Tampa Bay starter Tyler Glasnow was dominant against the Orioles Tuesday night. Glasnow struck out 13 in seven innings, and shortstop Pat Valaika made two costly throwing errors as the Orioles began their seven-game road trip with a 4-2 loss to the Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.
The Orioles (14-15) will play two more games against the Rays, whom they beat in three straight in Baltimore on July 31-August 2, before moving on to Buffalo, where they’ll play four against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Glasnow improved his record against the Orioles to 3-0 with a 2.12 ERA in five starts. He has struck out 38 Orioles in 29 2/3 innings.
“We had a tough time with Glasnow,” manager Brandon Hyde said in a video conference call. “He was really on his game tonight. When you’re facing a starter like that that’s got a 97, 98 [fastball] working, the hammer of the breaking ball makes it tough on you offensively. We had a tough time getting any sort of rally together or making contact off Glasnow.”
Renato Núñez gave the Orioles a 1-0 lead in the first with his sixth home run, his first since August 7.
“Glasnow, to me, he threw an amazing game,” Núñez said. “He was throwing strikes, strikes, strikes, curveball strikes, fastball strikes. What can I say? We battled. We tried to have good at-bats.”
The Orioles equaled a season high for the third time by striking out 15 times.
In the bottom of the second, José Martinez reached on a throwing error by Valaika, and Hunter Renfroe hit a two-run home run, a 436-foot blast off Orioles starter Tommy Milone. Manuel Margot followed with a home run, and the Orioles were down, 3-1.
“Errors are a part of the game,” Milone said. “I just have to make better pitches when guys are on base in that instance. The home run to Renfroe was an 0-2 fastball down the middle, and he did exactly what he should do with it.”
Tampa Bay added a run in the sixth when Renfroe reached on Valaika’s second throwing error. Margot walked and Yoshi Tsutsugo singled.
“Errors happen,” Hyde said. “We’ve been playing fairly solid defensively. Pat’s done a nice job at shortstop filling in. I feel bad for him tonight. It just wasn’t his best night defensively. He’s done such a good job wherever I’ve asked him to play.”
Valaika and Andrew Velázquez have been playing shortstop in the absence of José Iglesias. Valaika had made two errors in 52 previous career games at short.
“He’s gotten big hits for us,” Hyde said. “He’s been a really nice contributor for us this year. I don’t fault Pat for the errors. Those things happen, one of the hardest workers on the team. Does everything from a preparation standpoint like a true pro. It’s just unfortunate that he made a couple of mistakes tonight.”
Valaika has played in 27 of the Orioles’ 29 games.
Hyde hopes that Iglesias, who’s been on the injured list with a sore left quadricep muscle, will return sometime during this road trip.
Milone’s night: Milone allowed four runs, two unearned, in 5 1/3 innings. He fell to 1-4 and has a 3.99 ERA.
Milone struck out six and walked one. In six starts, Milone has struck out 31 and walked just four.
“That second inning was a little bit of a battle,” Milone said. “Left some pitches over the plate, kind of falling behind. I had to put myself in check, tell myself to get ahead and throw more strikes and just keep us in the game.
“Sometimes, after an inning like that, giving up three runs, it’s easy to check out and go out there and go through the motions. I’m happy with going back out there and battling and keeping us in the game as long as I could.”
In his previous five starts, Milone had allowed just three home runs.
Santander’s streak ends: Rightfielder Anthony Santander struck out three times against Glasnow as his 18-game hitting streak came to an end. Santander’s streak was the longest by an Oriole since Nick Markakis’ 18-game run in 2014.
Eric Davis holds the Orioles’ longest hitting streak, 30 games, in 1998.
Mountcastle’s first RBI: Ryan Mountcastle was 1-for-3 as the designated hitter. His fourth-inning single scored Hanser Alberto in the fourth to cut Tampa Bay’s lead to 3-2.
In his first four major league games, Mountcastle is 4-for-12 (.333) and has walked four times for a .500 on-base percentage.
Coming up: Asher Wojciechowski will face Trevor Richards on Wednesday at 6:40 p.m.