The Orioles closed out May on a 14-game losing streak. They appeared to snap out of it at the start of June, winning five of six at home. Now, they’ve lost eight in a row and a staggering 19 straight on the road. The Arizona Diamondbacks set a major league record on Thursday with their 23rd consecutive road loss.
After their 10-3 loss to the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field, the Orioles return home for six games with the Toronto Blue Jays and Houston Astros.
“I think we’ve tried to regroup on numerous occasions this year,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “We’re going to continue. No one’s going to feel sorry for us. This is a tough league and good teams expect to come in and beat us, and we need to respond and continue to grind, and we’re going to get out of this.”
Starter Jorge López allowed five runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings, including three home runs.
Cole Sulser gave up two runs in the sixth. Mac Sceroler allowed three more in the eighth.
Since John Means’ no-hitter on May 5th, the Orioles (22-46) have gone 7-30, and have allowed 10 or more runs seven times. Their record reflects their play.
“We’re not playing clean defense,” first baseman Trey Mancini said. “In some of these closer games, not today, but any of the games that have been closer, it seems like the other team is just coming through in clutch situations, whether it’s their pitcher executing a pitch really well … [or] getting a hit in a big situation.
“We’ll crawl back, but I feel like we haven’t gotten that hit that’s set us over the edge in these games. We just have to get out of this rut. The 14-game losing streak obviously was not fun. This road trip was really tough, and we have to get home and play like we were the first week of the month.”
On the road, the Orioles lost three games at Tampa Bay, and four at Cleveland.
Mancini was a part of the 2019 team that lost 108 games. After 68 games, they were 21-47.
“There’s more talent, I think, than in 2019,” Mancini said. “There’s still some work to do. There’s a lot of season. I feel good that we’re going to start moving in the right direction. I feel like we’re more talented, but I feel like it’s about winning these games and putting some wins on the board.”
López (2-8) gave up a two-run home run to José Ramirez in the first. Two batters later, Bobby Bradley hit another, and the Orioles were down, 3-0.
After leftfielder Austin Hays hit a homer in the top of the second, Eddie Rosario homered for Cleveland in the bottom of the third. Maikel Franco homered and Mancini hit an RBI single in the fourth, and the Orioles were down, 4-3. That’s as close as they would get.
Cleveland starter Eli Morgan allowed three runs on five hits in 3 2/3 innings. Trevor Stephan retired all five Orioles he faced and got the win.
Ernie Clement’s run-scoring single in the bottom of the fourth gave Cleveland a 5-3 lead.
“I got behind in the count, and every time I do that, I get hurt,” López said. “I don’t want to think anything about how many losses we have.”
Mancini and Ryan Mountcastle each had two hits.
“You’ve got to let your emotions creep up and get the better of you,” Mancini said. “But it’s easier said than done. In those situations, everybody wants to be the guy, and everybody wants to go up there and perform, but sometimes when you press, you usually don’t have good results, so you try and stay as neutral as possible, no matter what the situation is.”
Yu Chang had a two-run single off Sulser in the eighth, and a two-run home run against Sceroler in the eighth.
In 6 1/3 innings against five Cleveland relievers, the Orioles had three hits and didn’t walk. They struck out 13 times.
“We have some big swing guys that are young in their career and need to shorten up with two strikes,” Hyde said. “That’s an area that we need to improve on a lot. Just to be able to have a tougher at-bat. Be able to put the ball in play with two strikes. That’s been going on all year, I think.”
Notes: The Orioles will begin a three-game series with the Blue Jays on Friday night. Bruce Zimmermann (4-4, 4.83ERA ) will face Robbie Ray (4-2, 3.45). The first 15,000 fans 15 and over will receive a Cedric Mullins T-Shirt. … The start time of the July 24th game against the Washington Nationals has been moved up from 7:05 p.m. to 6:35 p.m. A postgame concert featuring Diplo will follow. … Triple-A Norfolk beat Durham, 10-6. Third baseman Domingo Leyba had a three-run home run, centerfielder Ryan McKenna and leftfielder Tyler Nevin had two-run homers. Knuckleballer Mickey Jannis started and allowed two runs on six hits. Eric Hanhold (1-1) allowed a run in 1 2/3 innings and was awarded the win.
Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB
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