Harvey hit hard again in Orioles' loss to Rays; Mancini using tennis to improve; Martin hurt at Norfolk - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Harvey hit hard again in Orioles’ loss to Rays; Mancini using tennis to improve; Martin hurt at Norfolk

BALTIMORE—For a few weeks, Matt Harvey was a comeback story for the Orioles. He won three straight games, but since then, things have gone downhill.

On Tuesday night, he allowed six runs — on two three-run homers in the second — and seven hits in just 1 2/3 innings as the Orioles lost to the Tampa Bay Rays, 13-6, before 5,429 at Oriole Park.

Harvey (3-4) gave up seven runs on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings in his emotional homecoming against the New York Mets on May 12th. After a hitless first on Tuesday, he imploded.

Wandy Diaz and Joey Wendle began the inning with singles. After Mike Zunino struck out, Brett Phillips hit the first three-run home run, his second.

Willy Adames doubled, Randy Arozarena dribbled a single down the third base line, and Austin Meadows hit the second three-run home run, his eighth, for a 6-0 Tampa Bay lead.

“When he’s pitching well, he’s missing bats,” manager Brandon Hyde said of Harvey. “He just wasn’t real sharp.”

After Ji-Man Choi fouled out to third, Harvey allowed a single to Brandon Lowe and his short night was over. It was the second shortest start of his career.

“I didn’t really feel comfortable from the beginning,” Harvey said. “Kind of got into some old habits mechanically, gave up some soft hits, and obviously with runners on, I gave up some hard ones. That cost us the game.

“I’ve got some work to do mechanically and go back to square one and figure it out so that it doesn’t happen again.”

Harvey’s ERA, which was 3.60 two starts ago, is up to 5.93.

“I don’t think there are any positives from the last two or three outings,” Harvey said. “Going four or less innings as a starter is completely unacceptable. Giving up as many runs as I’ve given up the last three games is extremely unacceptable.”

Tyler Wells took over and gave up a leadoff triple to Wendle in the third followed by a home run by Zunino, his ninth. The Rays (24-20) were ahead, 8-0.

The Orioles (17-24) had their first look at 21-year-old Luis Patiño, and the right-hander gave up a run in the third on Stevie Wilkerson’s double, a single to Cedric Mullins, which extended his hitting streak to 11 games, and an RBI single to Austin Hays.

Patiño didn’t make it out of the fourth. He walked leadoff batter Freddy Galvis and, with one out, Chance Sisco singled. In his first game with the Orioles since September 28, 2019, Wilkerson scored Galvis with an RBI single. After Patiño threw a wild pitch, he hit Mullins, and Andrew Kittredge (4-0) replaced him.

Hays hit into a forceout with Sisco scoring, and Mancini’s run-scoring single brought in Wilkerson to cut Tampa Bay’s lead to 8-4.

After Mancini’s hit, the Orioles went hitless until DJ Stewart’s RBI single in the ninth.

The Orioles have lost eight of their last 10.

“It’s frustrating,” Mancini said. “A lot of times we’re not synced up offensively or when the pitcher is having a tough night. A lot of times, they’re on, and we don’t do our part. I think it’s just been unfortunate, trying to sync that up.

“I know we can right the ship. There are going to be times like this throughout the season … I know we can turn it around.”

Diaz singled to start the fifth against Travis Lakins and, with one out, Zunino hit another two-run home run, his 10th, and the Orioles trailed, 10-4.

Lowe’s RBI single in the sixth, and Choi’s two-run homer in the eighth completed the scoring for Tampa Bay. Tampa Bay’s five home runs accounted for 12 of their 13 RBIs.

Mancini’s tennis background: Mancini’s first sport as a youngster was tennis, and hitting coach Don Long gave him a copy of “The Inner Game of Tennis” to help with his hitting. In 15 games this month, Mancini has 16 RBIs.

“I’m really trying to work on the mental side of the game, and it’s an everlasting process,” he said. “I’ve been reading that, and really been working hard in trying to put that into practice whenever you’re out there.

“You can always make improvements, and I think more than anything in baseball, you have to master the mental side because it can be a rollercoaster if not.

“I think if you do that, the results wind up where you want them to be.”

Notes: Richie Martin, who was playing center field in Norfolk’s home opener, injured his left wrist when he crashed into the center-field wall. He left the game and will have follow-up testing in the next 24 hours. … John Means (4-0, 1.27 ERA) will start against Ryan Yarbrough (2-3, 4.20) on Wednesday night.

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