Orioles cut ties with LeBlanc, add Lowther after 7-2 loss to A's, Oakland's 13th win in a row - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles cut ties with LeBlanc, add Lowther after 7-2 loss to A’s, Oakland’s 13th win in a row

 BALTIMORE—Orioles manager Brandon Hyde needed a starter for Saturday night’s game against the Oakland A’s. Keegan Akin wasn’t available after cutting his left index finger in a kitchen accident. Dean Kremer isn’t eligible to return from the alternate training site at Bowie until Wednesday.

That left Wade LeBlanc as the logical alternative. LeBlanc, who hadn’t started since he broke his elbow last August 23rd and has pitched infrequently in the bullpen, got the start and was able to retire just five batters while allowing seven to reach in a game Oakland would win, 7-2, for its 13 consecutive victory.

After the game, it was learned that the Orioles will designate LeBlanc for assignment on Sunday and promote rookie left-hander Zac Lowther from the alternate site at Bowie. MASNsports.com was first to report the move, which was confirmed by an industry source,

Lowther, 24, is the No. 11 prospect in the system, according to MLBPipeline.com. The Orioles selected him in the second round of the 2017 draft out of Xavier University. He has a 2.26 ERA in 326 minor league innings and is averaging 10.5 strikeouts per nine innings.

On a rainy Saturday night, the Athletics scored four runs against LeBlanc, who didn’t get much help.

In the top of the first, LeBlanc gave up a leadoff double to Mark Canha, who moved to third on Jed Lowrie’s fly to deep right. Matt Olson’s popup to short right eluded second baseman Rio Ruiz, and Canha scored. A messy force play on a grounder by Matt Chapman extended the inning.

“I thought we didn’t help him out in the first inning,” Hyde said. “He got like five outs there in the first. Give him credit for battling through that first inning and only giving up one run with a couple of missed plays and bad luck there. He gave up three there in the second. I think if the first inning went a little cleaner, then it’s a different story.”

LeBlanc didn’t make it out of the second. With one out, he walked Mitch Moreland. Elvis Andrus singled, and Canha’s two-run double made it 3-0. With two outs, Olson’s double scored Canha, and LeBlanc left in favor of Tyler Wells, trailing 4-0.

“They just jumped on a couple of mistakes,” catcher Chance Sisco said. “Not sure if he felt like he had the good command he usually has. They capitalized on a couple of pitches that were in the middle of the plate, and that’s kind of the way it works.”


LeBlanc knew what wasn’t working.

“Not being able to get the ball to my glove side, into righties, away from lefties, that’s going to be the pitch that opens everything up for me,” LeBlanc said. “Unfortunately tonight, it wasn’t there from pretty much the get-go.”

Pedro Severino, who was the Orioles’ designated hitter on Saturday, led off with a double to left in the second against Chris Bassitt. With two outs, Sisco’doubled off the first base bag, scoring Severino. After Cedric Mullins walked, Sisco was thrown out trying to take third on a pitch to Trey Mancini that ricocheted off the backstop.

Andrus singled against Wells to start the fourth. He hit Canha with a pitch, and Lowrie hit his third home run of the season to right field to make it 7-1.

Wells, who hadn’t pitched since April 11th, gave up the three-run home run in two innings.

“We’ve been playing so many close games that trying to find a spot to get him in, just because I want to get him comfortable in the big leagues,” Hyde said. “We’ve been pitching well out of the bullpen and staying in games Tonight, the game got out of hand early, and that was his opportunity. He picked us up, getting us some outs.”

Shawn Armstrong, Adam Plutko and Dillon Tate combined for 4 1/3 perfect innings. Tanner Scott retired the first two batters in the ninth, then walked the bases loaded. He threw two balls to Stephen Piscotty before crew chief Laz Diaz called the grounds crew to manicure the mound because of the wet conditions. After a drying compound was applied, Scott struck out Piscotty.

Mancini’s run-scoring double in the fifth gave the Orioles their final run.

Bassitt allowed two runs on eight hits in six innings.

The Orioles outhit Oakland for the second straight night but had just three singles in the last 4 2/3 innings.

Notes: John Means will start against Jesús Luzardo on Sunday at 1:05. … The Orioles are 8-12 but 1-8 at home. The one home win is the fewest in the majors. There was an announced crowd of 7,616 at Camden Yards Saturday … Sisco’s double was his first extra-base hit of the season. He also had his first multi-hit game of the season.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB



  1. CalsPals

    April 25, 2021 at 7:33 am

    The Bad News Birds showed up on defense again, Sisco thrown out at third, a cardinal (Oriole) sin seems more believed the way you wrote than the way it happened, really wouldn’t have blamed anyone going on that, went all the way to the backstop & ricocheted perfectly back to the catcher, he just made a good throw, I like most of what you write, this wasn’t good reporting, thought I was reading a FOX news article…lol…go O’s…

    • Rich Dubroff

      April 25, 2021 at 7:45 am

      I thought it hit the backstop at the time, Ray, but wasn’t certain.

  2. CalsPals

    April 25, 2021 at 7:40 am

    I’ll send my apology now…go O’s…

  3. Bhoffman1

    April 25, 2021 at 7:45 am

    Thank god he’s bringing up one prospect and designating a guy he cut in the spring that never should have been resigned just to throw away a game and some money. Where is Diaz we need offense and McKenna will not provide that. Sisco actually got two hits play him now as your primary catcher give him one solid chance if he fails ok but this Baltimore shuffle of him has basically destroyed his confidence and any chance to be a consistent player. One last thing it’s time for Valeka and Jones to be called up. Ruiz and Urias would not be on any other club in MLB. I hope Lowther stays when Kremer is bought back and Agin cutting his pitching finger give me a break was he drinking while preparing dinner.

    • CalsPals

      April 25, 2021 at 7:56 am

      Could’ve been…lol…:)…don’t think anyone could make this crap up…go O’s…

      • Rich Dubroff

        April 25, 2021 at 8:00 am

        I have changed it.

    • Rich Dubroff

      April 25, 2021 at 8:03 am

      Bruce, your common refrain, and that of other fans, is that the team has destroyed Sisco’s confidence. He’s had 470 at-bats to prove himself. That’s a full season’s worth. To paraphrase, Buck Showalter, players say that if they played more, they’d play better. If they played better, I’d play them more.


        April 25, 2021 at 8:28 am

        So why is Ruiz in the lineup? He has had WAY more chances to prove he can play than Sisco has had.

        • Rich Dubroff

          April 25, 2021 at 1:25 pm

          Victor, I’m not defending Ruiz. It just seems that the readers on this site have convinced themselves that Sisco hasn’t had a fair shot/

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        April 25, 2021 at 11:09 am

        Rich …. 470 at bats spaced haphazardly over a 3+ year span can hardly be considered to be a giving Sisco a sluggers chance and instilling confidence. The common assertion that I’ve heard bandied about by baseball people is that it takes 1000 at bats in the majors to make a call. Hell, I’d settle for 450 at bats over one year.

        Remember how they almost gave up on Mullins?

        2 or 3 years from now when Sisco is bashing la pelota for some other ‘legitimate’ major league team, the fans of Charm City will be wondering how we let yet another bona-fide major leaguer get away while we’re still in the tank pinching pennies with the likes of Urias, Ruiz and whoever the next bum they sign to play short is.

        • Rich Dubroff

          April 25, 2021 at 1:27 pm

          Ken, because of arbitration and free agency, players don’t have as long to prove themselves as they once did. Sisco will be eligible for arbitration after this season.

          • Boog Robinson Robinson

            April 25, 2021 at 1:46 pm

            That’s exactly why they should have been playing him regularly during these throw away years Rich. It’s not exactly like he’s been playing behind Johnny Bench.

    • CalsPals

      April 25, 2021 at 11:20 am

      :)…Totally agree…go O’s…

    • Baltimore Castaway

      April 25, 2021 at 3:07 pm

      Bhoffman1—am starting to believe that Mr. Yusniel Diaz is proving to be a First Class Bust for the Orioles….McKenna doesn’t have anywhere near the natural ability that Diaz does–but he plays with intention and effort…something that is fundamentally lacking w Yusniel Diaz…what a shame. My fear is that he is too busy counting the Bonus Money he received from the Dodgers.

  4. CalsPals

    April 25, 2021 at 8:23 am

    Also, did anyone notice how badly Hays missed the fly ball to left, liked his effort until I saw where the ball hit the wall compared to where he hit the wall…yikes…go O’s…

  5. Balt mp

    April 25, 2021 at 9:00 am

    This game epitomizes the problem with this manager you go with a bullpen game so you start with the false premise that Leblanc is going to give you length which makes no sense . You predictably fall behind and move to Wells the kid who hasn’t pitched in 2 weeks he gives up a three run homer and gets yanked note to Hyde with this line up you weren’t coming back so Wells should have gone at least 4 if not five . To compound the issue he then blows out the rest of the bullpen so you won’t be able to use any of them today.
    Can anybody explain why we suffer with Galvis and Rios my goodness your playing for the future I could see this level of play if you were playing kids which is what you should be doing . Any objective look at this tells you Martin, Jones and Nevin should be up playing everyday.
    I get Elias currently paying more attention to the minors and infrastructure for these 2 years but he needs to assert more control of the big league roster and staff because either Hyde has no feel for the game or he is a figurehead for Gonzalez or neither can run a club .

  6. Orioles20

    April 25, 2021 at 10:03 am

    Why not just bring up lowther to start last nights game if you were going to bring him up today to be available out of the pen if needed? I hope they don’t bring him back after dfa him. That lineup last night was atrocious. I don’t understand why Stewart was in right field. Should’ve been hays. That ball that was hit to right in the first hays probably gets to it. Other then a few games Stewart has shown nothing. They need to move on from these guys who can’t make the adjustments.

    • Icterus fan

      April 25, 2021 at 11:00 am

      Looks like Stewart has played in 12 games and has 40 AB with a .250 average thus far. This after playing hardly at all in spring training due to injury.
      Banish him?
      He seems clumsy defensively at times, but can hit those balls low in the zone.
      I don’t know, but impulsively just flushing guys isn’t the right move when we knew we wouldn’t compete this year anyway.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        April 25, 2021 at 12:55 pm

        Stewart has value.

  7. Jim

    April 25, 2021 at 11:07 am

    Hey , it’s good to see the team bring up some of the kids . It’s time to see what we have . We’ve been hearing that we have prospects , we’ll see . Bring up a real second baseman . Some young pitching , it would also help if Hyde knew how to make a lineup and use the speed at the top of the lineup . Try Mullins , Hays , Mancini , then the little bit of power we have . Try to get lead off hitters in each inning to get on , work walks , get hit with breaking balls , bunt , go the other way , if your leading off an inning , your job is to get on . Quit trying to hit home runs , make contact . We have the worst base running in the league . Put pressure on base runners to get a good jump . We are the only team in baseball that can get three hits in an inning and not score a run . Fundamentals are glaringly lacking .

  8. Orial

    April 25, 2021 at 11:14 am

    First off kudos to Calpals–“Bad News Birds” is a classic. Love to use it on another site but afraid they’d throw me off permanently instead of temporarily(no comment). Having Lowther come up should be a “feel good” story but until somebody breaks through the layer of mediocrity(Akins,Kremer so far) I’ll just observe. Now Hays is in a hitting funk along with Mountcastle. Geesh how many players are allowed to “funk” out at once. Be pulling for Means but please guys give him a little run support. The Sisco play(which I didn’t see) makes one thought come to mind–the O’s are aggressive when they shouldn’t be and unaggressive when they should be. And finally–come on MILB we REALLY have to see what we’ve got.

    • CalsPals

      April 25, 2021 at 4:58 pm

      I’d like to take the credit, someone piggybacked an earlier idea I had & used it, honestly cannot remember who…go to them & the O’s…

  9. CalsPals

    April 25, 2021 at 11:24 am

    Love ALL the posts today, it seems like it should, hopefully Mikey is reading this & “listens” to us experts…ahh, let’s beat the A’s @$$ today… go O’s…

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      April 25, 2021 at 11:59 am

      Mikey is too busy swooning over the team in Norfolk.

    • CalsPals

      April 25, 2021 at 12:26 pm

      :)…..go O’s…

  10. Icterus fan

    April 25, 2021 at 12:38 pm

    Our losing record must be based on our manager. Or our coaching staff. No, wait it’s lack of player development, or lack of on field execution. No, it’s not addressing the players directly. But wait it could be due to not giving the young players enough of a chance, or maybe giving them too many chances and they need to be released, but wait, we don’t want to watch those guys blossom into good players on another team, so it must be the fault of the team reporters, or covering for upper management. Then again, ownership seems clearly to blame. But it could be because we’re not aggressive enough, or is it maybe we are overly aggressive, or maybe someone’s drunk in the kitchen preparing dinner.
    They should bring up all the AAA guys, but they probably need more seasoning.
    It could be the Covid restrictions, or the barometric pressure, or a nefarious plot by Fox News, or those damn Yankees, wait we should still have Buck as our manager. No, it’s the training staff, bench coach……

  11. Balt mp

    April 25, 2021 at 1:01 pm

    I think it’s become expected to lose . The organization was empty of talent by 2018 . Now we really haven’t seen that much home grown talent a few pitches plus Mountcastle and Hayes . What I’ve seen doesn’t encourage me because in the case of the pitchers they’re not allowed to grow and learn you get to the fourth give up a run and a hit and your gone note to Hyde or Gonzalez I can’t tell who is making the calls your not going to the playoffs develope your talent that’s the goal .

    Position players to many injuries players out of position . Why we have retreads like Galvis or guys like Rio who can’t make adjustments I don’t get it . I believe this is where some type of mindset change needs to be made . Mountcastle is overswinging and expanding the zone now somebody with some power in the organization needs to sit down and say Ryan we are going to give you 40 more at bats to shrink your zone and cut down your swing. If he can’t or won’t send him down I’m guessing a few weeks of riding buses will impart a change .
    Sorry but if your not executing that’s what the minors are for .

    • musicmanjr

      April 25, 2021 at 2:25 pm

      Balt mp, Absolutely agree with your comment regarding the handling of the pitching staff. Not only do the O’s pull the starters early, they religiously adhere to the 100-pitch rule. Means has had a couple of great starts ended because he was near 100 pitches. How does a Major League pitcher “stretch out” if he’s automatically pulled in the 7th inning?

  12. Bhoffman1

    April 25, 2021 at 1:58 pm

    Jamal Jones 8 for 13 2 hrs and Richie Martin 4 for 8 at alternate site. Would’ve that look better then Galvis and Ruiz/ Urias

    • CalsPals

      April 25, 2021 at 2:17 pm

      No question Ruiz/Urias, still wouldn’t mind seeing Martin, not a fan of Galvis, but he’s been swinging a pretty good bat, defense, scary last night…go O’s…

    • BarstoolSleeper

      April 25, 2021 at 3:14 pm

      Bhoff, who do you think is pitching to them at the alternate site?

    • Bhoffman1

      April 25, 2021 at 3:41 pm

      Chris Davis

  13. mlbbirdfan

    April 25, 2021 at 6:22 pm

    Lowther for LeBlanc

    Go get Y. Diaz next!

    Means, Kremer, Akin, Zimmerman

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