Orioles split series with Tigers; Means gives up five runs; Mancini continues homer streak - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles split series with Tigers; Means gives up five runs; Mancini continues homer streak

The Orioles and Detroit Tigers split a four-game series that some viewed as the battle for the basement. The split leaves the Orioles 3 ½ games ahead of the Tigers with 12 to play. Barring a turnaround, the Orioles will finish with the second-worst record in baseball and the No. 2 pick in the 2020 draft.

Only on Saturday was the series painful to watch. The Orioles had two more runners thrown out on the bases, watched Jonathan Villar take a called third strike on a bunt attempt and couldn’t protect ninth- and 12th-inning leads. They allowed a game-tying home run with two outs in the ninth, a game-tying walk in the 12th and a grand slam walkoff by Detroit catcher John Hicks.

Rookie Ryan Eades was brought in by manager Brandon Hyde with the bases loaded in the 12th and walked in the tying run before hanging a breaking ball to Hicks that put an exclamation point on the team’s 100th loss.

In the Orioles’ 5-2 loss on Monday, Eades rebounded with a scoreless eighth.

The Orioles’ bullpen has been better of late, but left-hander Paul Fry has struggled. Fry was the losing pitcher on Saturday, and he’s 0-6 with an 8.64 ERA and 1.868 WHIP in 23 appearances in the second half.

Last season, Fry had a strong second half. He retired the last 18 batters he faced in 2018.

Next season, pitchers will be required to face a minimum of three batters, and Fry’s value could fall. Thirteen of his 60 appearances this year have been to one or two batters.

Remaining schedule:  The Orioles’ final 12 games are against teams that aren’t in the playoff race. They have six games with Toronto and three each with Seattle and Boston.

The Red Sox will surely have been eliminated from playoff consideration by the time the teams play the final three games of the season at Fenway Park on September 27-29.


The Orioles are 49-101. A split of the final 12 games would give them a record of 55-107, an improvement of eight games from the 2018 season when they lost 115.

Rookie of the year voting: Oriole fans are familiar with Houston Astros outfielder Yordan Alvarez, who hit four home runs against the Orioles this season. He hit three in the Astros’ 23-2 rout of the Orioles on August 10.

Overall, Alvarez is hitting .315 in 77 games with 25 home runs and 75 RBIs. He has a 1.084 OPS, and is the favorite for the American League Rookie of the Year.

Tampa Bay second baseman Brandon Lowe and Toronto third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. have had strong seasons, but both are ending 2019 on the injured list.

Orioles left-hander John Means also should get support. After allowing all five runs in the Orioles’ loss on Monday, Means  has a 3.65 and a 10-11 record.

Grading on a curve, Means has had an outstanding season for a pitcher who didn’t expect to make the team and for a club that has lost 101 games.

It’s been 30 years since an Orioles reliever Gregg Olson won the American League’s Rookie of the Year.

Mancini’s homer tear: Trey Mancini hit his third home run in four games this weekend. Mancini is a streaky hitter, and had just one home run in his past 26 games before the weekend.

Mancini, who is likely to be named the Most Valuable Oriole, has 33 home runs.

Hall of Famer Eddie Murray, who had 504 career home runs, hit as many as 33 only once in his career.

Renato Nunez, who had been in a tight race with Mancini for the home run lead, is also streaky. He has 29 homers but just one in his last 21 games, and appears to be pressing.

If Nunez hits another homer, it will be the fourth time in the last five seasons that the Orioles have had multiple players with 30 or more home runs.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB



  1. CalsPals

    September 17, 2019 at 7:41 am

    After giving up 5 runs to the woeful Tigers, ROY considerations, honestly I’d be surprised…go O’s…

  2. Orial

    September 17, 2019 at 7:59 am

    After watching maybe the worst relief appearence in a seaon of dreadful relief appearances I was ready to railroad Eades. Then I see yesterday that he’s pitching to the best ERA after approx 7 innings on the team. Go figure. Means will finish 4/5 in the voting. Nice homer streak for Mancini but that AB in the 9th. Geesh. Sometimes he really loses focus.

    • SpinMaster

      September 17, 2019 at 9:22 am

      Orial: Yes, Mancini’s at bat with the bases loaded in the 9th was kind of pathetic. I think, like most of us diehard fans were calling each pitch before it was delivered. Trey either needs to realize most good pitchers will not throw him a fastball but will kill him with sliders on the outside corner. If Trey had shown a little patience with that plate appearance, he might have coaxed a walk or even that middle in fast ball.

  3. Boog Robinson Robinson

    September 17, 2019 at 8:09 am

    Mancini as 33 taters while Eddie Murray hit 33 home runs only once in his HOF career? Make no mistake about it, Mancini is no where near the power hitter that Eddie was. Tell me all about how much bigger and stronger today’s player is, but in my opinion, this only goes to illustrate just how much of a difference a ball park, combined with an altered strike zone and a juiced ball can make.

    The powers that run MLB have done us no favors over the past 30 years. (said in my best old fart pining for his youth voice)

  4. deqalt

    September 17, 2019 at 8:25 am

    I think the Orioles are at a crossroads with Trey Mancini. They have to either sign him long term this off season or try to trade him. No reason to bring him back in 2020 without a longer commitment. Either he is apart of the future or not. His value will not be any higher. Trying to trade him next July and taking the chance he can repeat his 2019 numbers is risky. He is a high character guy and someone to build around, but contracts talk and right now there is no long term commitment. Orioles history outside of Adam Jones has been to not sign guys until its too late. It will be interesting to see how Mike Elias handles this. I have not read anywhere his philosophy on trying to lock up young players.

    • ClayDal

      September 17, 2019 at 10:03 am

      Trey isn’t a free agent until after the 2022 season. So there is no sense of urgency. The issue with trading Trey is what team would be a fit? Most contenders are set at 1B , so they wouldn’t be able to get much in return for him. Rebuilding teams wouldn’t have much interest in giving up prospects for him. To Boogs point, seems every team this year has someone with 33 HR’s . Don’t see Mancini being moved this off-season. Villar, on the other hand, is a free agent after 2020. He is likely to be traded

      • deqalt

        September 17, 2019 at 10:17 am

        My point to this is if he is NOT part of the future then his trade value will never be higher than this off season. ( Regardless if its not a haul) The Orioles will not be contending in the next 3 seasons. If he is apart of it lock him up long term. There is no urgency, but his value is having him under control for 3 more seasons. Villar will probably get traded, but he will not warrant much either.

        • Jbigle1

          September 17, 2019 at 10:47 am

          Treys value goes up July of next year if Luke Voit or Freddie Freeman blows his knee out. I’d rather wait for a team to really need his services his services and pony up probably a little more than they should. A guy w 2.5 years of control and a guy w 3 years will fetch about the same package if not. I’m holding Mancini until next years deadline for sure.

  5. Hallbe62

    September 17, 2019 at 12:51 pm

    There should be very little difference between the #1 and #2 picks in the upcoming draft. Yes we’re rebuilding, but that doesn’t mean you turn a blinds eye towards the basic fundamentals of baseball while you transform your roster. In almost every category of “fundamentals” the Orioles need a massive amount of work.

    Start teaching those now everywhere in your organization. To anyone who will listen.

    Our coaching, scouting, drafting, and player development needs just as much improvement as our 25 man roster.

    • CalsPals

      September 17, 2019 at 1:13 pm

      Agree 100%, baseball IQ is pretty clueless…go O’s…

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