Orioles' Lowther allows 7 to Red Sox in 1st major league start; Mountcastle hopes he's on track - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles’ Lowther allows 7 to Red Sox in 1st major league start; Mountcastle hopes he’s on track

Zac Lowther
Photo credit: Steve Cockey

BALTIMORE—Zac Lowther’s first major league start began well but quickly turned ugly. Lowther, who was promoted from Triple-A Norfolk and is taking Bruce Zimmermann’s place in the rotation as the Orioles try to limit the innings of their younger starters, didn’t make it through three innings.

Lowther allowed seven runs on seven hits in 2 1/3 innings as the Orioles lost their second straight to the Boston Red Sox, 11-6, on Saturday night before 10,598 at Camden Yards, which is the allowed capacity because of Covid-19 restrictions.

In his first major league appearance, Lowther (0-1) pitched a scoreless inning on April 25th against Oakland and then was sent back to the alternate training site at Bowie.

When the Orioles sent Zimmermann down on May 3rd, Isaac Mattson replaced him. Mattson pitched the ninth inning on Friday night, and was swapped out for Lowther.

Lowther pitched a scoreless first on Saturday night but allowed four runs in the second.

“When I was missing, I was missing over the heart of the plate, and with a good lineup like that, you get hurt,” Lowther said. “I wouldn’t say I was nervous per se for this one or anxious. But getting out there, I didn’t settle in right away.”

Michael Chavis’ two-run home run in the second was the big hit. Lowther allowed the first three batters to reach in the third, including a run-scoring single. Shawn Armstrong relieved him with one out and allowed both inherited runners to score.

“I just thought they had a great approach,” manager Brandon Hyde said about the Red Sox. “A major league approach against a left-handed pitcher. The majority of the hits were up the middle, the other way. They stayed on the ball real well.”

It’s a hitting approach Hyde has been preaching to his team, and one that took advantage of Lowther’s inexperience.


“I made a lot of good pitches, maybe not when I need to,” Lowther said. “I’m going to take the good from this and dump the bad. You can always learn from that stuff. I know what I need to do to get better.”

Armstrong, whose ERA is 10.80, allowed two more runs in the fourth, as Boston (21-13) took a 9-2 lead.

Xander Bogaerts hit his seventh home run of the season in the sixth against Rule 5 draft choice Tyler Wells to give the Red Sox an 11-2 lead.

The Orioles (15-18) scored a run in the first against Boston starter Garrett Richards (2-2) on an RBI single by DJ Stewart after Cedric Mullins led off with a hit and stole second to put himself in scoring position. Freddy Galvis hit his fourth home run of the season down the left field line to lead off the second.

Richards, who allowed four runs on eight hits in seven innings, gave up an RBI double to Trey Mancini in the sixth and a run-scoring single by Ramón Urias three batters later.

Besides Armstrong and Wells, the Orioles used Travis Lakins and Tanner Scott, each for an inning, and infielder Pat Valaika somehow got out of the top of the ninth by throwing just five pitches, even after Urias booted Hunter Renfroe’s ground ball to begin the ninth. It was Valaika’s first career pitching appearance.

Hyde said the Orioles are considering adjustments to their staff, but Norfolk is playing in Jacksonville this week, and logistics might make it tricky.

In the ninth, Boston reliever Austin Brice loaded the bases. He hit Urias and Rio Ruiz with pitches and walked Mullins with two outs. Brice also hit Stewart in the eighth. Hays’ two-run single made it 11-6 before Josh Taylor struck out Mancini to end the game.

Mountcastle taking steps: Ryan Mountcastle was hitless in four at-bats one night after his first three-hit game of the season, and his first home run since April 8th.

Last season, Mountcastle hit .333 with five home runs and 23 RBIs. This year, he’s hitting .214 with two homers and nine RBIs.

“Usually, it’s that second year once they finally figure you out, and the weaknesses and stuff, they’re going to try to exploit them,” Mountcastle said. “It’s all about change. I’ve got to change the way I think, change the way maybe I swing sometimes, trying to adapt to the situation, and try to get better from it.”

Mountcastle had a seven-game hitting streak, and Hyde thought he saw more patience.

“I was encouraged [Friday] night. When you think of a 100-mph fastball down and in and hit the ball to right-center the way he did, I figure that means he moving to the baseball the right way,” Hyde said. “Ryan has been quick off the ball, like a lot of our guys.”

Orioles acquire left-hander: The Orioles claimed left-handed pitcher Brandon Waddell on waivers from the Minnesota Twins.

The 26-year-old was 0-1 with an 11.25 ERA in four games with the Twins. In 2020, had a 2.70 ERA in two games with Pittsburgh.

Waddell was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk and right-hander Jay Flaa, who pitched a scoreless 1 1/3 innings in his only appearance with the Orioles, was designated for assignment.

Notes: Dean Kremer (0-2, 6.43 ERA) will face Nick Pivetta (4-0, 3.23) on Sunday afternoon. … John Means was honored by the Orioles before the game for his no-hitter on Wednesday. The Orioles presented him with a watch and made a $10,000 donation in his name to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Baltimore. Jim Palmer, who threw the last solo no-hitter, congratulated him with a video message on the scoreboard. … The crowd was the largest of the season, and the second sellout.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB



  1. Orial

    May 9, 2021 at 8:16 am

    Disappointed in Lowther no doubt but it was unfortunately kind of expected. For years we’ve been hoping/praying that that “next man up” youth pitching movement would lead to steady progress. With the exception of Means the handful of Kremer,Akin,Zimmerman,Hess,etc. have been somewhat underachieving. Now the pressure will be on Rodriguez,Hall,Baumann. In their case “failure CAN’T be an option”. They HAVE to succeed. What is it with the Red Sox? How do they look so bad one year only to be baseball’s best team the next(it’s happened before). While MLB is struggling to even hit the ball this team constantly makes contact and piles up the runs. Oh and let’s not forget they have the #3 pick in the up- coming amateur draft. And that’s AFTER they traded Mookie. I despise them but the hell with Tampa Bay that’s the team to emulate. Good news fans–O’s are back on the road Tuesday.

  2. Jeffpop

    May 9, 2021 at 8:46 am

    Armstrong has gotta go!! Hard to watch DJ staggering around under routine fly balls. Not the best option out there. Get well soon Santander!!!!

  3. Boog Robinson Robinson

    May 9, 2021 at 9:26 am

    We want a pitcher, not a belly itcher.

    One fan’s advice to Lowther …. Stop throwing the ball right down the middle and thigh high. That tends not to work. (and I understand that Rogaine actually works)

    Sheesh that was awful to watch.

    • Orial

      May 9, 2021 at 9:57 am

      That is so true Boog. The O’s do love their “beefy” pitchers.

    • Ekim

      May 9, 2021 at 1:43 pm

      … and he was followed by another who does the same thing! What is the “love affair” Hyde has with Armstrong? I know all about the fact that he has no options left but it seems to me the the O’s have but one option left for him… DFA! I can just imagine what the O’s on the field are thinking when they see him warming up! … or the poor pitcher who leaves with men on base. Just saying… (for the third time this season!)

  4. CalsPals

    May 9, 2021 at 9:31 am

    Defense on the left side is horrific, Galvis range is almost non-existent, dropped two balls thrown in to him, early thought he might be trade bait, don’t see it now, not really worth anything unless someone is looking for someone off the bench, wouldn’t get much in return…go O’s…

    • Orial

      May 9, 2021 at 10:00 am

      Yes Galvis range is suspect but he has been one of the few hitters that shows any consistency. That being said I do see a changing of the guard come August 1st–Jones/Martin taking over the middle of the IF.

    • CalsPals

      May 9, 2021 at 10:43 am

      Agree Orial, step into the future:)…go O’s…

    • AR-Watch-2021

      May 9, 2021 at 12:15 pm

      Oh my, let see what the actual stats say – FanGraphs has Galvis listed as #15 fielding SS and #7 overall. That type of performance might actually be appealing to another come trade deadline.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        May 9, 2021 at 12:28 pm

        Yeah, he’d fetch a large bag of crackers come deadline. Now if he were to keep that average up where it is … then maybe I’d revisit this thought …. but my guess is he’ll be around 255 or lower by then.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      May 9, 2021 at 12:25 pm

      I agree C.P. … Galvis is defensively average at best. I can NOT believe the scorer charged Stewart with a throwing error instead of Galvis on one play during one of the big innings. The ball was hit into the gap … Stewart cuts it off with a nice sliding catch and makes snap throw to 2nd base to almost catch the running sliding into 2nd. The ball struck the ground about 6 inches in front of Galvis’ feet and he fails to pick it, allowing an extra runner to score. Error Stewart? I don’t get it. Galvis a professional shortstop. Gotta catch that ball Freddy.

    • CalsPals

      May 9, 2021 at 3:59 pm

      Looks like the Predator going after a ball…go O’s…

    • Massmonster

      May 9, 2021 at 6:23 pm

      I agree totally -2nd base, shortstop Orioles biggest weakness!

  5. Massmonster

    May 9, 2021 at 10:12 am

    time to cut Armstrong and go with their avowed youth movement and promote someone permanently! This up and down practise is a sure recipe for losing and disaster-ruining any hopes for at least a decent season

  6. Massmonster

    May 9, 2021 at 11:11 am

    if Means is a true Ace he should of been penciled in for Monday’s game against Red Sox! He pitched Wendsday , Monday would of been his regular turn.in a season barely 1 month old he already has been previously given an extra days rest! Talk about being Cautious it’s ridiculous!!! imagine the Bats doing that to Scherzer or the YANKS to Cole!!!!!!

    • ClayDal

      May 9, 2021 at 11:54 am

      Means has already thrown more innings than last year. He’s had arm issues the last 2 years. The Orioles are trying to preserve his arm so he can still be effective late in the year. Doing the same with Kremer and Zimmerman. That’s why they were sent down when the Orioles had days off. Whenever the Orioles have a chance to give Means extra rest they are going to do it

    • AR-Watch-2021

      May 9, 2021 at 12:17 pm

      Means threw a career high 113 pitches on Wednesday, not ridiculous to take a little care of your best starter during a rebuilding year.

  7. Massmonster

    May 9, 2021 at 11:13 am

    I text NATS IT COMES OUT. BATS#$&#!#$&

  8. OriolesNumber1Fan

    May 9, 2021 at 11:52 am

    Enough talk with rushing these poor minor league players already. Lowther hasn’t even pitched at Triple A yet and with the loss of the minor league season last year, they seem to start now on rushing some of these guys. This should have been a bullpen game with Plutko starting. Just when Lowther was getting his confidence by pitching well through each farm promotion too. I hope they didn’t blow this kids confidence by skipping Triple A with him. This was not the correct move here. Just let the process they were using continue.

    And enough talk with promoting others as well. Yusniel Diaz promotion to Triple A is barely hitting .200 and all we’re hearing is talk on when he’ be next. He didn’t do all that well in Double A two years ago. He doesn’t deserve any promotion as of yet. And Adley Rutschman is hitting .190 and the talk never stops. Stop with all the talk about promoting all these guys and losing with the kids at the Major League level when they can’t even master the minor leagues yet! Let these kids develop already!!! Maybe moving up Adley to Double A was rushing him too soon as well. Talk about ruining some guys confidence. Sheesh!

    • AR-Watch-2021

      May 9, 2021 at 12:28 pm

      Is this where I am supposed to say “Gee, did you notice the difficulty yesterday’s Orioles catcher had with the Orioles young pitchers!”? I add a “Tsk, tsk, catcher ‘let up’ two wild pitches – or were those dropped pitches? Should’ve stopped them. Tut tut…” in an effort to joining the cool kids. Ha, I jest…

      Minors watch:
      Rutschman: BA 0.190, OPS 0.701, K % 0.429 (K/AB, I am too lazy to look up PA)
      Diaz: 0.200, 0.577, 0.350
      Jones: 0.200, 0.873 (pretty darn good), 0.150 (pretty darn good)

      My main man, catcher Brett Cumberland is struggling too! 0.200, 0.650, 0.333.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        May 9, 2021 at 12:35 pm

        Somehow, I seriously doubt you ever had a seat at the cool kids table in the cafeteria.

    • CalsPals

      May 9, 2021 at 3:16 pm

      Touché…LMAO…go O’s…

    • Massmonster

      May 9, 2021 at 6:35 pm

      isn’t anyone alarmed at the O’s 4-13 home record,their manager says he isn’t! Congrats Elias you’ve built the most perfect team to not be able to take advantage of Camden Yards.Only the 1988 O’s- 4-22 were worse in Oriole history.we don’t want to be equated with the 1988 O’s in anyway!

  9. Massmonster

    May 9, 2021 at 12:38 pm

    if your healthy you gain strength through use not from rest- so does Means still have issues

  10. Massmonster

    May 9, 2021 at 12:42 pm

    for decades pitchers pitched with 3 days rest and there were FAR less injuries

    • ClayDal

      May 9, 2021 at 12:51 pm

      That’s true. But they didn’t have to deal with a global pandemic that killed 600,000 people in the US alone. Baseball only played 60 regular season games last year. This year is 162 games. If giving Means an extra day off in April or May allows him to pitch into September, it makes sense to do it. Not going to affect the Orioles playoff hopes ( 0.0% according to Fangraphs)

  11. Massmonster

    May 9, 2021 at 12:43 pm

    they were stronger and better able to overcome injuries

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      May 9, 2021 at 1:08 pm

      They also didn’t throw as hard as these kids. Hey, I love the old guys just as much as anybody, but these kids are certainly bigger and stronger than they used to be. They simply throw the ball 99% effort ALL the time. Very few of the older generations (60s & 70s) guys did that.

      But Massmonster … I like your attitude!

  12. Ekim

    May 9, 2021 at 1:53 pm

    Classy move there with Lowther by bringing him up to start, no less, with but one inning above double A and not pitching in real game situations in almost two years. Years of building up his confidence blown away with one stupid move. But the follow-up to that is why did they send him out for the third after he showed he had absolutely nothing to challenge Boston’s batters? Dumb and dumber!

  13. Shamus

    May 9, 2021 at 3:23 pm

    Listening to the Orioles radio broadcast is TORTURE! Why do I care how Paul Fry met his wife?

    • dlgruber1

      May 9, 2021 at 3:39 pm

      Lol! I don’t get the radio broadcasts but depending on how and where he met her maybe it could be a humorous anecdote. And let’s face it, when they’re playing at home, especially against Boston, you need all the humor you can get.

    • Shamus

      May 9, 2021 at 3:49 pm

      Yeah good point.

    • Beachdogs

      May 9, 2021 at 4:12 pm

      Torture is watching Severino get doubled up on a line drive!!!

    • Icterus fan

      May 10, 2021 at 5:19 am

      O’s radio broadcasting is terrible now. Particularly ONE broadcaster. Not surprised one of them mentioned that type of irrelevant crap on air.

  14. dlgruber1

    May 9, 2021 at 3:41 pm

    I’m getting pretty damn sick and tired of O’s batters being plunked by Bosox pitchers! When are one of our guys gonna throw a rib shot?!?!

You must be logged in to post a comment Login or Register Here

Leave a Reply

To Top