Orioles fall, 3-1, to red-hot Athletics; Offense doesn't deliver; López loses control in 2nd - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles fall, 3-1, to red-hot Athletics; Offense doesn’t deliver; López loses control in 2nd

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

 BALTIMORE–The Orioles fell victim to baseball’s hottest team on Friday night, even if the Oakland Athletics were hardly playing at their best.

Oakland won its 12th straight game, as the Orioles failed to capitalize on numerous scoring chances and lost, 3-1, before 7,574 at Oriole Park.

The Orioles are 8-11 and 1-7 at home.

It was a frustrating game for the Orioles, who had 10 hits, nine of them singles, and left 10 on base.

Centerfielder Cedric Mullins led off the first with a double to center, took third on a fly to right by Austin Hays and was left there.

The Orioles then fell behind as starter Jorge López walked Mitch Moreland and Sean Murphy to begin the second and both scored. They moved up a base on a López wild pitch, and Moreland came home on Seth Brown’s infield out. Stephen Piscotty’s single to left drove in Murphy for a 2-0 Oakland lead.

“I thought he came out and threw the ball great in the first inning,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “Second inning, I felt like he lost his aggressiveness there.”

Catcher Pedro Severino agreed with Hyde.

“He tried to hit every spot, just perfect,” Severino said.

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In the bottom of the fourth, Maikel Franco singled with one out. DJ Stewart grounded to first. Matt Olson threw to third baseman Matt Chapman to force Franco, but Oakland starter Cole Irvin couldn’t get to first to time to double up Stewart.

Ryan Mountcastle, who had been hitless in 21 at-bats, singled, and both advanced a base when centerfielder Ramón Laureano overran the ball. They stayed at second and third when Severino struck out, ending the inning.

Laureano homered to center, his second, and Oakland led, 3-0, as Travis Lakins replaced López, who allowed three runs on six hits in four-plus innings.

“They’re a really good team,” López said. “We all know how lucky they’ve been. As a starting pitcher, you have to understand the situation of not giving 90 feet free, especially when that team’s been really hot.”

In the bottom of the sixth, Trey Mancini, Franco and Stewart singled to load the bases with none out against Irvin. Mountcastle struck out, and Severino singled to left to score Mancini, only his second RBI of the season.

Irvin left in favor of Yusmeiro Petit, who retired Freddy Galvis on a pop to second on the first pitch, and Ramón Urías on a grounder to short to end the sixth.

Irvin allowed a run on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings.

Cole Sulser retired all six Oakland hitters he faced. In the seventh, he needed just seven pitches, and he struck out the side in the eighth. Overall, Lakins, Dillon Tate, Sulser and Shawn Armstrong combined to allow just two hits in five scoreless innings.

“The bullpen helped me a lot,” López said. “I have to give better starts.”

The Orioles got two-out singles in the seventh from Mancini and Severino in the eighth, but both remained there.

“We had opportunities,” Hyde said. “We’re swinging at pitcher’s pitches a little bit too often in big spots. We’ve got to make better decisions at the plate … up, down, away, we’re just chasing too often. A lot of our guys are pressing. There’s a lot of different reasons why we’re not coming through in spots, punching out too often.

“We’re in a little bit of a funk to start this year, but we will snap out of it.”

Notes: Pitching coach Chris Holt is away from the club this weekend because of a personal matter. Assistant pitching coach Darren Holmes is filling in. … The Orioles hadn’t allowed a home run in their previous four games for the first time since July 21-24, 2016.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. CalsPals

    April 24, 2021 at 7:23 am

    Sulser continued to look strong, Armstrong finally had a good showing, more hits than the A’s bit less runs, arghhhh….go O’s…

  2. Orial

    April 24, 2021 at 8:11 am

    The O’s are quickly developing a door-mat offense. It seems all of baseball is struggling at the plate while fighting off injuries. Ominous start for the season in MLB. The 5th inning also seems to be a sportwide bugaboo throughout the 2 leagues. Starting to wonder if it’s a managerial style more than it is a starters inadequacies. That Severino strikeout with runners on 2nd and 3rd epitomizes the Orioles hitting approach. Pitch was head level/high outside. When do we worry about Mountcastle? Is he immune from being demoted come June/July? Well all we can do is keep plugging along and praising the bullpen.

    • Icterus fan

      April 24, 2021 at 8:26 am

      In spring training, arent pitchers generally “ahead” of hitters? If it’s as systemic as you say (offense down across both leagues?) then maybe its due to shortened season last year. Who knows. There’s myriad excuses.

      No way our offense will stay this cold. No way.

      Mountcastle demotion? Of course it should be considered, especially if he continues struggling. Failure isn’t final – struggling and feeling the repercussions of it makes one stronger and is often a turning point.

  3. Orioles20

    April 24, 2021 at 9:01 am

    Other then the homer to laurenao I thought Lopez pitched good. Another quick hook from Hyde. If you’re going to use a bullpen game today why use so many relievers last night. As far as mountcastle is concerned while he’s strikeouts are up so are all of his metrics like exit velocity and barrel rate. I thought in the Texas series he hit the ball good and nothing to show for it. He had a long fly ball out last night. I think he’ll be fine once it warms up.

  4. Balt mp

    April 24, 2021 at 9:20 am

    If you were fighting for first place and a playoff birth I would get the quick hook but this is ridiculous. To pull Lopez after giving up 3 runs one on a solo home run begs the question what are we trying to accomplish? If your trying to figure out if a guy has “it” why do you consistently refuse to allow the starters to fight through their wall that’s how you learn by doing all this is doing is blowing out the bullpen by Memorial Day if we’re lucky.

    As far as the offense the approach with 2 strikes is horrible. I can’t understand my this team does not change personnel when they don’t get with program anyone on this team including Mountcastle should go down till they get it it’s not like you going to eat a boatload of money .
    You either set the tone for your organization now while you and not payroll considerations control the roster or keep reinforcing poor fundamentals and keep losing

    • Icterus fan

      April 24, 2021 at 10:03 am

      This is well said IMO, especially lack of hitting adjustments and plate discipline. What happened to choking up, taking a pitch, working the count, laying off the high ones, etc. The classic high average hitters do those things. Thinking of Carew, Rose, Gwynn, Baines and myriad other quality hitters. Yes I know they are exceptional but still…..

  5. Balt mp

    April 24, 2021 at 9:22 am

    Rich,

    Has there been any talk of a Hyde extension ?

    • CalsPals

      April 24, 2021 at 9:41 am

      We’ve talked about this before, top secret as to his current contract, no one seems to know the length, personally, I hope not…go O’s…

    • Rich Dubroff

      April 24, 2021 at 5:00 pm

      We don’t know any details about his contract.

      • Birdman

        April 24, 2021 at 5:13 pm

        Rich, correct me if I’m wrong … but when major league managers are hired, aren’t the length of their contracts usually known and reported in the media?

  6. Icterus fan

    April 24, 2021 at 9:52 am

    Anybody know the overall starter ERA vs overall closer ERA?
    Maybe Hyde is just operating with those statistics when using the “quick hook”?
    Lopez has been better than his overall W-L record and 8+ ERA suggests.
    We gotta start showing some plate discipline and situational hitting.

    • CalsPals

      April 24, 2021 at 10:28 am

      Totally agree with situational hitting & plate discipline, baseball IQ seems questionable for some of these guys…go O’s…

    • Orial

      April 24, 2021 at 12:17 pm

      Interesting that you should be curious about certain stats Icterus–one,as it pertains to the O’s,I would like to see is “pitches per plate appearance”. Both for the O’s hitters and pitchers.

    • CalsPals

      April 24, 2021 at 12:42 pm

      Not shocked if it showed lower 1/3 of MLB, really seem to struggle making a pitcher work, I understand sometimes the 1st pitch could be the best one you’ll see the at bat, but we seem to go after more than normal, seems many opposing pitchers have much lower # of pitches than their counterparts…go O’s…

  7. Massmonster

    April 24, 2021 at 4:19 pm

    please a sacrifice fly!!!!!!

  8. Birdman

    April 24, 2021 at 5:08 pm

    Hard to believe, but although Severino may look bad at the plate at times, he actually has the second highest BA on the team … interesting to see some speculation here about demoting Mountcastle to the minors – that seems premature to me after only 19 games, but I think Mountcastle’s struggles should give pause to those who want to rush Rutschman to the majors.

    • BarstoolSleeper

      April 24, 2021 at 5:49 pm

      Well said birdman. Lotta knee jerk reactions on this site just like Hyde taking guys out in the 4th inning haha

  9. Massmonster

    April 24, 2021 at 10:38 pm

    Do the O’s want to lose! Why start Wade, probably worst pitcher on roster!

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