WASHINGTON—The Orioles had a forgettable weekend in Washington. On Friday night, they managed just four hits. A day later, they scored five runs in the first and lost. On Sunday, they scored three in the first and lost again.
The Nationals beat the Orioles, 6-5, before 14,618 at Nationals Park. It was the Orioles’ sixth straight defeat and their 13th in 15 games. Their 17-29 record puts them 12 games below .500, one game more than at any time during last year’s 60-game season.
Starting pitcher Matt Harvey (3-5) lost for the fourth straight time. Again, he didn’t make it out of the fifth inning. In his previous start, Harvey recorded just five outs against the Tampa Bay Rays. Harvey allowed six runs, one unearned, on nine hits in 4 2/3 innings.
“In my mind, a starter goes six, seven innings,” Harvey said. “Especially how we’ve been going the last week, two weeks, our bullpen has been used way too early and way too often. As a whole we have to be better at that. I’m the first one to blame on all those issues. I just have to keep going out and getting better and figuring out a way to get six, seven innings and save our bullpen.”
After the Orioles took a 3-0 lead on RBI singles by Trey Mancini, Anthony Santander and a run-scoring double by Maikel Franco, Harvey gave up four in the bottom of the first.
Franco’s sacrifice fly in the third tied it at 4, and Trea Turner’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fourth put the Nationals (20-23) ahead, 5-4.
After Harvey left in the fifth, Cole Sulser allowed a bases-loaded walk to Andrew Stevenson, and the Orioles were down, 6-4. They didn’t come back.
“I hate losing,” Harvey said. “I hate contributing to that. I feel like I’ve done that in my last three, four starts. It’s completely unacceptable. I don’t think any of us likes to lose. I personally hate it. It sucks right now. We’ve got to figure out a way to be better. When we score runs, we’re not keeping runs off the board ourselves. We have to better as a whole, and I take responsibility for that.”
The Orioles had 12 hits on Saturday, and 13 on Sunday.
Franco, Mancini, Santander, Austin Hays and Freddy Galvis each had two hits.
Mancini’s infield out scored Galvis to make it 6-5 in the seventh. In the ninth, Stevie Wilkerson led off with a single. Hays sacrificed him to second, a decision that didn’t please manager Brandon Hyde.
“No, absolutely 100 percent, no,” Hyde said.
Galvis flied to right, and Mancini was intentionally walked. Left-hander Brad Hand then struck out Santander to end the game.
On May 5th, John Means, who starts on Monday night against the Twins, pitched a no-hitter. It gave the team a 15-16 record.
Since then, there’s been little positive, except for Mancini, who has 41 RBIs.
“I don’t think we got complacent or think we made it,” Mancini said. “Obviously, that was an amazing accomplishment. I don’t think that has anything to with how we’ve been playing and how the games have been going.
“We’re just in a big rut. We’ve got a lot of younger guys who are learning a lot of things right now. It’s something we’ve got to get through and get over that hump and get back to being able to play the baseball that I know we’re very capable of playing.”
Lakins down, Waddell up: The Orioles optioned right-handed pitcher Travis Lakins to Triple-A Norfolk on Sunday and recalled left-hander Brandon Waddell.
Lakins was 1-4 with a 7.36 ERA in 16 games.
Waddell was claimed off waivers from Minnesota on May 8th and was 0-1 with an 11.25 ERA in four appearances with the Twins this season.
Hunter Harvey pitches: In his first rehab outing, Hunter Harvey, who has been on the 60-day injured list because of a strained left oblique, allowed two runs on three hits in two innings for Norfolk. He struck out two and gave up a home run.
Harvey relieved Spenser Watkins, who pitched six hitless innings against the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp.
Sceroler improving: Hyde said that right-hander Mac Sceroler, who’s on the 10-day injured list because of tendinitis in his right shoulder, is getting strong in Sarasota. He has thrown a three-inning game and will throw four innings before he begins a rehab assignment.
Coming Up: The Orioles will play three games against the Minnesota Twins as the 10-game road trip continues. Means (4-0, 1.70 ERA) will face Matt Shoemaker (2-5, 6.08) on Monday night at 7:40. Dean Kremer (0-4, 6.35) will face José Berrios (4-2, 3.91) on Tuesday night, and Jorge López (1.5, 6.00) will face Michael Piñeda (2-2, 2.79) on Wednesday afternoon at 1:10.