Orioles starter Matt Harvey struggled again in the first game of a doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox, allowing five runs in three innings in a 7-4 loss Saturday.
It was the 11th consecutive loss for the Orioles and their longest skid since losing 13 in a row in September 2009. They’ve lost 18 of their past 20 games.
“Things are really just not going our way in general,” said Harvey, who lost his fifth consecutive game and has fallen to 3-6 with a 6.84 ERA. “I missed a couple of pitches over the middle that really cost us and cost me today. Last two starts I felt like I had much better stuff than I even had at the beginning of the season.
“It’s just kind of one of those things that’s extremely frustrating when you know you have good stuff, you’re just not really locating as well as you need to be and not keeping runs off the board.”
Shortstop Freddy Galvis homered twice for the Orioles and now has nine home runs, second on the club behind Trey Mancini (11). Maikel Franco also connected for the Orioles, who went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position after going 0-for-12 in Thursday night’s 5-1 loss to the White Sox.
“Freddy has been swinging the bat well this past month, left- and right-handed,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “It’s good to see Franco stay on the baseball and go dead center.”
The Orioles are batting .286 with runners in scoring position in their wins and .189 in their losses.
Orioles prospect Tyler Nevin made his major league debut on his 24th birthday and hit a ground-rule double in his first at-bat. Nevin went 1-for-2 with a walk and was charged with an error at first base.
Anthony Santander had a first-inning double and extended his hitting streak to 10 games.
Galvis’ second home run of the series off Chicago left-hander Dallas Keuchel gave the Orioles a 1-0 lead.
Harvey had trouble locating his pitches and allowed an RBI single by Jose Abreu that tied the game, 1-1, in the bottom half.
Harvey walked the first two batters to open the third inning. The runner advanced on a wild pitch and scored on an Abreu single. Harvey then allowed a two-run homer to Jake Lamb for a 5-1 lead.
“Mechanically, I feel great,” Harvey said. “The stuff is there. Sometimes I am not locating the spot that I need to hit. They’re making good swings on it or fouling pitches off and making the pitch count go up. I have to keep working.”
The Orioles cut the margin to 5-3 on the home run by Franco and a fielder’s choice by Pat Valaika that scored Ryan Mountcastle, who hit a triple off Keuchel. Mountcastle was back in the lineup for the first time since being hit on the left hand with a pitch Tuesday in Minnesota.
Harvey faced one batter in the fourth and was removed after an error by Nevin. Harvey has allowed 28 runs (18 earned) and 33 hits in his last five appearances (17.2 innings).
“Today I thought he had really good stuff to start the game,” Hyde said. “Thought he had a good second inning. The third inning, a ground ball single, just made some bad pitches there in that third inning. Balls were elevated, two-seamer that caught a lot of the plate there with Lamb. Just had a tough time finishing hitters.”
Travis Lakins Sr., who was added as the 27th man for the doubleheader, entered and held down the White Sox for 1 1/3 innings.
Yoan Moncada hit a two-run homer off Shawn Armstrong in the sixth that gave the White Sox a 7-4 lead. Oriole pitchers gave up six walks and three of the runners scored.
Keuchel(4-1) had entered the game with a 3-2 record with a 2.81 ERA and 1.188 WHIP in eight starts against the Orioles. He allowed four runs and eight hits with two strikeouts and one walk in five innings.