Orioles swept by Red Sox; Martinez hits 3 of Boston's 6 home runs; McKenna gets first hit - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles swept by Red Sox; Martinez hits 3 of Boston’s 6 home runs; McKenna gets first hit

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

BALTIMORE—When the Orioles began their season with a three-game sweep of the Boston Red Sox last weekend, hopes were heightened that perhaps this Orioles team was better than many had forecast.

Since then, the Orioles have lost five of six, including three straight this weekend to the Boston Red Sox. They’ve slipped below .500 at 4-5.

Sunday’s 14-9 loss to the Red Sox before 8,171 at Oriole Park was particularly difficult because Boston isn’t expected to contend this season. Oriole pitching allowed six home runs, three to J.D. Martinez, two to Rafael Devers and another to Alex Verdugo.

In the season-opening series, the Orioles held Boston to five runs. This weekend, they scored 27.

“They’re swinging the bats better right now,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “They’ve got some guys that are really hot. J.D. is obviously on fire.”

Martinez added an RBI single to his three solo home runs, and is hitting .472 with a 1.583 OPS.

In Thursday’s home opener, the Orioles lost, 7-3, and dropped a 6-4 game in 10 innings on Saturday night.

“In the first game, we had a lead the first part of the game, couldn’t put up zeros the second half of that game. I thought we were two outs away from winning last night,” Hyde said. “Today, it just got away from us.”

Orioles starter Jorge López gave up four runs in the third inning. After Franchy Cordero and Kiké Hernández began the inning with singles, Verdugo hit a three-run home run. Martinez, who was put on the injured list on Saturday because of Covid-19 symptoms, homered in his return.

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“He’s a really good hitter,” López said. “We all know that. Every hitter they have has a good, good approach, good at-bats. Those power guys, you’ve got to keep them guessing.

“He was hot today, he got the barrel on everything, and he’s a guy you have to execute good pitches to.”

The Orioles had a chance to score in the bottom of the third. With one out, shortstopFreddy Galvis singled, centerfielder Cedric Mullins singled to extend his hitting streak to nine games, and first baseman Trey Mancini’s grounder bounced off Boston first baseman Bobby Dalbec’s glove for an error to load the bases.

Rightfielder Anthony Santander, who strangely sacrificed with one out and Mancini on first in the first, took a called third strike after fouling off seven of eight pitches.

With designated hitter Ryan Mountcastle at-bat, Red Sox starter Nick Pivetta’s pitch got away from catcher Christian Vazquez, and Galvis attempted to score. Pivetta somehow got to the plate in time, blocked Galvis’ path, and he was thrown out to end the inning.

In the bottom of the fourth, Mountcastle doubled, and with one out, third baseman Maikel Franco’s single scored Mountcastle. Rio Ruiz’s inning-ending double play halted the rally.

Boston quickly ended López’s day. Martinez’s RBI single, the third in a row to begin the fifth, made it 5-1, and Mac Sceroler replaced López.

Sceroler’s second batter, Devers, hit a three-run home run. He homered in each of the three games this weekend.

Martinez homered, his second of the game, leading off the sixth.

Ryan McKenna, batting for Santander, hit a triple off the center field wall for his first major league hit to start the bottom of the sixth. With one out, DJ Stewart walked, and Franco lined a three-run home run, his first homer as an Oriole.

“My first ever hit in professional baseball was a triple,” McKenna said. “A really similar hit. I was thinking the other day, ‘that would be pretty cool if that happened.’ It ended up being a good swing, and Camden’s a deep park in center field. It’s got some real estate out there. I was taking note of that and making sure I was hustling, and I was trying to look for an extra-base hit if I could drive something there.”

Pivetta allowed four runs on seven hits in six innings.

Austin Brice replaced Pivetta for the seventh and, after walking Ramón Urías, who replaced Galvis at shortstop, and Mullins, Mancini hit a three-run home run to right field to close the gap to 10-7. Mancini also homered in Saturday night’s game.

Martinez hit his third home run of the game against Tyler Wells in the eighth, and Devers hit his fourth homer of the series, and second of game, off Shawn Armstrong, a two-run shot, also in the eighth, and the Orioles trailed, 13-7.

Boston’s final run scored when Ruiz and then Urias muffed Cordero’s grounder. Urias then recovered the ball and made an ill-advised throw home that was nowhere near the plate. Marwin Gonzalez, who wasn’t running, scored easily.

In the ninth, Mullins, who had another two-hit game, doubled and eventually scored on an infield out by Mancini. McKenna singled and scored on a wild pitch.

Notes: Mullins has a .459 average and a 1.188 OPS. Dating back to last season, Mullins has a 13-game hitting streak.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

 

 

 

 

 

26 Comments

26 Comments

  1. CalsPals

    April 11, 2021 at 6:14 pm

    Almost seemed as if Hyde gave up on the guys, they come back & that’s the best our strong bullpen can do, to me, bring up some of the younger pitchers, wouldn’t Plutko have been perfect to go to down 10-7?…last yrs pitching coach has to be laughing his rear end off, maybe with his great Ivy League pitching background they can put Mikey in…go O’s…

    • BrooksPJs

      April 11, 2021 at 7:16 pm

      I fear we may be in for the big reveal, that the Orioles aren’t playing to maximize wins this season. Armstrong is out of options, so tough decision there. Not sure how many days of rest Plutko needs, he did pitch yesterday and may need at least one day off.

    • BarstoolSleeper

      April 11, 2021 at 7:25 pm

      PJs what stat website do you have to support that the O’s aren’t trying to maximize wins this year? I couldn’t find that on the net. Haha they’re not a good team. Embrace it. 90+ losses.

    • CalsPals

      April 11, 2021 at 7:34 pm

      Plutko only threw one inning, that’s why I thought he’d be ok to go…go O’s…

      • BrooksPJs

        April 11, 2021 at 7:51 pm

        Had been a starter, may need sometime to transition to pitching everyday. I checked all of his MLB game logs, no back to back pitching yet, but hopefully he will get there soon

    • 33d St

      April 12, 2021 at 8:00 am

      CP – you thought a modern day pitcher could pitch the very next day after being forced to pitch an entire inning of Major League Baseball? This ain’t 1877 no more. These guys have rights, and unions. Making a guy pitch back to back days is like a hostile workplace, and emotional distress. Nobody knows this better than the Angelos family. We can’t have our precious little babies pitching more than once every four days. They might get a boo-boo. And if they do they could be entitled to a Large Cash Award. Free Consultation! Call now!

      • VICTORTEE

        April 12, 2021 at 8:09 am

        It is not the union’s fault. It is baseball front offices and analytics geeks who have wimpified pitchers.

    • CalsPals

      April 12, 2021 at 9:32 am

      :)…suck it up buttercup…go O’s…

  2. Ekim

    April 11, 2021 at 6:33 pm

    Can someone remind me just what purpose does Armstrong serve? Each team has it’s own batting practice pitcher. Why do the O’s have to provide one for the other team? Just saying…

    • BrooksPJs

      April 11, 2021 at 7:10 pm

      Armstrong is a relief pitcher for the Orioles. He comes into games to pitch after starters have been pulled. He had a very successful 2020 with a 1.80 ERA and 0.80 WHIP over 14 games. He recent had a new child, maybe his mind is preoccupied, but cool move to compare him to a batting practice pitcher!

    • CalsPals

      April 11, 2021 at 7:36 pm

      Unfortunately he’s got an era of 27.00, bring in Mikey…go O’s…

    • 33d St

      April 12, 2021 at 8:06 am

      14 pictures on the staff and nobody can pitch. Can we just move ahead to where we get rid of pictures all together and have a programmable pitching machine? Then it would be a battle to see which team’s Ivy League analytics-data scientists could do the best job of programming their pitching machine. This would open up some roster spots so teams could have a bench again. 5th outfielders! Backup middle AND corner infielders! Heck we might actually see offensive strategy again: pinch-hitters and platoons and pinch runners and what-not.

    • 33d St

      April 12, 2021 at 8:07 am

      Pitchers not pictured. Damn phones. Hope the pitching machines work better than these daggone things

  3. BrooksPJs

    April 11, 2021 at 7:21 pm

    The one constant shining star of hope is Cedric Mullins, bat and fielding drafted by DD, crazy exception to his all bat defense be damned draft prioritization.

    • Shamus

      April 11, 2021 at 9:07 pm

      Drafted by DD but straitened out by the analytical fellas!!

  4. BarstoolSleeper

    April 11, 2021 at 7:32 pm

    Only 10 K’s again today. 2 games in a row with 10 strikeouts. We’re trending up!

    • BrooksPJs

      April 11, 2021 at 7:54 pm

      Good deal keeping it positive BSS!

  5. BrooksPJs

    April 11, 2021 at 7:55 pm

    BPJ predicts Kremer and Means record Ws over Seattle…over and out from South Central PA!

  6. Judi35

    April 11, 2021 at 8:55 pm

    I I still want to know why Urais is still here another error today and airmailed throw to plate

  7. Icterus fan

    April 11, 2021 at 9:00 pm

    Man, this has been tough ball to watch. Botching fundamentals is the worst……these real head scratching “blunder” type moments are hard to take.
    Gotta focus on the positives, I reckon. We’re about where we thought we would be.
    Not real good.

  8. Orial

    April 11, 2021 at 9:01 pm

    That crowd of 8,700–was that held down because of a capacity limit of 11,000 or is 8,700 what we would have had with a normal capacity(45,000)? I’m afraid to get the answer to that one. The hate on Armstrong is somewhat justified BUT wasn’t he one of the few solid pitchers of the last 2 seasons? I like seeing Stewart,Franco,McKenna contributing while the “counted on one’s” Mancini,Mountcastle,and to degree Santander drag their feet. Need the “unknowns” to come through once in a while too. After last night’s game and watching the bullpen implode I thought maybe the Rule 5’s(Secolar *,Wells) could step in and bridge the gap to Scott. Well–I guess not. Another reason to get this Minor League season started–we’re obviously sapped/out of ideas at getting a staff out of what pitchers we have right now. Let’s get the young talent rolling and hopefully up here sooner rather than later. Mental mistakes continue. O’s should start utilizing IQ tests to go along with the Covid test protocol. Final thought–remember how flabbergasted we were at how bad the O’s played at home these last few years?—well here we go again.

    • dlgruber1

      April 11, 2021 at 9:18 pm

      Loved, and completely agree with, your last comment. I used to chalk up the struggles at home to how tough it is to pitch at OPACY but sadly, that’s just a small part of it. It doesn’t explain poor baserunning, I’ll advised and poor throws, and ALL those K’s! No, it’s definitely not just the ballpark, it’s the players.

  9. Balt mp

    April 11, 2021 at 9:50 pm

    First the lack of fundamentals on this team is astounding of course that may be a function of Ruiz playing out of position.

    Secondly I can’t understand why Hyde has Mountcastle batting 4, that is a lot to ask of a kid with 130 at bats . He should be 6 or lower .

    Third, the bullpen is NEVER going to work without some semblance of order of use appoint a closer which based on stuff is Tanner Scott use Tate as the set-up guy Valdez is at best a 7-8 inning guy . Leblanc / Armstrong fit that bill the rule 5 guys clean up the mess .

    Fourth CUT the dead wood Ruiz, Lopez and any other player that either can’t stay on the field physically or mentally . You’ve tolerated this mishmash for 3 years you need to show that repeatedly screwing up gets you out of here money obviously is no excuse . If I’m going to have the Red Sox beat the h—- out of me I’d rather start Baumann or Sedlock guys that have 2 years of working with Holt than a guy or guys picked from the waiver wire .

    Has anybody heard anything about a contract extension for Hyde ?

    • CalsPals

      April 12, 2021 at 7:44 am

      Totally agree with you, bring on some youngens, extension, lord hope not….go O’s…

    • 33d St

      April 12, 2021 at 8:12 am

      Lopez should be looked at like an Opener. Hope he gets through the lineup one time then be ready to use Wells and Sceroler. Gets them all some work and keeps them on a schedule.

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