Orioles lose 13th straight on road; Akin struggles with pitch count, offense quiet; Minor league roundup - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles lose 13th straight on road; Akin struggles with pitch count, offense quiet; Minor league roundup

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

It was another frustrating game for the Orioles against the Tampa Bay Rays. Starting pitcher Keegan Akin threw 95 pitches in just four innings, and the Orioles got only three hits in their 4-2 loss on Friday night at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.

It was their 13th straight road loss, equaling the club record. Their last win on the road was John Means’ no-hitter on May 5th.

The Orioles (22-40) lost for the fourth straight time to the Rays (40-24) this sesaon. Going back to least season, the Orioles have lost 10 of their last 11 games to Tampa Bay.

Last month, the Rays scored 32 runs in a three-game sweep in Baltimore to begin the Orioles’ 14-game losing streak.

Trey Mancini hit a two-run home run against Ryan Yarbrough (4-3) in the third. It was his 12th of the season and third against Yarbrough.

Tampa Bay scored a run in the bottom of the third against Akin (0-1). Mike Zunino and Kevin Kiermaier began the inning with singles. The runners moved up after a wild pitch by Akin, and Zunino scored on Manuel Margot’s forceout.

In the bottom of the fourth, Randy Arozarena began with a single. Mike Brosseau hit a liner to left but was thrown out at second by Austin Hays as Arozarena took third. Brandon Lowe homered on a 1-2 pitch to right-center, his 11th, and Tampa Bay took a 3-2 lead.

“It’s definitely frustrating,” Akin said of his high pitch count. “It’s always in the back of your mind when you battle those at-bats. You’ve got to execute and try to get them out on five pitches or less. It’s the goal.”

Akin has discussed his inefficiency with pitching coach Chris Holt.

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“If you look back at some of the outings where I’ve thrown well, five innings is good, but I want to be a little better than good. I want to get into the sixth or go all the way to the seventh,” Akin said. “In those outings, the first-pitch strikes, the percentage is just so much higher than it was tonight. First-pitch strikes are such a game-changer when you have them on your heels.”

Akin allowed three runs on five hits in four innings, walking three and striking out two.

“For young guys, especially at this level, the mentality that they have is to try to throw a perfect pitch down in the zone,” catcher Pedro Severino said.

“That doesn’t work at this level because when you try to be so perfect, they throw it too far from home plate. Most of the time, just throw it down the middle, and stay there. I just want them to attack the hitter with every pitch I call.”

Tyler Wells pitched two scoreless innings in relief, giving up two hits and striking out three.

Cole Sulser allowed a run in the seventh on an RBI single by Manuel Margot.

Yarbrough allowed two runs on three hits in six innings, striking out six. Andrew Kittredge, J.P. Feyereisen and Pete Fairbanks threw hitless innings, though Feyereisen walked two in the eighth. Fairbanks registered his second save.

“They have a lot of different angles that they can throw at you,” manager Brandon Hyde said of the Rays’ bullpen.

Besides Mancini’s homer, Anthony Santander’s first-inning double and  Severino’s fifth-inning single were the only other hits for the Orioles.

Notes: This is the third 13-game road losing streak in club history. The last one came from April 13-May 17, 2018. They also dropped 13 consecutive road games during their 21-game losing streak to begin the 1988 seaon. … Ryan Mountcastle’s RBI streak ended at eight games. Mountcastle’s streak was the longest by a rookie in club history. … The Orioles have been held to three runs on nine hits in their last two games after scoring 28 runs on 37 hits in their previous two games. … Jorge López (2-6, 5.30 ERA) will face Rich Hill (5-2, 3.05) on Saturday at 4:10 p.m.

Minor Matters: Zac Lowther and Conner Greene combined for a shutout as Triple-A Norfolk beat the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, 9-0. Lowther allowed three hits in four innings, walking two and striking out four. Greene (1-2) gave up three hits in five innings, walking one and striking out one.

Third baseman Domingo Leyba had three hits, including a three-run home run. He was acquired on waivers from Arizona on June 4th. Rightfielder Zach Jarrett also had three hits. He’s batting .304.

Right-hander Blaine Knight pitched five innings, allowing one run on three hits, in Double-A Bowie’s 5-4 loss to the Binghamton Rumble Ponies.

Knight, the Orioles’ third-round pick in the 2018 draft, struck out seven. Leftfielder Robert Neustrom and first baseman J.C. Escarra each had two hits.

Garrett Stallings allowed four runs on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings as High-A Aberdeen lost to Bowling Green 5-3. Stallings (3-3) was obtained from the Los Angeles Angels last December in the trade that sent shortstop José Iglesias to the Angels.

The IronBirds scored their three runs in the first on back-to-back homers — a  two-run shot by rightfielder Kyle Stowers, his fourth, and leftfielder Zach Watson, his fifth.

Stowers and Watson were picked in the second and third round of the 2019 draft.

Low-A Delmarva’s scheduled doubleheader at Lynchburg was rained out. The Shorebirds and Hillcats will play a doubleheader on Saturday.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

26 Comments

26 Comments

  1. CalsPals

    June 12, 2021 at 7:08 am

    Interesting strategy from Severino, “Most of the time throw it down the middle, and stay there”, hmmm…go O’s…

    • Icterus fan

      June 12, 2021 at 12:29 pm

      I was astounded (flummoxed?) by that statement. I read it several times to make sure I had it right. I probably am just misinterpreting it…..

    • CalsPals

      June 12, 2021 at 1:32 pm

      I had to reread it multiple times as well, explains a lot…go O’s…

    • dlgruber1

      June 12, 2021 at 5:51 pm

      I think you’re both reading too much into it. I simply think those are the pitches he can actually catch. Get away from the middle and it seems to be a crapshoot with him.

    • CalsPals

      June 12, 2021 at 6:20 pm

      Lol…makes sense…go O’s…

  2. Orial

    June 12, 2021 at 8:08 am

    Observing last night’s matchup(or mismatch)—Akin vs Scarborough kinda illustrated the difference between the two organizations. Scarborough 6’6″/ lanky, pitching from angles,sweeping slider,intimidating. Akin 6′(maybe)/ chubby,depends on location,massive pitch counts. Every year TB produces one of these towering intimidators while the O’s struggle with young,work in progress,paunchy “potentials”. TB seems to be more in the line of an Academy than an organization. Well played game though–just a difference in starters broke this game down. Some day is all I can say. Didn’t realize how silly Kevin Brown can get during a broadcast. Nice voice though. He and Palmer make for an uncomfortable paring. Now that Mountcastle seems to have figured out pitches(to a degree),it’s time for Mr. Hays to settle down a little. Geesh Austin what the hell were you swinging at?

    • Unoptionable-Option

      June 12, 2021 at 9:00 am

      Scarborough eh? You a big Simon & Garfunkel fan?

      Starter for Tampa was 6’ 5”

      • Orial

        June 12, 2021 at 10:00 am

        I think you got me. Yarbrough. At my age malprapos,mispronunciations are standard. Enjoy them while I last.

        • willmiranda

          June 12, 2021 at 11:13 am

          At my age, I don’t consider “chubby” and “paunchy” to be pejoratives. I hope you meant them “with all due respect.”

    • Icterus fan

      June 12, 2021 at 12:49 pm

      Akin’s not going to win the “Noah Syndergaard look alike contest”, but who cares? I know his pitch count was high, but he kept us in the game. If he actually got some offensive support, we’re likely singing a different tune today instead of saying he’s chubby or whatever.
      He ain’t Bob Feller, but cut ‘em a break.

  3. NormOs

    June 12, 2021 at 8:23 am

    Rich, please tell Mr. Meoli that the 1st place Tampa Bay Rays drew 6211 for the game eith the last place O’s. I guess the pandemic is lasting longer in Florida then anyplace else.

    • jimcarter

      June 12, 2021 at 9:16 am

      Anyone with a pulse who can spell “baseball” knows that Tampa Bay has zero support. Let’s not give up on the O’s to the point we’re comparing attendance figures with Tampa. The numbers that count are in the win column.

  4. Bman

    June 12, 2021 at 9:16 am

    Os trying to emulate Rays org over next couple of years. We’ll see how well they can pull it off. No whiffs in the draft would help. Smart trades. Looks like they’re on their way judging from success of minor league teams this year thus far.

  5. Orioles20

    June 12, 2021 at 9:18 am

    All of our pitchers struggle with pitch counts. Instead of attacking with two strikes they nibble. Akin didn’t pitch bad the defense didn’t help him at all. Watching the college games those catchers are better then severino by miles. I understand not calling up Adley but go get a defensive minded catchers. Who cares about offense from catcher you’re not getting that now.

    • CalsPals

      June 12, 2021 at 4:38 pm

      Totally agree, it’s almost as if they get two strikes & forget how to pitch…go O’s…

  6. willmiranda

    June 12, 2021 at 11:15 am

    If, as at Norfolk, the starter goes four innings and the reliever goes five, doesn’t that make the starter an opener?

    • Rich Dubroff

      June 12, 2021 at 12:45 pm

      That’s what’s called “piggyback” starters. Two starters are used for about the same number of innings.

      • willmiranda

        June 12, 2021 at 1:47 pm

        Thanks, Rich. A new word a day keeps ignorance at bay.

  7. CalsPals

    June 12, 2021 at 4:36 pm

    Some gold glove defense in the first, Lopez can’t walk people (no one can, lol), at least we have 8 more innings, chip away…go O’s…

  8. Shamus

    June 12, 2021 at 5:35 pm

    I don’t know what’s worse, watching Severino work behind the plate or listening to Melanie Newman on the radio. AAARRRGGG!!!!!

    • CalsPals

      June 12, 2021 at 6:21 pm

      Thankfully Severino isn’t playing today, I don’t get O’s games via radio, so I got nothing for that…go O’s…

    • Shamus

      June 12, 2021 at 6:40 pm

      Trust me … she’s bad. I’m a Hyde guy but why is Mountcastle in left field ? Is Santander knocked up ?

      • Rich Dubroff

        June 12, 2021 at 7:44 pm

        Santander’s ankle remains sore, and Tropicana Field has the worst turf in the major leagues.

    • Shamus

      June 12, 2021 at 6:40 pm

      Knicked up not pregnant… lol

    • CalsPals

      June 12, 2021 at 6:43 pm

      Lol, had me real concerned there, thought he might be out 9 months…go O’s…

    • Icterus fan

      June 12, 2021 at 7:47 pm

      Shamus, I agree about Melanie Newman. As I’ve said before, I hope she gets better. I really do. But she’s just terrible. Little intonation, no painting a mental image, etc. I’ll probably be painted as a misogynist, but here I stand.
      I was spoiled on Chuck Thompson growing up. Guilty of living in the past with this subject, I reckon.

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