Lopez, bullpen shut down Red Sox as Orioles end skid; Mullins' hustle triple; Mancini, Mountcastle homer - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Lopez, bullpen shut down Red Sox as Orioles end skid; Mullins’ hustle triple; Mancini, Mountcastle homer

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

BALTIMORE—The Orioles finally beat the Boston Red Sox at home behind a strong start by Jorge López, lights-out relief pitching, home runs by Ryan Mountcastle and Trey Mancini and a short but exciting triple by Cedric Mullins.

López, who has had trouble getting through five innings, nearly got through the sixth, limiting the Red Sox to four hits and one run.

Mountcastle hit his third home run of the season in the second, and Mancini hit his seventh in the sixth, and the Orioles scored two more in the eighth for a 4-1 win over the Red Sox before 6,826 at Oriole Park on Monday night.

The Orioles (16-19) had lost six straight to Boston (22-14) at home. They’re just 5-13 at Camden Yards.

Mountcastle’s home run was his third of the season. It came against Martin Pérez. All three of his homers have come against Boston.

Mancini hit his seventh leading off the sixth against Matt Andriese (1-2). The shot to center, the second longest home run of Mancini’s career, traveled 440 feet.

López was pulled after Xander Bogaerts hit a soft liner to center that got past a diving Mullins for a two-out double. Tanner Scott (2-2) struck out Rafael Devers to end the sixth. López struck out five and didn’t walk a batter.

“He went over the hump tonight,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “Probably could have gone longer, but he hasn’t gone that far this year.”

Boston’s only run came in the fourth. J.D. Martinez singled with one out. López hit Bogaerts with a pitch, and both runners moved up on a wild pitch. Martinez scored on Devers’ sacrifice fly to left.

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“It wasn’t easy,” López said. “I’m just real excited the way I got my [innings] and give us a chance to keep that ballgame close.”

Travis Lakins and Paul Fry worked perfect innings in the seventh and eighth before César Valdez finished off Boston in the ninth for his eighth save. Oriole relievers pitched a perfect 3 1/3 innings.

In the bottom of the eighth, Mullins hit a popup to short left field. Boston’s defense was in a shift toward the right side and three Red Sox defenders converged on the ball. Bogaerts, the shortstop who was playing on the right side of second base, chased the ball down, juggled it twice, and finally knocked it toward the third base line. Mullins realized the ball might drop and also that no one was covering third. By the time Devers picked it up and threw to catcher Christian Vázquez, Mullins was sliding headfirst into the bag with a triple.

“They should put this on an educational film for all young players on how to get out of the box,” Hyde said. “It was ball hit and eyes up, incredible hustle. He got to third base so fast.”

Austin Hays walked, and Mancini lined a single to center, scoring Mullins.

“I think everything had to happen the way like it did for him to get to third,” Mancini said. “Xander almost had it the first time, almost had it the second time, and then it dropped. Finally, the third time, it bounced. At that point, nobody was covering third. Cedric had already noticed that, and he took off, and he was electric, and got that inning started for us.

“It was a huge inning for us, to put up another couple of runs for us.”

Mancini is batting .252 and has been pleased with his swing since just before the Orioles left for the West Coast on April 29th.

“In this stretch, give or take a couple of games, I’ve felt as good as I ever have,” Mancini said. “I just feel like I’ve lined out like 50 times.

“I’m trying to do what I can up there and focus on my approach and not the result. I feel like that’s produced hard contact pretty consistently. I feel really good about my at-bats lately.”

After Mountcastle struck out, Pedro Severino’s infield single loaded the bases, and Freddy Galvis’ sacrifice fly to right scored Hays to put the Orioles ahead 4-1.

Notes: Galvis’ 10-game hitting streak ended. … Maikel Franco was hitless in three at-bats. He’s in a 3-for-41 slide and his batting average is .205. … The Orioles game with the Minnesota Twins on Memorial Day, May 31st, will be televised nationally on ESPN. Game time is 1:05 pm. … Pitching coach Chris Holt is away from the club for personal matters. Darren Holmes, the assistant pitching coach, who normally works in the bullpen, is subbing. … John Means (4-0, 1.37 ERA) will pitch against the New York Mets’ Marcus Stroman (3-3, 2.10) in the first of a two-game series at Citi Field on Tuesday night at 7:10 pm.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

39 Comments

39 Comments

  1. CalsPals

    May 11, 2021 at 7:57 am

    Kelenic, 21 year old rookie being called up by Seattle Thursday, 4th rated on minors…hmmm…go O’s…

    • Pure_Positive_PJs

      May 11, 2021 at 8:28 am

      Kelenic was drafted in 2018, has 685 ABs in the minors, with a 0.890 OPS over his minor career. Seattle’s current outfielders are ranked in the lower third of the MLB.

      Rutschman was drafted in 2019, 151 ABs in the minors, with a 0.764 OPS over his minor career. Orioles current catchers are ranked near the bottom of the MLB.

      I hope Rutschman excels at the AA and AAA levels and is called up this season. Also hope Kelenic has a great career except when he faces the Orioles.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        May 11, 2021 at 2:22 pm

        And how many years, ABs and league MVPs did it take for the O’s to call up Mountcastle. Give us those stats Dorf. You use the numbers only when it fits your narrative.

        The fact it is, major college baseball is certainly the equivalent to A ball. How many years did Adley play for Oregon St?

        And how about that Ramon Urias? Why again is he still on the team? Ignore it all you want … but you know you were dead wrong on that one.

        I may not be right very often, but at least I’m man enough to own up to my mistakes.

    • Orioles20

      May 11, 2021 at 8:29 am

      That’s because Seattle is further along in there rebuild. And the president basically said before the season started the only reason he was in the minors was because of service time manipulation. They were able to use the knee injury he suffered in spring training to get him time in the minors without being called out.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        May 11, 2021 at 2:29 pm

        Seattle sure didn’t look further along than the O’s last week.

        • CalsPals

          May 11, 2021 at 2:35 pm

          Agree, all about manipulation & the benjamins…go O’s…

    • CalsPals

      May 11, 2021 at 8:42 am

      Thx guys, was just a statement…go O’s…

    • ClayDal

      May 11, 2021 at 5:08 pm

      Kelenic was hitting.409 after 22 at bats at AAA. Rutschman is hitting.190 after 21 at bats at AA. With 9 strikeouts. I’m sure Rutschman will be fine, but he probably needs to get his feet wet at Bowie first. There’s no need to rush him. When he’s ready call him up

  2. Orial

    May 11, 2021 at 8:04 am

    Now that was a nice win. Kinda rid us of the increasing angst lately. Lopez seems to impress more the disappoint. One more out for Lopez and he would have completed 6 but we all know how. “itchy” these managers get these days. Must be a pain for them to have to follow the analytical playbook to a few constantly. Ben McDonald made a not so earth shattering comment that registered–how the pitching has been solid these last 2 season’s. Got me to thinking about when the rotation consisted of bigger names(Bundy,Gausmann,Cobb,Miley) and how we were down by 3-4 runs a lot after 2 innings but today it’s seems to be 1-0(either way) after 5. So maybe things are looking up. A simple but yet profound comment by Ben. Means followed by Harvey’s “homecoming” makes for an intriguing series AND it’s on the road. Yes things look rosier all of a sudden.

    • Pure_Positive_PJs

      May 11, 2021 at 8:30 am

      Digging the rosey comment Orial…

  3. Orioles20

    May 11, 2021 at 8:26 am

    Franco is one of those hitters that when he’s hot he’s hot and when he’s cold he’s ice cold. Mancini and Mountcastle are getting going. Lopez has pitched good enough to warrant another chance. He shows just enough each outing to warrant that chance. The bullpen continues to be a pleasant surprise. Just imagine when we get Hunter Harvey back.

    • Pure_Positive_PJs

      May 11, 2021 at 8:35 am

      Weird splits for Franco – he’s been awful in May throughout his career! Career OPS by month for Franco:

      March/April: 0.755
      May: 0.584
      June: 0.824
      July: 0.805
      August: 0.682
      September/October: 0.734

      Really weird, hopefully Long and Hernandez can get Franco productive at the plate before June.

    • Bhoffman1

      May 11, 2021 at 9:16 am

      Any updates on Diaz injury running out a double. Why are our young athletic outfielders so injury prone

    • Rich Dubroff

      May 11, 2021 at 9:31 am

      As I wrote yesterday, Hyde didn’t have further details, Bruce.

  4. willmiranda

    May 11, 2021 at 10:30 am

    It seems to me that Lopez is not yanking himself from games. It is Hyde who hasn’t been able to get through the fifth –and now the sixth– without yanking him. As the manager said, Lopez “probably could have gone longer.” I don’t think it’s quite accurate to characterize Lopez as incapable of getting through or beyond the fifth inning, as I have seen in multiple places. Last night, the Sawx weren’t going to beat anybody, so I’m not touting Lopez as an All-Star, but when a guy who works hard gets a chance for a win, I say give him a chance to get it.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      May 11, 2021 at 2:27 pm

      I too thought the hook was premature with Lopez last night. However the announcers said that Devers was 2 for 4 with 2 homers vs. Lopez previously. I suspect this influenced Hyde’s thinking. That and he wanted to get a lefty vs. lefty thing going with Devers.
      Now one of our fellow contributors suggested walking Devers and allowing Lopez to remain in the game, and frankly I thought that would have been a great way to go.

      • Pure_Positive_PJs

        May 11, 2021 at 4:50 pm

        I myself can’t blame Hyde pulling Lopez “early” ever, his career OPS vs times through the order are pretty bad 2nd and 3rd time through the order. I guess Lopez can improve these career stats, and I’d be happy to see him improve his performance in the 5th+ innings. Orioles bullpen has five relievers with ERA less than 2.50, seems turning to them is a pretty good move IMO.

        I know, I know, give me Lopez’s stats! Okay here they are:

        1st time through the order, career/2021: 0.665 / 0.332
        2nd time: 0.946 / 1.001
        3rd time: 1.086 / 1.852

        They say history repeats itself! You and BRR finding something to complain about after a solid win is definitely history repeating itself. Sorry! Hard to stay positive when my man Ramon is sitting out again tonight.

        • Boog Robinson Robinson

          May 11, 2021 at 5:48 pm

          Who & BRR? I am BRR? You’re so confusing.

          I didn’t complain about anything. You don’t seem to comprehend what you read sometimes.

          BTW … not sure of the scope of those numbers, but they certainly seem to indicate something. A number of IPs to go along with them would be nice.

          Go Os! (but boycott Denver)

    • CalsPals

      May 11, 2021 at 5:39 pm

      What you’re saying makes zero sense, yet total sense from you, they’re debating Lopez being pulled early…WTH…good God…go O’s…

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        May 11, 2021 at 5:50 pm

        He IS confusing.

  5. Pure_Positive_PJs

    May 11, 2021 at 4:54 pm

    Ruiz is 1 for 8 lifetime against Stroman. Urias should be starting, he’s batting 0.333 over his last six games! I am officially off the positive roll…

  6. cedar

    May 11, 2021 at 5:00 pm

    I agree with Hyde on the comment about Mullins triple. That is how you should play the game. What looks like an out turns into a triple. Everyone should be taught to hustle out of the box like that.

    • dlgruber1

      May 11, 2021 at 5:11 pm

      My favorite part of that play, other than Mullins hustle of course, was when Devers picked up the ball his first look was towards 2nd base. That was just enough lost time to allow Mullins to make it to 3rd. Anyone else here agree with me that had Manny hit that ball he’d have been standing on 1st base when the play was over.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        May 11, 2021 at 6:40 pm

        Manny would have headed directly to the dugout.

    • Icterus fan

      May 11, 2021 at 6:15 pm

      Yeah, that was pure hustle and good to see. Devers’ hesitation and the high throw was what allowed Mullins to get in there safely.
      Fundamental baseball still works.
      And yes, Manny would have been at first.
      Great point.

    • cedar

      May 11, 2021 at 6:57 pm

      I kinda agree with Boog, but think Manny may hav had enough time to return to first. And agree that Devers was totally caught off guard by Mullins hustle. But that’s the point right? It was likely an out but you run hard and you put yourself in a position to take advantage of any mistake that might happen.

    • CalsPals

      May 11, 2021 at 7:02 pm

      That’s the coolest thing about Mullins game, speed kills, he hustles out of the box on everything…go O’s…

  7. Boog Robinson Robinson

    May 11, 2021 at 7:50 pm

    OK … so how is the wide world of sports does Mullins get credit for the Triple? If that wasn’t an error, remind me what level of baseball we’re watching again?

    • CalsPals

      May 11, 2021 at 7:56 pm

      Was almost a little league HR…LOL…go O’s…

    • Rich Dubroff

      May 11, 2021 at 8:11 pm

      Ken, the play was made by Mullins’ initiative and it would have been an excellent play if Bogaerts, from where he was positioned made the play. The scoring rule is to charge an error if the play can be made with “ordinary effort.” That was hardly ordinary effort.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        May 11, 2021 at 9:45 pm

        Taking nothing at all away from Mullins and his effort, but did Bogaerts not drop the ball? Heck I’d understand if he ran full speed face first into a wall or something, but by golly, he should have caught that ball.

        Just my uniformed opinion Rich. I’m sure it had nothing to do with which team’s park the game was played or anything.

        Just joking Rich, just joking. Of course it was a triple.

        • Rich Dubroff

          May 11, 2021 at 11:24 pm

          Bogaerts ran all the way from the other side of second base. If he caught it, you would have said it was a great play. I would have been astounded if it wasn’t scored a triple. If there is an egregiously bad call by a scorer, MLB would change it, but the scorer is an extremely expert professional, and I agree with his call wholeheartedly.

          • Boog Robinson Robinson

            May 12, 2021 at 12:21 am

            I respect your opinion Rich, but the way I see it is he ran a long way .. yes, it was a tremendous effort and he’s wicked fast … but he didn’t have to dive .. he didn’t have to slide … he didn’t trip or stumble on his way …there was no wall being run into …and yet the ball hit his mitt square … square in the palm or pocket… and he failed to hang on to it.

            If distance traveled to get to the ball is a deciding factor NOT to charge an error, players like Ozzie Smith and Ken Griffey may NEVER have committed any error in their careers.

            Here’s a thought … no slack should be given the gosh dang ‘shift’. Any ball popped sky high 20 ft. behind shortstop/third, NEEDS to be caught. Maybe the manager should be charged a ‘positional error’ in this case? I digress ….

            I respectfully think that a major leaguer should catch a ball when it lands in the pocket of a baseball glove. I’m thinking Cricket players everywhere would agree and even laugh at any other notion.

            As far as the official scorers being too professional to ever make a home cookin’ decision, well I’ve seen too many to believe that’s the case 100% of the time.

            I know I’m only a fan, and that I don’t sit with the other ‘boys in the know’ in a special box in the stadium and never get to talk with the players or coaches, but watching what I would very conservatively estimate to be 3000 to 4000 MLB games in my lifetime, I’m willing to stand by my thoughts.

            Here’s a serious question you may know the answer to that I don’t. Who pays the official scorers salary?

          • Rich Dubroff

            May 12, 2021 at 10:51 am

            Official scorers are hired by Major League Baseball.

    • dlgruber1

      May 12, 2021 at 12:41 am

      Ok, time to add my thoughts on the triple. I went back and watched it over a few times and I gotta say, to me I’d have to go with BRR here and say it’s an error. Here is why I think that. It was, in my opinion, all because of the way Bogearts turned his glove when he attempted the catch. He made a hell of an effort but that was an easier catch if he tried to catch it backhanded. The way he tried to catch it made it a more difficult play than it already was but it looks like the ball hit off the heel of his glove. Simply put, as great as his effort was, he should’ve made the play in my opinion. I’d bet if someone asked him he’d say the same thing. Still, Mullins hustle was so refreshing he deserved a triple.

      • Rich Dubroff

        May 12, 2021 at 10:52 am

        Dave, another point on official scoring is that they’re not supposed to take into effect the reputation of an individual player when making a play. If Lenn Sakata made an error on a play, Cal Ripken Jr. should be charged with an error on that same play.

    • CalsPals

      May 12, 2021 at 2:26 am

      Always thought the rule of thumb was didn’t touch the glove, no error, touched his twice, maybe a single w/two base error, but not a triple…go O’s…

      • Rich Dubroff

        May 12, 2021 at 10:49 am

        No, Ray. You are incorrect. It would have taken an extraordinary effort to make that play, not an ordinary effort. That is the rule. There is no “rule of thumb.” It was clearly a triple. No doubt.

    • CalsPals

      May 12, 2021 at 12:58 pm

      Others see it differently, Rich, ask Xander if he thought he’d make the play, bet he says 8/9 times outta ten, another that should be taken into account is that they were in an extreme shift, no shift easy play, fly ball to outfield lost in the sun, ball hits next to OFer, doesn’t touch his glove, no error, not an extraordinary effort involved…go O’s…

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