Orioles' bullpen melts down in 9th in 10-7 loss to Blue Jays; Mountcastle homers 3 times, Mullins twice - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles’ bullpen melts down in 9th in 10-7 loss to Blue Jays; Mountcastle homers 3 times, Mullins twice

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

The Orioles hit six home runs, had two strikes and two outs in the ninth inning, and managed to lose by three runs.

In a complete meltdown, relievers Paul Fry and Tyler Wells allowed six runs in the ninth inning in a stunning 10-7 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays before 10,721 at Oriole Park on Saturday.

The Orioles took a 7-4 lead to the ninth. Fry walked Cavan Biggio on four pitches and  got Joe Panik to fly out for the first out. Santiago Espinal and Lourdes Gurriel singled, and Fry (0-2) struck out Riley Adams. Marcus Semien walked to force home Biggio to reduce the lead to 7-5.

Orioles manager Brandon Hyde elected to relieve Fry with Wells, who pitched the night before. The first batter he faced was Bo Bichette, who kept fouling off pitches in a nine-pitch at-bat. Finally, Bichette hit a fly ball to shallow right that hit off Anthony Santander’s glove after a long run. Espinal and Gurriel scored and the game was tied, 7-7.

“Give Bichette credit for an amazing at-bat,” Hyde said. “He put the ball in play on a tough slider down and away after a bunch of foul balls, just a little bit out of our reach there to tie the game.”

Wells didn’t make quality pitches to Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who doubled to score Semien and Bichette, and Randal Grichuk, who doubled to score Guerrero. The comeback for Toronto (34-35) was complete.

“It seemed it took a little bit of air out of the balloon for Wellsy,” Hyde said of Bichette’s at-bat. “He hung a couple pitchers right after that. It was a tough inning.”

Jordan Romano (4-1) pitched two innings for the win.

It was the first time the Orioles (23-47) hit six home runs in a game since August 18, 2016.

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Ryan Mountcastle hit three home runs, and Cedric Mullins had his second straight two-home run game. DJ Stewart hit the other homer. The home runs by Mountcastle and Stewart in the fourth almost led to an altercation between the teams.

With one out and one on in the fourth, Mountcastle hit his second home run of the game, a two-run line-drive shot for a 3-2 lead.  Stewart followed with his seventh home run, a 437-foot blast, and Toronto starter Alek Manoah hit Maikel Franco on the left shoulder with his next pitch. Franco glared at Manoah and said something but remained at home plate. Both benches and bullpens came onto the field.

Hyde tried to keep his players from charging the field, and there were no punches. But as Hyde began to turn back toward the dugout, Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo appeared to say something that set him off.

“We were getting our team back, and there was something that I didn’t appreciate, so that’s what happened,” Hyde said. “We calmed down and went back to the dugout.” Hyde said that he did think Manoah threw at Franco.

The umpires ejected Manoah, who gave up four home runs.

The day didn’t start out well for Orioles starter Dean Kremer. He allowed a leadoff home run to Semien, his 17th of the season, and two batters later, Guerrero powered his 23rd.

Mountcastle hit a one-out home run against Manoah in the second, and Mullins a two-out homer in the third for a 2-2 tie.

Kremer didn’t allow a hit after the first inning and gave up two runs on three hits in six innings, walking three and striking out six.

Mountcastle hit his third home run with one out in the sixth against Anthony Kay, and the Orioles had a 6-2 lead.

“Today, I was seeing the ball well,” Mountcastle said. “I felt like I was on everything. It didn’t end the way  we wanted it to, but we’ve got to keep moving forward and playing hard.”

It was the first three home run game by an Oriole since Pedro Severino’s on June 4, 2019.

Tanner Scott came in and walked Panik to start the seventh. Santiago Espina singled, and Gurriel hit a shot to second baseman Stevie Wilkerson that he flipped to Galvis for a double play as Panik scored.

Mullins hit his 13th home run with two outs in the seventh, and the Orioles led, 7-3. It was the first time the Orioles hit six home runs in a game since August 16, 2016.

Semien hit his second home run of the game on Hunter Harvey’s first pitch in the eighth to reduce the Orioles’ lead to 7-4.

Mountcastle had a single in the eighth for his fourth hit of the game.

Notes: Hyde said that John Means, who has been on the 10-day injured list since June5 because of a strained left shoulder, is likely to return around the All-Star break. … Matt Harvey (3-8, 7.76 ERA) will face Hyun Jin Ryu (5-4, 3.43) on Sunday. … Mountcastle is the second Oriole rookie with a two-homer game. Nick Markakis was the last on August 22, 2006. … The Orioles’ first six hits were home runs. That’s the first time a team had done that since Cleveland on June 24, 1989 at Texas.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

 

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