.”
Scott’s addition gives the Orioles 37 players and 20 pitchers.
“I’m not complaining about the depth of our … pitchers,” Hyde said. “I’d rather have too many than too little. Try to get these guys in as much as I can, but trying to win games also. I feel that for 90-plus percent of the games we’ve been a little bit short in the bullpen this year. It’s kind of a luxury to have maybe too many at this point.”
Only three players on the 40-man roster — pitchers Cody Carroll and Luis Ortiz and outfielder Cedric Mullins — have not been added to the Orioles’ active roster. Mullins finished his season strong at Bowie.
Will Villar play 162? Villar has played in each of the Orioles’ 147 games. He’d like to play all 162, but Hyde is being noncommittal.
“If he needs a day, I’m going to give it to him,” Hyde said. “But he’s playing with great energy, and he’s playing hard. He doesn’t want to come out and he’s playing really well.
“It’s going to be day-to-day. I’m not predicting anything. I’m going to go with the flow.”
Oldest living Oriole dies: Wally Westlake, who played eight games for the 1955 Orioles, died on September 6 at 98. Westlake’s death leaves Eddie Robinson, who played four games for the 1957 Orioles, as their oldest living player. Robinson, who was born a month after Westlake, is also 98. He’s the second oldest living major league player.