Orioles get slam from Wynns but no win as road skid reaches club record 14 in a row - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles get slam from Wynns but no win as road skid reaches club record 14 in a row

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

After enduring a 14-game losing streak, equaling the second longest in club history, the Orioles hoped they had turned a page with a strong start in June.

On Saturday, though, they set a club record by losing their 14th straight road game, 5-4 to the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Their last road win came on May 5th when John Means threw a no-hitter.

“It’s not fun to lose,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “We came up a run short today and came up two runs short yesterday, so hopefully we can turn it around tomorrow.”

The Orioles have lost five straight against the Rays this year and 11 of 12 going back to last season. They’ve lost 10 straight series to the Rays at Tropicana Field and haven’t won one there since June 23-25, 2017.

Tampa Bay scored three runs against starter Jorge López in the first on a run-scoring double by Joey Wendle, and RBI singles by Manuel Margot and Kevin Kiermaier.

Brandon Lowe’s two-run double in the fourth gave Tampa Bay a 5-0 lead.

“I thought he threw the ball great,” Hyde said about López. “He got beat with three opposite-field soft singles in the first inning, which led to three runs. He didn’t give up a hard-hit ball until … the fifth. Hardly any hard contact.

“He got really, really unlucky. We didn’t make a couple of plays that would have [lengthened] his outing.”

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Tampa Bay starter Rich Hill had allowed just one hit in the first four innings. In the fifth, Ryan Mountcastle drew a leadoff walk. Austin Hays struck out, and Freddy Galvis singled. Both runners moved up a base on a Hill wild pitch. Pat Valaika walked to load the bases, and catcher Austin Wynns hit a grand slam, reducing the margin to 5-4.

“I was trying to get the boys on the right track,” Wynns said. “We’re playing hard. Their bullpen shut us down, and we were trying to get something going.”

Cedric Mullins singled, and Ryan Thompson replaced Hill. After a stolen base by Mullins, Thompson struck out Trey Mancini to end the inning.

The Rays (41-24) threatened in the fifth, and López was relieved by Tanner Scott with Austin Meadows on third and Wendle on first with two outs. Scott struck out Kiermaier on a 99-mph fastball for the third out.

López (2-7) allowed five runs on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings. He struck out eight and walked one.

“I had really bad luck,” López said. “[There wasn’t] anything going our way.”

Collin McHugh (1-1) struck out five batters in two scoreless innings. Pete Fairbanks and Diego Castillo pitched shutout innings. Castillo earned his 11th save. The Orioles had only two hits in the final four innings.

Wynns was impressed with the Rays’ bullpen.

“Quality at-bats, timely hitting, pitching, quality starts, we need everyone in our bullpen,” Wynns said. “We all have to mesh and something has to click, and we have to find a way. We have to find a way. We played really hard today, and they shut the door on us. Their bullpen shut the door on us, that’s for sure.”

In the first two games of the series, the Orioles (22-41) have just two hits in 7 1/3 innings against the Rays’ bullpen.

“It feels like when we play Tampa the majority of games have been like that,” Hyde said. “We’re chasing a run or two. We have a hard time once we get into their bullpen, pushing a run or two across to get even or take a lead.

“That’s how it’s been for the last couple of years, for sure. They have really good stuff out of their ‘pen against everybody in the league. That’s why they’re in first place, the best record in the American League. That’s why they went to the World Series last year.

“They do a great job in their organization of acquiring and claiming and producing really, really good bullpen arms. They have a ton of guys on the [injured list] that we saw last year. They continue to get really good arms. They give you all sorts of looks that are easy to match up with your hitters.”

Notes: The Orioles have lost five straight road series after winning four, splitting one and losing one of their first six road series this season. … Wynns’ grand slam was the first by an Orioles ninth-place hitter since Brian Roberts hit one on August 23, 2013. … Bruce Zimmermann (4-3, 4.83 ERA) will face Michael Wacha (1-1, 4.54) on Sunday at 1:10 p.m.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. dlgruber1

    June 12, 2021 at 10:45 pm

    At least the pen did a good job. I’m looking for anything positive right now.

  2. Puyerunner

    June 13, 2021 at 1:00 am

    Mountcastle is not an outfielder. The Rays know this. As JP pointed out, he was still drifting back to catch the ball. This is in a domed stadium – there is no wind. The runner tags up at 2nd and goes to 3rd right in front of him.
    Then of course was the misplayed fly ball that could have been an inside the park home run if not for Mullins. That’s on the manager it was his lineup.
    Next as Hyde pointed out they squirt three balls to the left side for hits. Why? The shift which Hyde puts in place. The shift is effective if the pitcher hits the target to get hitters to pull into it. Lopez always struggles in the first inning. He was not hitting the target in the first inning. This allowed TB to bounce grounders to the opposite side and score 3 runs. Why not come out of the shift, since your pitcher isn’t hitting the spots?
    With some average fielding, and flexibility to adjust to what is in Tony of you, we win that game. Lopez deserved a lot better. I hope he keeps plugging.

    • dlgruber1

      June 13, 2021 at 2:26 am

      I missed the first inning but I heard Palmer saying they’d hardly hit a ball hard against him when I put it on in 4th inning. I really like Lopez, he’s definitely grown on me. With any kind of run support he’d possibly have a winning record. They score 18 in his last start after scoring something like 10 or 11 in his 8 or 9 previous starts. Other than Means I feel their best chance of winning is when he’s on the mound.

  3. Orial

    June 13, 2021 at 8:59 am

    Yes IF alignment played extensively in yesterday’s loss. Now whether it was poor managerial decision making or just plain old bad luck is up to question. Did notice,and Brown/Palmer did point it out,the meeting in the dugout with Holt and the IF coordinator presumably duscussing this exact situation. Game of inches that defines good team over bad team was yesterday’s theme. Sad to see Lopez accumulate 8 K’s in 4.2 innings but still struggle. He has “somethong” going for him. Hope they can figure it out. Heard Palmer mention that Zunnino was rated #1 in pitch framing. Severino–I’m afraid to ask. Seems the O’s are oh so close in everything they do but just can’t get that right hit,right pitch,right bounce.

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