Orioles lose fifth in a row on a walkoff by Blue Jays; Elias discusses trades of Givens, Milone; Mountcastle homers twice - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles lose fifth in a row on a walkoff by Blue Jays; Elias discusses trades of Givens, Milone; Mountcastle homers twice

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

It was a day to look toward the future, especially when the Orioles dropped their fifth straight game on a two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the ninth that gave the Toronto Blue Jays a 6-5 walkoff victory. It was the Orioles’ sixth consecutive loss to Toronto.

However, there were promising signs that better days might be ahead. Rookie leftfielder Ryan Mountcastle hit two home runs — 420 feet and 410 feet — his first in Major League Baseball, and relief pitcher Hunter Harvey returned and was throwing 98 mph.

And, before Sunday’s game, the Orioles made two deals, trading starting left-hander Tommy Milone and their most experienced reliever, Mychal Givens. With the trade deadline at 4 p.m. on Monday, they might not be done.

Their principal remaining trade chip is starter Alex Cobb, who is owed $15 million in the final year of a four-year, $57 million contract. Reliever Miguel Castro, second baseman Hanser Alberto and shortstop José Iglesias also could be on the block.

“We expect the conversations to continue, and we’ll see if anything else takes place,” Orioles executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias said in a video conference call.

The Orioles promoted left-hander Keegan Akin for the third time this season, and he will start on Monday. Harvey was reinstated from the 10-day injured list.

In exchange for Milone, the Orioles acquired a player to be named later from the Atlanta Braves. For Givens, who struggled as a closer but thrived as a setup man, the Orioles got two infield prospects from Colorado, Tyler Nevin and Terrin Vavra, and a player to be named later.

Nevin and Vavra will join the Orioles’ 60-man player pool, which is at 58. They’ll report to Bowie.

Elias thinks Nevin will be the starting first baseman at Triple-A Norfolk in 2021.

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The Orioles haven’t produced many infield prospects in recent years. Not since second baseman Jonathan Schoop in 2013 has a homegrown infielder played regularly.

Elias has loaded up on infielders in his first two drafts, but there aren’t any major league-ready second baseman, shortstops or third basemen in the high minors.

“We’ve been accumulating relievers the last year or so,” Elias said. “The good news for us is that we’ve got young players on the way. We have young relievers that can step in for Mychal Givens.”

Milone, who started for the Braves Sunday night against the Phillies, became a popular teammate in his brief time with the Orioles.

“Tommy’s a guy that gave us some really good starts,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “A guy that was a class act on and off the field. I loved having him on the team.

“I told him I would love to manage him again … I would have liked to get to know him a little bit better. I’d like to see him pitch in a normal season.”

Other than Cobb and Iglesias, the current team is devoid of veterans.

“We were young already, we’re going to stay young, and we’re going to stay inexperienced for this final month,” Hyde said. “We’re going to do the best that we can with the guys we have, to continue to develop them, to give them major league experience. We’re facing really, really good clubs, too these last 20-plus games. It’s tough, but we’re going to do our best.”

Orioles extend losing streak: Teoscar Hernandez hit the two out, two-run ninth-inning single off Orioles closer Cole Sulser that lifted the Blue Jays at Sahlen Field in Buffalo.

The Blue Jays have won the first three games of the four-game series. The Orioles are 14-19 and have lost 11 of 13.

Sulser, who lost for the second time in three games, walked Joe Panik to start the ninth. Panik moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Ryan McGuire, Cavan Biggio popped out, and Oriole nemesis Randal Grichuk was walked intentionally.

Sulser walked Travis Shaw, and Hernandez singled to left. Panik scored the tying run, and Grichuk the winning run.

“Tough time there in the ninth, walked the leadoff hitter,” Hyde said. “We took the lead in the top of the ninth, we just didn’t finish it today.”

Hyde said that several bullpen arms were unavailable and declined to endorse Sulser as his closer.

“I think anything’s open right now,” Hyde said. “I still like Sulser a lot, especially with left-handed hitters.”

Mountcastle hit a solo shot in the second and a two-run homer in the sixth when the Orioles took a 4-3 lead.

“He had two really long home runs, really good swings, nice base hit the other way,” Hyde said. “You saw the raw power potential. He took good at-bats all day.”

Mountcastle also had an infield single, and is hitting .393. His only out came when he couldn’t lay off an inside fastball in his final at-bat.

“To finally be able to live out the dream has really been a cool experience so far,” Mountcastle said. “To have a pretty decent day today was definitely a breath of fresh air.”

Jorge López made his first start for the Orioles and worked 4 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on three hits.

Harvey made his first appearance of 2020, retiring the first two Blue Jays batters in the eighth, then gave up a single to Hernandez and walked Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Scott replaced Harvey and gave up a single to Rowdy Tellez to tie the score at 4.

Iglesias’ ninth-inning single gave the Orioles a 5-4 lead

Rio Ruiz led off the ninth with a single. Andrew Velázquez bunted him to second, and Ruiz moved to third on an infield out by Alberto. Anthony Santander was walked intentionally by Anthony Bass, and Iglesias singled to right, scoring Ruiz.

Iglesias, Renato Núnez and Pedro Severino each had two hits.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

26 Comments

26 Comments

  1. Shamus

    August 30, 2020 at 7:40 pm

    25-35 will NOT get them in. Oh well

    • mlbbirdfan

      August 31, 2020 at 9:01 am

      We probably won’t win 20. No chance for 25.

  2. BirdsCaps

    August 30, 2020 at 7:46 pm

    I like the givens deal, even though it may put the last nail in the coffin for the ‘20 playoff chances. I heard one is a Rockies top 10 prospect and the other is top 20. I guess we didn’t get much for milone, but I could be wron. I’ll reserve judgement till later. If we can get Good value for Cobb, trade him if not keep him. I’ll miss Iglesias, but if there is someone to pay at or above mkt for him send him too. I would like competitive baseball, but they’re sinking and next yr they better start to build!

  3. B.C. Bird

    August 30, 2020 at 7:51 pm

    Oriole management must love losing….. why else would you pitch Sulser yet again only to watch him issue three walks. Blue Jays announcers were delighted to see him come in for the ninth and questioned why him when Toronto had Three lefties coming up. I have tried to understand the managing of Hyde and Elias but this game absolutely stunned me.
    Keep the faith

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 30, 2020 at 7:59 pm

      Terry, coming into today, left-handed batters facing Sulser were 1-for-34 (.034) with four walks this season.

      • B.C. Bird

        August 30, 2020 at 8:02 pm

        That may be but today the proof was in the pudding
        keep the faith

      • PeppersDad

        August 30, 2020 at 10:32 pm

        If Hanser is on the trade block it proves to me they are not really interested in building a winner.I doubt if they are anyway.

    • CalsPals

      August 30, 2020 at 8:02 pm

      I would have kept Scott in…go O’s…

  4. Bhoffman1

    August 30, 2020 at 7:51 pm

    I still like Sulser a lot. Goodnight no words

  5. NormOs

    August 30, 2020 at 8:04 pm

    Hey Genius1, what are you going to do with the rest of the guys on this team masquerading as pitchers? Sulser? C’mon, man!

  6. Ekim

    August 30, 2020 at 8:26 pm

    The good, bad and ugly… Good… Mountcastle! Bad… nine hits by all others not named Mountcastle and only two runs. The UGLY… Sulser. He’s a mirage in Hyde’s eyes and a patsy for opposing batters… just saying…

  7. Massmonster

    August 30, 2020 at 8:41 pm

    team chemistry has been ruined. Had hopes Sept for a change would be interesting .Elias could of waited till post season. To be fair ball four on the second walk in replay was in the strike zone .Strike three game over O’s win. Don’t think a umpire can’t singularily effect the outcome of a game,think again. And effect the course of a season. 15-18 looks so much better than. 14-19, let alone the morale of a team.

  8. beritsun

    August 30, 2020 at 9:07 pm

    It’s gonna be a long, remaining 27 games! I know, I know…it’s not about winning. It’s all about player development!
    Unfortunately, losing is not fun, especially, losing as we did today…basically, the same way we lost on Friday!!
    The future is bright, with exciting, young players like Mountcastle, but if there’s an opportunity to win, why not take it?!? Today’s game, with Mountcastle’s 2 homers, would have been a fantastic win!! Instead, I’m left scratching my head about the choice of pitchers. I’m wondering how all of the above will impact the fan base next season?!? Also, please don’t trade Hanser!!

  9. Jbigle1

    August 30, 2020 at 9:43 pm

    You might want to shake up the 9th inning. I don’t think Sulser is a bad reliever at all. He’s just not a closer. Harvey’s going to have the kid gloves put him on for the foreseeable future so I don’t know about him in that role either but we need to at least mix and match.

    Scott could close some games out. Maybe give Castro and Armstrong some opps at well. We definitely don’t need to have a defined closer this year.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      August 30, 2020 at 11:01 pm

      Mike Elias is training this team to lose. If your GM doesn’t give a dang about winning, why should the players? It’s time to start breeding some success instead of ignoring the Win Loss record.

    • CalsPals

      August 31, 2020 at 7:16 am

      Agree, it all starts at the top, Hyde seems to a fair amount of integrity, has to hate being told what to do…can’t stand micro-managers…go O’s…

  10. Bancells Moustache

    August 30, 2020 at 10:20 pm

    Games are close but ultimately lost because the current personnel failed to execute. This is good. It means the formula IS working, the ingredients just aren’t strong enough yet.

    Mountcastle though…

    • CalsPals

      August 31, 2020 at 7:17 am

      The execution of certain members of the team would be ok w/me…go O’s…

    • mlbbirdfan

      August 31, 2020 at 9:05 am

      Player development > 2020 wins!!
      better draft picks … albeit Covid makes everything a crap shoot

    • CalsPals

      August 31, 2020 at 10:19 am

      Here comes the draft pick chatter…go O’s…

  11. PC in OC

    August 31, 2020 at 12:28 am

    I don’t understand, Why he out Harvey!

    • CalsPals

      August 31, 2020 at 7:18 am

      Started to face a lil adversity, we can’t have that, might make them tougher…go O’s…

  12. millboy

    August 31, 2020 at 7:09 am

    Put Akin in the rotation and leave him there for the rest of this short season. Use this time to let him figure things out.

  13. Massmonster

    August 31, 2020 at 12:32 pm

    when a team like Kansas City says we owe it to our fans to go all out to try to get into the playoffs in this unique. situation, and give them a thrill of the playoffs,what does that say about the Orioles management a team like Detroit ,Kansas City ,Seatle will get in but not the O’S THEY HAVE GIVEN UP

  14. musicmanjr

    August 31, 2020 at 12:58 pm

    Re: “…second baseman Hanser Alberto and shortstop José Iglesias also could be on the block”
    Unless the O’s receive a #1 or #2 starting pitcher for Iglesias and Alberto, why would they give up the heart of their offensive production?
    Hanser Alberto is Hit Man and a fan favorite. Jose Iglesias brings defense to a very porous infield AND a .400 batting average. In my honest opinion: The O’s are turning the “Rebuild” into a fire sale.

    • CalsPals

      August 31, 2020 at 4:09 pm

      Some defense, their best SS, but not the Iglesias of past…go O’s…

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