BALTIMORE—The first four innings were Matt Harvey’s best in weeks. Then came the fifth inning, and the Oriole starter’s struggles continued.
In Harvey’s previous four starts, he didn’t complete four innings. When he pitched four scoreless innings, there was hope among the 14,917 at Oriole Park on Sunday.
But Harvey gave up four runs on five hits and a walk in the fifth in the Orioles’ 7-4 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays.
It was their 10th loss in the last 11 games and dropped their record to 23-48.
Harvey (3-9) hasn’t won since May 1st, nine starts ago. He loaded the bases in the first and struck out Cavan Biggio on a 3-2 pitch, his 29th of the inning, but the scoreless inning took a toll on him later in the game.
“The long first inning kind of got to me a little bit towards the end there,” Harvey said.
The Orioles were stifled by Hyun Jin Ryu (6-4), who allowed Trey Mancini’s 13th home run in the first and just two other hits in seven innings. Ryan Mountcastle, who had three home runs and a single on Saturday, singled to follow Mancini, and Freddy Galvis had a base hit with one out in the second.
Ryu has allowed just two earned runs in 19 innings against the Orioles. He walked one and struck out four in seven.
Toronto (35-35) trailed 1-0 entering the fifth. RBI singles by Bo Bichette, Randal Grichuk and Biggio and a run-scoring double by Teoscar Hernandez gave the Blue Jays a 4-1 lead.
“Stuff was good early and wasn’t there in the fifth,” Harvey said. “I’m kicking myself. With the stuff I had early, I should have been in the sixth, seventh. There should be a lot less runs on the board.”
Manager Brandon Hyde, who was unable to use Paul Fry, Hunter Harvey, Tanner Scott and Tyler Wells for a third consecutive day, was pleased by what he saw from Harvey.
“That was the best four innings he’s thrown since he’s been here,” Hyde said.
César Valdez allowed an RBI double by Reese McGuire, his third double of the game, and an RBI single by Bichette to put Toronto ahead, 6-1.
Trent Thornton gave up Pedro Severino’s third home run, and Mancini’s second of the game, a two-run shot in the eighth. It was Mancini’s 14th home run this season and the 100th of his career, and it was meaningful because he missed the 2020 season after colon cancer surgery and chemotherapy.
“It means a lot,” Mancini said. “Especially because there were a lot of times last year where I thought I’d be always stuck on 86 and not get the opportunity to hit any more. It’s definitely something I cherish and don’t take for granted.”
McGuire’s fourth hit, a run-scoring single in the ninth against Dillon Tate, made it 7-4.
On Saturday and Sunday, the Orioles scored 11 runs. All were driven in by home runs.
“When you face good pitchers, you’ve got to string some hits together,” Hyde said. “It’s [not] something we’re doing well this year, to get really good at-bats up and down the order and grind at-bats out, but it’s nice to see us driving the ball … I’d like to have a little bit of base-hit rallies as well as home runs.”
Tyler Chatwood pitched the ninth for his first save.
Notes: The Houston Astros will play three games against the Orioles at Camden Yards beginning Monday night. Keegan Akin (0-2, 5.76 ERA) will face Jake Odorizzi (1-3, 5.68) on Monday. Jorge López (2-8, 5.95) will face Zack Greinke (7-2, 3.74) on Tuesday, and Thomas Eshelman (0-0, 1.93) will face José Urquidy (5-3, 3.65) on Wednesday …The Father’s Day crowd was the largest of the season.
Minor Matters: Infielder Gunnar Henderson, who was the Orioles’ second-round pick in 2019, was promoted from Low-A Delmarva to High-A Aberdeen. Henderson hit .312 with eight home runs and 39 RBIs for the Shorebirds.
Alexander Wells allowed four runs on seven hits, striking out five without walking a batter as Triple-A Norfolk lost to Durham, 6-5.
Second baseman Ramón Urías had a two-run home run, catcher Nick Ciuffo and first baseman Tyler Nevin each homered.
In his second home start for Double-A Bowie, Grayson Rodriguez allowed two runs on two hits in five innings, striking out eight and walking one as the Baysox lost to the Akron Rubberducks, 3-2, in 10 innings.
Cameron Bishop pitched four shutout innings, allowing three hits.
Third baseman Patrick Dorrian had a two-run home run. In his rehab stint, left fielder Yusniel Diaz hit .278. He was 1-for-4 on Sunday and will return to Norfolk on Tuesday.
Connor Gillispie allowed seven runs in three innings as Aberdeen lost to Asheville, 19-4. Gillispie gave up four of the eight home runs IronBirds’ pitching allowed.
First baseman J.D. Mundy hit a two-run home run, his seventh, and shortstop Jordan Westburg also homered.
Delmarva was no-hit for eight innings by three Salem pitchers in the Shorebirds’ 3-2 loss.
Noah Denoyer allowed two runs on three hits in four innings for Delmarva.
Rightfielder Hudson Haskin, who was the Orioles’ second-round pick in 2020, had a two-run double in the ninth inning.
Besides Henderson and Diaz, infielder JC Escarra was promoted to Norfolk. Right-handed pitcher Kyle Brnoich, infielder Toby Welk and outfielder Kyle Stowers were promoted from Aberdeen to Bowie. Outfielders Trevor Kehe and Dylan Harris moved to Aberdeen, and infielder Yorkislandy Alvarez and outfielder Lamar Sparks join Delmarva.
There are no minor league games on Monday.
Get over it: Fans often think teams have a hard time getting over a difficult loss the day before. The Orioles’ bullpen allowed six runs in the ninth to Toronto on Saturday, turning a 7-4 lead into a 10-7 setback.
“In our sport, you play every day,” Hyde said before Sunday’s game. “This team has had a bunch of tough losses the last few years. One thing I’ve noticed is that this team usually bonces back.
“Give our guys a lot of credit for that. It was a tough loss yesterday, but I don’t sense any frustrating. I think guys have turned the page pretty well in our clubhouse.”
Franco the target: Maikel Franco spent some time just before the game joking with some Blue Jays players. Franco was hit by Toronto starter Alek Manoah after Mountcastle and DJ Stewart homered in the fourth. He suspected it was coming.
“At the end of the day, I’m going to say, yes. He was working the zone pretty good,” Franco said.
He was annoyed that Manoah hit him near his head.
“Pick a spot,” he said. “My shoulder or my back is close to my face. It’s not fair. Pick a spot and be more careful.”