BALTIMORE—The Orioles finally got a lengthy start. Unfortunately for Alex Cobb, his stat line outweighed his pitching performance.
Cobb was undone by three infield singles in the third, and the Orioles did virtually nothing to support him offensively in a 7-2 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday night at Camden Yards.
After Cobb retired the first six Blue Jays, Lourdes Gurriel and Joe Panik began the third with infield singles. Danny Jansen hit a ball back to Cobb, who threw to first while Gurriel advanced to third and Panik to second. Cavan Biggio reached on another infield single, which scored Gurriel.
Randal Grichuk cleared the infield and the bases with a three-run homer to center for a 4-0 lead. It was Grichuk’s third of the season, and his 13th in 31 games against the Orioles.
“Every year this happens,” Cobb said. “Over 162 games, it usually happens two or three times when you get ‘bleeded’ to death, little cuts here and there, and balls fall in, and there’s a blast and, before you know it, your line looks terrible and you’re falling behind.
“As a pitcher, you can feel when it’s happening, you do your best to minimize it, especially in the case tonight. Our bullpen has just been picking us up as starters every single night, keeping us in ballgames … tonight was a big night for us to try to work deep into a game and give them a little bit of a breather.”
The Orioles scored their only run against Hyun Jin Ryu in the fourth. Anthony Santander led off with a double, and scored on Pedro Severino’s one-out single.
Cobb allowed four runs on six hits in the third, and then retired 16 straight until he walked Jansen with two outs in the seventh. Biggio reached on an infield single, and Grichuk’s single just past second baseman Hanser Alberto scored Jansen and ended Cobb’s night.
“He just made that one bad pitch to Grichuk,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “Besides that, throwing strikes, good life to his fastball, nice splits, good curveballs, pitched ahead in the count, got early contact, got into the seventh, could have gone a little longer. He gave us a chance.”
Cobb allowed five runs on eight hits in 6 2/3 innings, the longest outing for an Orioles starter this season and his longest since a complete game, the Orioles’ last, on August 18, 2018.
“This was probably, hands down, the best I’ve felt from start to finish this year,” Cobb said. “They’re a super aggressive team, and I knew that going in. You’re going to have to have all your pitches working.”
Dillon Tate, who was reinstated from the injured list on Monday, relieved Cobb and threw 2 1/3 innings, allowing Biggio’s sixth home run, a two-run shot to left.
Ryu, a former Dodger who signed a four-year $80 million contract with Toronto in the offseason, allowed a run on four hits in six innings.
“They didn’t give Ryu that big contract for nothing,” Hyde said. “He’s a tough at-bat, you never know what he’s going to throw. You don’t know which side of the plate he’s going to throw to. He’s really tough on right-handers.
“He really knows how to pitch, throws to both sides of the plate, and he’s got a real sneaky fastball, a cutter, a breaking ball, a changeup, and he locates all of them. You never know what’s coming.”
Rafael Dolis, who pitched the previous four seasons in Japan, pitched a perfect seventh. Anthony Bass threw a spotless eighth, and Jacob Waugespeak finished the ninth, allowing an RBI single to Renato Nuñez that scored Cedric Mullins, who walked.
Mullins, who was recalled from the alternate site at Bowie on Saturday when Austin Hays was put on the 10-day injured list with a fractured rib, had one of the five hits against Toronto.
“In terms of my at-bats, I feel like they’re a lot stronger compared to the ones that I’ve had in the past,” Mullins said. “I’m able to adjust to certain pitches differently.”
The Orioles have lost three of their last four and are 12-10.
Santander notables: Santander has hit in 12 straight games, equaling a career high. On Sunday, Santander’s second home run landed on Eutaw Street, the team announced. During Sunday’s game, they announced his first home run hit Eutaw Street, but they later said that it didn’t.
It was the third home run Santander has hit onto Eutaw Street, and was the first one to land there this season.