One of the worst stretches in recent years continued for the Orioles on Thursday night when they struck out 16 times, were 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position and their bullpen allowed four runs, leading to a 10th straight loss, 5-1, to the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field.
They also lost first baseman Trey Mancini in the first inning when he was hit by a pitch from Chicago starter Dylan Cease.
Mancini was hit in the right elbow and took first after dropping to the ground in the batter’s box. He removed himself from the game when he had difficulty throwing after he took the field in the bottom of the first.
The Orioles said Mancini suffered a bruise after X-rays and an examination found no fracture. No additional tests are scheduled, but Mancini will be re-evaluated on Friday.
“It’s really sore. It got him in a tender spot by the elbow,” manager Brandon Hyde said.
The Orioles (17-33) were already missing Ryan Mountcastle, whose left hand was bruised by a pitch on Tuesday night. Pat Valaika replaced Mancini.
Starter Bruce Zimmermann gave the Orioles an effective start, allowing a run on six hits in five innings. He struck out six and walked one walking one.
“I was able to attack the zone most of the night,” Zimmermann said. “I felt I had good command of all four of my pitches tonight. When that happens, usually good things happen.
Zimmerman threw 82 pitches, the same number he threw in three innings against Washington on Saturday.
“I thought Zimmermann threw the ball really well,” Hyde said. “I was really happy with his start. He went five really good innings. He kept us in the game.”
Zimmermann was in the bullpen when Mancini was hit.
“It was a very silent bullpen when we saw that happen,” Zimmermann said. “Trey is the leader on this team, and a sparkplug on the offense as well. I talked to him a little bit in the clubhouse when I came in, and he’s in good spirits. Hopefully, it’s nothing more than a contusion, and he gets back on the playing field as soon as possible because he’s such an integral part of this team and a key to our offense, and the lifeline of this team.”
Yermin Mercedes homered against Zimmermann in the second, and the Orioles tied it on Freddy Galvis’ seventh homer in the fourth.
Dillon Tate (0-2), who was activated from the 10-day injured list before the game, left with Andrew Vaughn on second, and Tanner Scott allowed an RBI single in the sixth by Billy Hamilton.
César Valdez, whose struggles continue, allowed three runs in the seventh on an RBI double by José Abreu and a single by Mercedes that scored two to put Chicago (29-20) ahead, 5-1.
Catcher Chance Sisco had four of the Orioles’ 16 strikeouts. Anthony Santander had two of the Orioles’ five hits.
“We played solid defensively, but we didn’t do much offensively,” Hyde said. “Tough to win when you get one run on five hits.”
Cease (3-1) allowed a run on four hits in six innings, striking out 10 and walking one.
The Orioles’ 10-game losing streak is their first since June 12-21, 2019, and is their longest since a 13-game skid from September 17-30, 2009.
They’ve lost 17 of their last 19.
With Mancini and Mountcastle missing and Austin Hays on the 10-day injured list because of a strained left hamstring, the Orioles’ offense was notably weakened. The bottom four in the order — DJ Stewart, Stevie Wilkerson, Sisco and Ryan McKenna — were hitless in 14-at bats and struck out a combined 10 times.
“We’re finding out about our other position players that need to hit,” Hyde said. “We’re facing some real good competition and struggling offensively some nights.
“I don’t have a special sauce to fix it. We’ve just got to start taking better at-bats, guys have to start swinging the bat.”
Notes: First base coach Anthony Sanders is away from the club to attend his son’s graduation. Assistant hitting coach José Hernández filled in. … Matt Harvey (3-5, 6.31 ERA) will face Dallas Keuchel (3-1, 4.28) on Friday. …The start of the game was delayed 19 minutes by rain. … The 16 strikeouts were the most by the Orioles in a nine-inning game this season.