Catcher Chance Sisco is in the Orioles’ starting lineup for the second straight game. Pedro Severino has started 32 times, and Thursday night’s start against the Chicago White Sox will be Sisco’s 18th. Sisco enters the game batting .155 with three RBIs.
“I wanted a lefty against [Chicago starter Dylan] Cease,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “I liked the way he caught yesterday. He did a nice job behind the plate. I thought the swings looked a little more aggressive. I’m trying to get him going and give him two days in a row.”
Oriole starters Dean Kremer (6.87 ERA), who was optioned to Triple-A, and Bruce Zimmermann (5.59 ERA), who will start against the White Sox, might not have been helped by the defensive struggles of the catchers.
“I do think pitching and catching goes hand-in-hand a lot of times,” Hyde said. “I think our catchers do a nice job from a pregame standpoint; the work they do prior to the game is fantastic.
“We’ve let a few too many balls get by us, especially here as of late. That’s just something that we’re continuing to try to get better at, and I think that when the pitching/catching relationship is strong and guys are in tune, that definitely matters.
“We still have a long way to go — on the mound, behind the plate –,and we’re continuing to try to get better and, hopefully, we will here coming up.”,
Mountcastle still out: Ryan Mountcastle, whose left hand was bruised when he was hit by a pitch in Tuesday night’s game at Minnesota, is out of the lineup for the second straight game.
“The hand’s still sore,” Hyde said. “Right now, he’s testing it in the cage. We’ll see if he’s available off the bench tonight or not. Where it got him is where the bat rests, so it’s a tender spot and, hopefully, he’ll be available off the bench. He’s day-to-day at this point.”
Tate’s back: Right-hander Dillon Tate was activated from the 10-day injured list. Tate, who had been on the injured list since May 8th because of a strained left hamstring, is 0-1 with a 3.46 ERA in 11 games. He threw a perfect inning, striking out one, and threw just nine pitches on Tuesday night for Norfolk.
“I’m happy to have Dillon back because Dillon’s a guy that the last couple of years has done a nice job against right-handed hitters,” Hyde said. “It’s something that we’ve had a little trouble with the last couple of weeks since he’s been gone. He’s a nice right-on-right option for a lot of these right-handed teams that we’re facing.”
For the season, right-handers are batting .265 against Tate while left-handers are just 1-for-12 (.083).
Fry frustrated: Paul Fry, who might be called on to close the next time the Orioles have a lead in the ninth inning, has pitched more games for the team than anyone on the pitching staff.
Fry came to the major leagues on June 29, 2018. With the exception of one game for Triple-A Norfolk in June 2019, he has been with the Orioles ever since.
This year, Fry is the most effective pitcher in the bullpen. He’s 0-1 with a 2.50 ERA in 19 games. Fry has struck out 26 batters in 18 innings and walked eight and has yet to allow a home run.
The club has had a losing record since he joined it, but this year stings more. The Orioles have lost their last nine games and 16 of 18.
“When you’re first coming, it’s the joy of being in the big leagues,” Fry said. “Losing is getting harder. We want to win. This group that we have is outstanding. We’re starting to take the losses personally. It’s a rebuild. Things will turn around soon. We’re all working hard every day.
“The losing stinks, but it is what it is.”
Fry is being sought out by less experienced pitchers for advice. Earlier in his career, veteran relievers, Richard Bleier, Brad Brach, Zack Britton, Mychal Givens and Darren O’Day were there for him.
“I would say I try to lead more by example,” Fry said. “I’m going to have my rough outings here and there. Guys will come up to me and ask me questions. I’ve been around a little bit longer. I’ve been through some things. I’ve been through the tough times.
“I’m in those shoes. I’m trying to help guys learn, go through the experiences, take them under my wing as much as I can. If I don’t know how to do it, I go to someone else.”
Minor Matters: Mac Sceroler, who is on the 10-day injured list because of right shoulder tendinitis, started for Norfolk on Thursday. The right-hander pitched 1 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on two hits. He walked two and struck out three. … Right-handed pitcher Brenan Hanifee, who was the fourth-round pick of the Orioles in 2016, had Tommy John surgery on Wednesday. The surgery, which the Orioles said was successful, was performed in Dallas by Dr. Keith Meister. … Hunter Harvey, who’s on the 60-day injured list because of a sore left oblique, threw a scoreless inning in his second rehab outing on Wednesday night for the Tides. Harvey allowed two hits.