Orioles lose opener to Red Sox, 13-2; Milone goes only three innings; Davis appreciates Opening Day - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles lose opener to Red Sox, 13-2; Milone goes only three innings; Davis appreciates Opening Day

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

The excitement about Opening Day disappeared when the Boston Red Sox scored four runs in the third inning and six more in the fourth on the way to a 13-2 trouncing of the Orioles on Friday night in Boston.

In this most different of seasons because of Covid-19, the Orioles began it by allowing the most runs they’ve ever given up in an opener.

The lopsided loss was discouraging to the fans who waited until July 24th for baseball to start and to the Orioles, whose optimism for a better 2020 season took a beating.

MASN broadcasters Scott Garceau and Ben McDonald weren’t on hand in Boston, and they gave viewers an inside look at their multiple monitors from their remote location at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

There wasn’t much good news on their monitors, beyond a Rio Ruiz home run and a run-scoring double by Renato Nunez.

It was was the second straight opening-game loss under manager Brandon Hyde, the first time they’ve dropped consecutive openers since 2007 and 2008.

Under Hyde’s predecessor, Buck Showalter, they’d won eight straight openers.

Starting pitcher Tommy Milone, who got the call because John Means was scratched with arm fatigue, allowed four runs in three innings.

“He fell behind and missed spots,” Hyde said. “They had four doubles in the same spot. He had good stuff the first two innings. He had a good changeup. I thought he got squeezed a hair in that third inning, and was one or two pitches away from limited damage. It just didn’t happen.”

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Milone pitched a scoreless first and second.

“I was just leaving some balls over the middle of the plate,” he said. “Some changeups there that I thought were some decent pitches, Primarily, my changeup is best when it’s down and away to righties, and it was leaking more middle so they were able to get the barrel on it. “

Milone, 33, pitched an opener for the first time in his career.

“I was definitely excited,” Milone said. “It’s kind of a weird feeling because obviously there’s no fans there. It’s one of those things where you’re not nervous to be in front of a bunch of people playing baseball. It’s more of an excitement to get out there and face a different team.

“It was a good feeling to be out there and get things started. Obviously, not the way we hoped it would start.”

Cody Carroll relieved Milone and didn’t retire any of his four batters, walking three. They all scored in a six-run fourth for Boston. Travis Lakins gave up two runs in two innings, and David Hess allowed three runs in four innings.

Boston had 17 hits. J.D. Martinez and Kevin Pillar each had three. Pillar also took away a hit from Austin Hays by making an outstanding running catch in right field on the first pitch of the game.

“I’d like to flush this one,” Hyde said.

Milone has a 9.70 ERA in five career starts at Fenway Park.

“It’s kind of embarrassing to only go three innings,” Milone said. “I know it’s early, but I don’t want to put a lot of stress on the bullpen early on, especially the first game of the season. You don’t want to see that.”

Nathan Eovaldi gave up a run on five hits in six innings for Boston.

“That was the best I’ve seen Nathan in a while,” Hyde said. “He’s throwing 99 or 100 with his heater in the first few innings with the 91-mph cutter. Before when we got to him, he’s had a tough time with command. Last year, he was spraying the ball. Tonight he did not. He was pretty locked in.”

The Orioles play the Red Sox on Saturday at 1:35 p.m. Alex Cobb pitches against Martin Perez.

Openers don’t get old for Davis: Before the game, Chris Davis talked about the excitement of Opening Day, his eighth with the team.

“Opening Day is always special because it signifies the start of a new season,” Davis said. “Gives you a chance to start over and rewrite the last few chapters of your story, whether that’s good or bad.”

Davis is beginning the fifth year of a seven-year, $161 million contract. His last two seasons have been awful — .168 and .179 with a total of 28 home runs — but he built up his strength and had a strong spring training.

“I think it’s a big year for everybody,” he said. “Just with everything that’s going on. Just walking in today, seeing the setup, seeing the challenges that we’re going to have to deal with on a day-to-day basis, it’s a big deal for everybody.

“Personally, I feel good. I’m back to myself. I feel like I’m enjoying the game the way I know how to play it, and it’s refreshing. It’s nice to go out there and enjoy what you do. Even in the midst of everything that we have going on, it’s been nice to be out on the field with my teammates, to see those guys again, to feel somewhat normal. Away from the field, it’s going to be a challenge, but at least we’re going to get the opportunity to play, hopefully, 60 games, 60-plus.”

Davis isn’t setting number goals for 2020.

“Just being a productive player,” he said. “I know that’s kind of vague. Not putting so much stock into results and how I’m going to match up statistically. What I’m going to accomplish as a player and how I’m going to go about that. In the past, that’s why I was able to have so much success the years that I did. I was focused on my process. I was focused on how I went about my business, and I think if I can keep my focus on that, how I prepare myself, at the end of the season, the results will be there.”

Odds and ends: Hyde said that Asher Wojciechowski will start on Monday in Miami, and that Kohl Stewart could start Tuesday. He hopes that John Means will come off the injured list to start on July 30 against the Marlins … The Orioles outrighted right-handed pitcher Hector Velázquez to Triple-A Norfolk, removing him from the 60-man player pool, which stands at 55 … The Orioles announced that they had signed Iowa high school right-hander Carter Baumler, their fifth-round pick to a contract reported at $1.5 million. The Orioles have signed their six draft picks in 2020.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

33 Comments

33 Comments

  1. In The Triangle

    July 25, 2020 at 7:44 am

    “Under Hyde’s predecessor, Buck Showalter, they’d won eight straight openers.”
    We can bring Buck back to manage openers (and TV color commentary).

    “I’d like to flush this one,” Hyde said.
    With the toilet paper shortage, we’re going to need another plan.

  2. CalsPals

    July 25, 2020 at 7:50 am

    Awesome about Baumler, let him pitch…go O’s…

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      July 25, 2020 at 9:55 am

      Beat me too it. This central time zone thing is cramping my style!

  3. Baltimore Castaway

    July 25, 2020 at 8:34 am

    Some random thoughts this beautiful mid-summer Saturday morning;

    – 2020 is looking to be a challenging season for O’s fans to watch as we won’t see very many of the team’s higher-rated prospects (understandably so, by the way)

    – It will at least go fast as they have only several days off. Like sex, mediocre baseball is still not bad…

    – Feeling confident that the Orioles will be well positioned for a very high Draft Pick in next June’s Amateur Draft

    – Very disappointing that there will not be any MILB this season

    – we only have two additional years after this shortened season to get to watch Chris Davis wear an Orioles uniform–see, there is always something to be grateful and positive about..

    – hope that Elias gives Hyde a major Hall Pass in considering him for a Contract Extension. To kick him to the curb after what he’s had to endure with this rebuild would be cruel and unkind.

    Stay strong Orioles Nation.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      July 25, 2020 at 9:58 am

      BC …. like your post…well done. Only one bone to pick … please define “mediocre” for me.

      • Baltimore Castaway

        July 25, 2020 at 10:34 am

        That is a great question BPR…

        There are a couple of ways to go with the answer to your question.

        Mediocre baseball is defined most likely by what we will see over (hopefully) the next 59 games.. don’t want the other interpretation to get me in trouble here so i will leave that alone.

  4. Boog Robinson Robinson

    July 25, 2020 at 10:03 am

    Stay the course .. there IS a plan .. things could be worse .. (did I really just drop $49 on mlb.tv?) … Elias is a Yale man … positive vibes .. the beer is still cold ..

  5. Jack

    July 25, 2020 at 10:06 am

    Like the Red Sox with the Curse of the Bambino, I am beginning to feel that the Orioles are cursed. The Glen Davis trade, Albert Belle signing, pitching injuries, losing Weiters, Machado, and Davis in 2014, not pitching Britton in 2016. If only we could figure out what we did. We never traded a great player for the rights to No No Nanette.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      July 25, 2020 at 10:37 am

      One word answer … Angelos.

  6. Boog Robinson Robinson

    July 25, 2020 at 10:11 am

    Did I see Hyde bring is Chance Sisco as a defensive replacement somewhere around the 8th while being down 11 runs? Uh yeah .. makes sense.

    • Rich Dubroff

      July 25, 2020 at 10:59 am

      Ken, Severino was playing in a day game after a night game.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        July 25, 2020 at 12:07 pm

        Point taken, but Sisco should be the starter in the 1st place. Just my opine. His stick needs to be somewhere in the lineup. Especially considering Eovaldi throws right handed.

        See, somebody should point out to Hyde, that in baseball, generally speaking … there is the lefty vs. righty … righty vs. lefty thing …

        Rich, I get what you’re saying and I certainly respect your views. You certainly are waaaayyyy closer to the game than I will ever be my friend.

        • Rich Dubroff

          July 25, 2020 at 1:11 pm

          Ken, Hyde says that Sisco will be catching on Sunday.

    • Phil770

      July 25, 2020 at 11:10 am

      Maybe more to give Severino a break. We are all going to need a break. Hard to watch an entire game. Hopefully, Hayes, DJ, Santander, Mullins can provide some enjoyment to the games.

    • CalsPals

      July 25, 2020 at 1:04 pm

      Jesus, you’re professional athletes & they’re on going to play 60 games, should have started Sisco anyway, bats lefty…basic baseball…go O’s…

  7. NormOs

    July 25, 2020 at 10:15 am

    Well, it looks like it’s going to be pretty easy to pare down this (GAG) pitching staff. I have to assume that the 4 minor leaguers we saw last night, (and I can’t believe that Hess is still there) won’t be with the team after today. It would be a refreshing change to see a real MLB pitcher for the O’s. Genius 1 at work! THERE IS NO PITCHING!

    P.S. Elias you really STINK!

    • Bhoffman1

      July 25, 2020 at 10:52 am

      Agree with your assessment of the pitching and still say the best players are at Bowie or whatever the alternative site is. As for Elias he just wants to lose for draft picks. Maybe next year he will field a team .

  8. Bancells Moustache

    July 25, 2020 at 10:36 am

    Damn. Just…. damn.

    … I got nothing. That was horrific.

  9. Bhoffman1

    July 25, 2020 at 10:49 am

    How did DJ look in the field. Any more mobile then last year

    • Rich Dubroff

      July 25, 2020 at 11:00 am

      Bruce, as I explained in a previous blog, I am unable to attend games in Fenway because of the Massachusetts quarantine rules, so I can’t tell you accurately.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      July 25, 2020 at 12:16 pm

      He certainly flashed his speed, but he looked exhausted by the end of the 3rd. Digging double after double after double in the left field corner is tough work.

    • Bhoffman1

      July 25, 2020 at 12:56 pm

      Were any of those doubles catchable i read on another site they were or were they all off the green monster

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        July 25, 2020 at 1:40 pm

        No they were pretty much down the line, line-drives. Middle of the plate softballs served up by Mayday Milone. And Hess … and whomever was in at the time ….

    • Bhoffman1

      July 25, 2020 at 1:45 pm

      That’s Hess’s specialty. His pitches come off the opponents bats as rockets. atleast there are no fans now to duck for their lives.

  10. TxBirdFan

    July 25, 2020 at 11:27 am

    I was hoping for something respectable even with a L but those hopes faded fast. Our “pitching depth” will be tested again today. Anyone else hoping to see Cobb throw a good game…..for once….please…..we’re begging you.

    • Hallbe62

      July 25, 2020 at 5:32 pm

      He did. Amazingly enough. He did.

  11. AZ ORIOLES Fan

    July 25, 2020 at 11:42 am

    Ever the optimist our pitching didn’t up any dingers; however the pitchers are still missing their spots. The young guys ok but Millone, I expected five innings and three runs out of him at least. What two weeks in we can bring up some of the young guys from the alternative site?

    • Bancells Moustache

      July 25, 2020 at 12:53 pm

      I wouldn’t hold your breath on the new guys. You are right to be a little optimistic though, some of those plays were as much on the outfield. Santander has to make that play on JD Martinez fly ball. Fenway is a tricky place to play right field, so hopefully he gets more comfortable. And on the series of doubles, Milone was getting his jock knocked off, so I don’t know why they had Stewart in the gap instead of protecting the line (where another right handed hitter had JUST hit the ball). Hey, buy the ticket take the ride. And this is gonna be a hell of a bumpy ride.

  12. CalsPals

    July 25, 2020 at 1:36 pm

    I bet Brocail is crapping after last night…go O’s…

  13. WorldlyView

    July 25, 2020 at 3:25 pm

    You pessimists will be eating your words when the back end of the starting rotation ‘owns’ the Yankees. [Not necessarily this year.]

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      July 25, 2020 at 4:50 pm

      I will be eating my words after watching Cobb today!

      • Hallbe62

        July 25, 2020 at 5:34 pm

        Well, aren’t you ? Cobb tossed a dandy.

  14. dlgruber1

    July 25, 2020 at 9:54 pm

    I’m trying to be optimistic so instead of saying the O’s allowed the most runs they’ve ever allowed in an opener, I prefer to say this wasn’t the largest margin of defeat in an opener. The 1988 club, yeh, that one, lost 12-0.

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