Alonso's homer, Mets' defense send Orioles to 7-6 loss; Mountcastle, Stewart stay hot; Clemente honored - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Alonso’s homer, Mets’ defense send Orioles to 7-6 loss; Mountcastle, Stewart stay hot; Clemente honored

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

NEW YORK—During Orioles manager Brandon Hyde’s pregame press conference, he fielded question after question about the Orioles’ playoff chase.

Hyde did his best to acknowledge that he follows the contending American League teams and caution that there are still many games to be played.

Things looked promising for the Orioles when they took a 5-1 lead over the Mets in the third inning, but New York chipped away and made several outstanding defensive plays. The biggest was a sensational game-turning play by Mets rightfielder Michael Conforto, whose improbable running and leaping catch prevented three Oriole runs in the sixth and kept New York in the game.

Pete Alonso homered on the first pitch from reliever Hunter Harvey in the eighth to break a 6-6 tie and send the Orioles to a 7-6 loss on Wednesday night at Citi Field, breaking their four-game winning streak.

The Orioles are  20-22, and trail the New York Yankees, who beat Toronto, 7-2, by 1 ½ games for the final playoff berth in the American League. They begin a four-game series with the Yankees on Thursday.

The Orioles had 14 hits, 12 singles, and left 13 runners on base.

DJ Stewart and Ryan Mountcastle each reached base in all five of their plate appearances. Mountcastle is hitting .383 in his first 60 at-bats and savoring being a part a postseason contender.

“It makes it a lot easier to play hard to go out there and try to win every day,” Mountcastle said in a postgame video conference. “When you’re trying to win, I think everybody’s going to play better.

“The last week or so, we’ve been playing really well. Seeing some other teams fall back a little bit, seeing how close we are, we’re definitely hungry for a playoff spot.”

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Cedric Mullins led off the game with a single against Rick Porcello. He moved to second on José Iglesias’ infield out and scored on Renato Núñez’s bloop single. Stewart and Mountcastle followed with base hits. Mountcastle’s scored Núñez.

New York scored against Orioles starter Jorge López in the second when Dominic Smith led off with a double. Smith moved to third on Alonso’s single and scored on Jeff McNeil’s base hit.

The Orioles scored three in the third to take a 5-1 lead. Stewart hit an opposite-field roller to third base with one out, Mountcastle singled, and both scored on Rio Ruiz’s double, which extended his hitting streak to 10 games.

Ruiz’s double followed eight Oriole singles. Ruiz scored on Hanser Alberto’s single.

In the fourth, Alonso singled on an 0-2 pitch with two outs, and McNeil homered to left, his fourth in as many games. The Orioles lead was down to 5-3.

Stewart hit his fifth homer in four games in the fifth against left-handed Chasen Shreve. His first 11 career home runs came against right-handers.

After going hitless in his first 17 at-bats, Stewart is 8-for-13 with those five home runs.

“I don’t know if I’ve seen really anybody as hot as he is right now,” Mountcastle said. “It’s sort of insane, but last year at Triple-A, he had a really good month. I remember thinking, ‘He’s hot.’ Now, he’s on a whole other level.”

Porcello allowed five runs, four earned, on 10 hits in four innings.

Conforto homered against López with two outs in the fifth. Hyde pulled López after he walked J.D. Davis and replaced him with Paul Fry.

Smith greeted Fry with a single to right. Stewart fumbled the ball, allowing Davis to reach third. Davis scored on Robinson Canó’s single, which snapped an 0-for-19 streak, and the Orioles’ lead was 6-5.

López worked 4 2/3 innings, giving up five runs on six hits.

“I had a good plan,” López said through a translator. “Unfortunately, I was not able to execute today, too many mistakes, credit to the opposing hitters. They did a good job against me.”

Conforto prevented the Orioles from extended their lead to 9-5 in the sixth when they loaded the bases on two outs when Núñez walked, and Stewart and Mountcastle were hit by pitches by Mets right-hander Jared Hughes.

Against Justin Wilson, Ruiz sent a long drive to deep right that Conforto ran down and leaped for, snaring the ball in the web of his glove and securing it at the fence.

“The play that Conforto made had to be one of the best plays of the year, especially in that spot,” Hyde said.

“We definitely left runners on base, but I thought we took good at-bats again. I wish we could have pushed a couple more across, but give credit to the Mets, the defense they played. That was an outstanding defense effort that stopped a bunch of rallies and saved a bunch of runs.”

Andrés Giménez homered against Fry to tie it at 6 with one out in the sixth.

In the eighth, Stewart reached on a walk against Jeurys Familia. Mountcastle singled, and pinch-runner Mason Williams advanced to third and stayed there as Ruiz grounded back to Familia to end the inning.

Honoring Clemente: Besides López, infielder Andrew Velazquez, third base coach José Flores and assistant hitting coach José Hernandez wore No. 21 on Roberto Clemente Day.

“On the way here, on the bus, I had to look up some of the numbers and reassure just how good he is,” Velazquez said. “Fifteen-time All-Star, [12]-time Gold Glove. Crazy numbers, 3,000 hits, and to be that type of player and be as humble as he was off the field, amazing.”

Coming up: Keegan Akin will face Gerrit Cole in the opener of the four-game series at Yankee Stadium. The Orioles haven’t decided on their other pitchers while the Yankees have scheduled Masahiro Tanaka, Jordan Montgomery and J.A. Happ.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

27 Comments

27 Comments

  1. CalsPals

    September 10, 2020 at 7:29 am

    Typical of youth today, know nothing about history, how does Velasquez seriously have to look up Clemente’s numbers, ahh, today’s youth…go O’s…

  2. 33d St

    September 10, 2020 at 7:35 am

    Tough loss. The Conforto catch was a big turning point. Oh well, can’t win em all.

    And do ya hear Mountcastle? “When you’re trying to win, I think everybody’s going to play a little better.” Damn right. Hope the FO can read between the lines. Mountcastle didn’t put in all that work just to come here and “tank.”

  3. Birdman

    September 10, 2020 at 8:31 am

    A tough one to let get away, but when you give up 4 home runs you can’t expect to win … despite last night, O’s pitching staff has shown huge improvement this year in the home runs allowed stat … in 2019, O’s set all-time MLB record for most home runs allowed in a season – this year, they are in the middle of the pack in home runs allowed.

  4. VegasOriole

    September 10, 2020 at 9:41 am

    I took that loss real hard last night. Been so accustomed to them losing, that it didn’t bother me as much. Now that they have a decent team though, I expect them to win every night!!! Now lets go O’s, time to knock the Yankees out of the pennant race!

  5. willmiranda

    September 10, 2020 at 9:50 am

    Couldn’t believe the Mets plunked 3 out of 5 Orioles and the O’s retaliated against one Met, yet there was no reaction, as far as i could tell, by the umps. Granted they weren’t head hunters and seemed, at first, to be accidental, nevertheless such recklessness could get somebody hurt. Overall, the O’s split four games with the Mets, a team with a similar record, so the latter might give us a picture of how good we are. If we don’t take three from the Bronx team, I don’t think we’ll pass them to get to the playoffs.

  6. Boog Robinson Robinson

    September 10, 2020 at 9:51 am

    Yeah it was a tough loss last night. But with the young attitudes, I don’t think there’s any reason not to believe they’ll get right back on the horse tonight against the suddenly mortal Yankees.

    I thought Hyde might have had a little quicker hook in the 5th last night. After allowing the tater to McNeil in the 4th, I thought the writing was on the wall. Lopez looked good, but I think they had him figured out going through the lineup a 2nd time. Trying to get a full 5 out of Lopez may be asking a bit much.

    Another baserunning blunder. This time by my boy Sisco. The play was right in front of him so I don’t think there’s an excuse for him trying to take 2nd.

    And that catch in right by Conforto…wow. The stars simply weren’t aligned properly last night. This series will go a long way in telling us if we can make the playoffs. Frankly, if they were to make it, I think they may be a tough out. That lineup suddenly looks as good as almost any. Too bad Santander is missing the fun.

    Duquette’s diaper dandies (apologies Mr. Vitale) are making it fun!

    • Birdman

      September 10, 2020 at 10:22 am

      Boog … I will give you that several Duquette draft picks, and Santander as a Rule 5, have emerged strongly this year. But the acquisitions made in a short period of time by Elias, on a shoestring budget (Alberto, Severino, Iglesias, Ruiz, Valaika), have been at least as important to the O’s improved play.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        September 10, 2020 at 1:45 pm

        Sure they have, just trying to rub the noses of the Duquette haters that said the cupboard was bare in it. 🙂

        Sisco, Hays, Mullins, Santander, Kremer, Stewart (maybe), Baumann, Grayson Rodriquez, Diaz DL Hall…these guys all stand to be a part of the future of this team. Duquette knew what he was doing, and the cupboard was far from bare. I’m hopeful that Elias will do just as well if not better. His recent trades look pretty good. But remember this, he won’t be picking in the top 5 every year.

        • OriolesNumber1Fan

          September 10, 2020 at 6:49 pm

          “A lot of knowledge has been shared with us and they are setting the groundwork for years to come. Just to be able to understand the way baseball is going now,” said 22-year-old lefty Zac Lowther.

          Added 23-year-old right-hander Michael Baumann: “I’m all ears about it and excited to learn. The more we can learn as an organization, it will benefit us in the long run. The pitchers all seem to love it. We look forward to getting to the field every day to see what they have in store for us. It’s not going to happen overnight and they will not throw everything at us at once. Everyone will go at their own pace and figure it out.”

          This is some of the talk of Mike Elias and how he’s making players better! There words and not just mine.

          • OriolesNumber1Fan

            September 10, 2020 at 6:56 pm

            Added Mike Elias- “But really the process is that we have proprietary information about what pitches play the best at the major league level against different types of hitters. And very simply, we try to coach the pitchers toward throwing those pitches and throwing them at the right time and improving their pitches with some objective benchmarks of how to make the pitch better.”

            Added: “We want to maximize each guy,” Elias added. “This isn’t a cookie-cutter thing. We want to look at the repertoire they have, the velocity they have, the type of body and delivery that they have. What they’ve done in their careers and are they a starter or reliever. Everything. Figure out how they profile best at the major league level and try to get them to that point. Within realistic constraints.

            “The thing I’m really excited to do that we haven’t done yet, is pair this up with the draft. So eventually we will be acquiring guys with an idea of what we will then do with them in player development. And once you get that cooperation going, I think that’s when you really get a system humming.”

          • OriolesNumber1Fan

            September 10, 2020 at 7:18 pm

            “I want to see our strikeout numbers go up over time and it’s not just going to be this year,” he said. “Because part of it involves who you are drafting. But that was part of a four-year effort to harmonize our pitcher acquisition and pitcher development. And it’s very difficult to achieve. I don’t know if we can replicate that level of success because of the competitive environment. But we had every single pitching coach on the same page using the same philosophy. The scouting department was doing it and the results were effusive.” said Mike Elias.

            The bottom line is that Elias is confident this will make the farm pitchers more productive and thus the overall farm system better. Lowther can absolutely see that happening.

            “Yes. They were brought here to develop players and we have a lot of young guys here that are really eager to get better. They have a strong direction. This will help the Orioles from top to bottom,” he said.

            Again, players saying this, not just me. This is how top to bottom. Players including players already in the organization will be better. PS: Not one player even mentioned Dan Duquette here. But are ecstatic that Mike Elias is here to teach!

          • Boog Robinson Robinson

            September 10, 2020 at 9:42 pm

            It’s “Their words” …. not “there” Scoutmaster Mort. Stick to Cut & Pasting other peoples words.

            Did you spend all day putting this together?
            🙂

    • CalsPals

      September 11, 2020 at 7:14 am

      My thoughts exactly…go O’s…

    • CalsPals

      September 11, 2020 at 7:20 am

      I haven’t seen Elias teach anything & if he is he’s overstepped his bounds, he’s not a coach…go O’s…

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        September 11, 2020 at 3:58 pm

        Scoutmaster Mort .. unable to have any opinions that are original. In capable of independent thought.

        • OriolesNumber1Fan

          September 11, 2020 at 4:53 pm

          “I just feel like all of our guys have gotten better, all of our young players that either got experience in the big leagues last year or maybe saw in big league camp and now I’m seeing them. Just the improvement in our players. That’s a credit to a lot of people, themselves and the people who have helped them along the way this last year.” Said Hyde.

          Another Orioles person who has agreed with me. Mike Elias and his staff of coaches who have helped these players turn the corner. They all agree with me and my opinion on how these players got better. So brr, you and your pal can stick your stupid opinions up your collective azzes. And rub your own nose up your azz as well.

    • CalsPals

      September 11, 2020 at 5:40 pm

      Richard Onesy, you aren’t helping yourself…go O’s…

    • dlgruber1

      September 11, 2020 at 10:05 pm

      And ALL of this talk will be irrelevant if we don’t have an ownership willing to pay these guys when and if they ever do become very good. It’s just the reality.

  7. Orial

    September 10, 2020 at 10:25 am

    Yes a very tough loss and like Vegas said made tougher because we’re starting to expect better of them-not like in the past. Bringing in Fry was the correct move but what’s up with lefty pitchers struggling against lefty hitters lately. Even Ruiz’ “almost” grand Slam was against a lefty. Time to re-think these sabermetrics guys. Did the Mets know ahead what Harvey was gonna throw on his fist pitch? Alonso was certainly ready. Is Harvey’s fastball down? Heard that rumor.

    • CalsPals

      September 10, 2020 at 11:51 am

      Every time I’ve seen him pitch since coming back he seems like he wants to “Announce my presence with authority”, maybe Sisco told him what was coming…go O’s…

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        September 10, 2020 at 2:49 pm

        The garter may be on backward. Somebody may need to remind him that the Roses go in the front.

        • OriolesNumber1Fan

          September 11, 2020 at 8:43 am

          No, two seconds. I don’t live on this site like you do. I have a great life unlike you old grumpy one!

          • OriolesNumber1Fan

            September 11, 2020 at 8:51 am

            And you stick to being a azz hole. Your (Ha HA) really good at it.

          • Boog Robinson Robinson

            September 11, 2020 at 5:57 pm

            Hey Scoutmaster Mort, this whole argument started with you saying that when Elias got here, “the cupboard was bare”. Nobody ever knocked Elias, but several of us rebuffed your claim that “the cupboard was bare” THAT was the argument. OBVIOUSLY to all except yourself, the cupboard was NOT bare at all. So now you’re proven wrong so instead of admitting it, you change the narrative. It’s a small person that can’t admit when they’re wrong.

            BTW…how can you be the Os#1 fan? You don’t even live in state. I know of many persons that have paid for season tickets for 30-40 years in Baltimore. They are the true #1 fans. So “Stride” to do better will you? Bwahahhhahhaaaaahahha

    • CalsPals

      September 11, 2020 at 12:36 pm

      WTF is with that idiot, rantings of a madman…go O’s…

  8. Bancells Moustache

    September 10, 2020 at 1:04 pm

    A pivotal series against the Yankees in September. Who woulda thought..

  9. Hallbe62

    September 10, 2020 at 1:38 pm

    Get after those Yanks tonight Birds !
    LET’S GO O’s

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