Means returns to top form in Orioles' 5-2 win over Tigers; Another shaky outing for Scott; Minor league update - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Means returns to top form in Orioles’ 5-2 win over Tigers; Another shaky outing for Scott; Minor league update

Photo Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

After John Means pitched a no-hitter on May 5th, it looked as if he was heading for a statistically outstanding season. However, Means hadn’t won a game in nearly three months.

Means spent six weeks on the 10-day injured list because of a strained left shoulder, and in his third start since returning won for the first time since his no-hitter.

He allowed a home run in six innings, giving up just four hits, striking out six and walking one as the Orioles beat the Detroit Tigers, 5-2, at Comerica Park on Saturday night.

“That was definitely nice to see,” Means said. “I definitely still have some things to work on. As far as the results go, I liked it. I liked the changeup tonight. It was pretty satisfying.”

Means threw 99 pitches. It was his first quality start since May 24th.

“John Means was outstanding,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “I liked his curveball. I thought he mixed his pitches extremely well … Six extremely strong innings, pitched in and out. He was really efficient with his pitching. He came out with a nice lead.

“John Means looked like he did in April. This was early-season form.”

It was the Orioles’ second win in three games against the Tigers (50-57). Since the All-Star break, the Orioles (37-66) are 9-5.

“Guys are starting to feel for what they need to do to have success at this level, especially the young guys,” Means said. “They’re seeing how teams are approaching us, especially from the pitching side and adjusting to it, which is the name of the game. It’s a game of constant adjustments, and it’s really cool to see.”

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Tigers starter Matt Manning (2-4) allowed a bloop RBI single to Ryan Mountcastle that scored Cedric Mullins in the third.

Eric Haase’s 18th home run to left field tied the score at 1 in the fourth, and was the only run given up by Means (5-3).

Maikel Franco homered in the fifth, his 11th, to give the Orioles a 2-1 lead.

Later in the game, it appeared that Franco’s right ankle was bothering him. A sprain of that ankle put him on the injured list for nearly three weeks in July.

“At the end of the day, I’m not 100 percent, but it’s getting better every single day,” Franco said.

After Mountcastle singled, Ramón Urias and DJ Stewart walked to begin the sixth. Manning nearly got out of the inning when Pedro Severino popped out to second on the first pitch of the at-bat. Franco then grounded to short, but Detroit second baseman Willi Castro couldn’t handle shortstop Zack Short’s relay. Mountcastle scored on the error. Pat Valaika followed with single to right field to score Urías and Stewart, and the Orioles led, 5-1.

“That was a huge play,” Hyde said about the error. “We cashed in on a mistake, which good teams do.”

Paul Fry pitched a spotless seventh, and Dillon Tate threw a scoreless eighth.

But Tanner Scott, who had an awful eighth inning on Friday night, had a bad ninth on Saturday. Scott walked leadoff hitter Jeimier Candelario, hit Castro with a pitch and then walked Short to load the bases. Again like Friday, Hyde called for Cole Sulser to preserve the lead. Sulser saved Friday night’s game after Scott and Tate gave up three runs in the eighth.

“I just think his timing is a little bit off,” Hyde said of Scott. “Coming in after the game, his knee was a little sore. We’re going to re-evaluate that. I don’t know if that was affecting him or not.

“He’s not getting the chases on his slider. His fastball is erratic the last couple of nights. He’s somebody we believe in, and he’s got a great arm. Pitchers go through this. We expect him to come out of it and be the dominating guy that he is.”

Akill Baddoo grounded to first for the first out with Candelario scoring. Sulser caught Derek Hill looking and struck out Jonathan Schoop to end the game and record his fifth save.

Note: Spenser Watkins (2-1, 3.10 ERA) will face Tyler Alexander (1-1, 4.80) on Sunday.

Minor league update: Dean Kremer allowed a run on a hit in three innings in relief in Triple-A Norfolk’s 12-6 loss to Durham. Kremer walked two and struck out four.

Rightfielder Robert Neustrom had two hits and drove in three runs. Second baseman Jahmai Jones hit his eighth home run, a two-run shot.

In his third rehab game with Double-A Bowie, Richie Martin hit a two-run home run, and Drew Rom pitched five strong innings in the Baysox’s 2-1 win over Richmond. Bowie had just two hits.

Rom (1-0) allowed one run on four hits in five innings, striking out six and walking two.

Bruce Zimmermann, who is on the 10-day injured list because of left biceps tendinitis, allowed two runs, one unearned, on three hits in three innings as High-A Aberdeen lost to Bowling Green, 9-3

Zimmermann threw 55 pitches, struck out four and walked two. He’ll pitch again next week for Norfolk, executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias said, and then should return to the Orioles.

Centerfielder Hudson Haskin and leftfielder Shayne Fontana each had two hits for the IronBirds.

Low-A Delmarva was held to three hits in the Shorebirds’ 2-1 loss to Fredericksburg.

Rightfielder Cristopher Cespedes hit his 10th home run and first baseman TT Bowens had two hits.

Nick Roth (0-1) allowed two eighth-inning runs to the Nationals.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. chico salmon

    August 1, 2021 at 8:09 am

    Great stuff, Rich. Does Scott have options? If he’s not injured, what are your thoughts about sending him down to Norfolk to “work on some things”?
    He’s lost right now.

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 1, 2021 at 8:29 am

      Scott has one option remaining. Let’s see what’s wrong with his knee, but I don’t think two really bad outings in succession would send him down. Yes, he had another bad one on July 21, but I think they’ll ride with him, maybe in a different role. Perhaps on a more competitive club

  2. Bhoffman1

    August 1, 2021 at 8:12 am

    What did I say about Scott yesterday. History repeats itself. He walks and hits batters again. Yet Hyde brings him in again to close . Obviously the guy can’t take pressure. If there was a small cap league we could compete next year. Maybe we will be the next Tampa and I will eat my words but when you have clubs that buy all stars regularly and we buy junk it will always be a uphill battle.

  3. Orioles20

    August 1, 2021 at 9:42 am

    Good to see Means get back in his groove. Mountcastle seems to be a very streaky hitter. I feel like if you get him some help behind him in the lineup he’d do better because he’d get better pitches to hit. Hyde needs to do a better job managing late in games. What would posses you to bring in Scott after two nights ago he couldn’t find the plate. I understand getting him back out there but give him a day. Sulser did a great job getting out of that mess with only one run given up. And as for Scott if your hurt tell someone don’t try to pitch through that and almost cost us the game. I think it’s pretty apparent that Scott is not a closer and can’t handle that kind of pressure so stop running him out there. Hyde should be able to see this and know to stop running him out there in the ninth.

    • cedar

      August 1, 2021 at 10:05 am

      Stealing stat-boy’s thunder, Tanner Scott has 8 outing where he has pitched to an era of 81+, and 40 outings where he has pitched to an era of 1.82. Additionally, he clumps his bad outings together and follows with a streak of good ones.

      No slight meant towards stat-boy, I enjoy their posts when they stick to baseball.

  4. BarstoolSleeper

    August 1, 2021 at 10:02 am

    Scott is struggling as of late, no doubt about that. However, the argument you guys are making about not having the confidence late in games is the same argument people here were making last season about Sulser. He blew 3 saves last year and the sky was falling. Now this year Sulser has figured some things out it appears. All I’m saying is guys go through these stretches so don’t be so quick to bail on them if or when they struggle. Heck look at Matt Harvey! Ups and downs and adjustments are a huge part of this game.

  5. Orial

    August 1, 2021 at 10:07 am

    Initially it was easy to bash Hyde for his decision to bring Scott in BUT hindsight kinda cancels that out. It was a gutsy call on his part. I’m sure he’s trying to restore confidence in Scott,which isn’t such a bad idea when the team is still going through a developmental,decision making period and with a 4 run lead to boot. That being said I think he’ll reassess that decision going forward. Don’t like seeing Kremer get mop-up work. Kinda makes it seem there’s no workable plan for him at the present. Mountcastle back to driving the ball. Watch out Ryan there are pitchers’ adjustments coming your way.

  6. Nellie

    August 1, 2021 at 10:23 am

    Great move by Hyde. The nice thing about putting him in with a decent lead is that you can take him out which is exactly what he did. He knew what he was doing.

    • Icterus fan

      August 1, 2021 at 12:12 pm

      Either way, Hyde gets lambasted.
      Bring Scott in, and its too risky; he should be sent down, he sucks.
      Don’t pitch Scott and you’re not building trust with your pitching staff, you’re undermining his confidence.
      Hopefully, like Sulser, Scott gets the knee thing straightened out, and can return with a clear head to pitch more effectively.
      We don’t know if it’s a bum knee or a problem between the ears, but hopefully we will find out sooner rather than later.

  7. NormOs

    August 1, 2021 at 10:51 am

    “I think his timing is a LITTLE BIT OFF” Hyde, again, you see something that no one else sees.evcept for Genius1 and, of course, he’s the guy what pays you so keep throwing the soft balls. Scott belongs in Bowie for an exteded time. Silly Question Time: How come the O’s never put anyone on waivers? Or even release anyone? STRANGE……

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 1, 2021 at 11:04 am

      Norm, this season the Orioles have put the following players on waivers: Chance Sisco, Rio Ruiz, Stevie Wilkerson, Mac Sceroler, Wade LeBlanc, Shawn Armstrong, Mickey Jannis, Konner Wade, Jay Flaa and Brandon Waddell. Sisco, Ruiz, Sceroler, Flaa and Waddell were claimed by other teams. Sceroler went back to the team he was drafted from. LeBlanc was released.

      • WorldlyView

        August 1, 2021 at 6:01 pm

        Rich, I am surprised that five of our castoffs were claimed. Do you have easy access to their records/status with their new clubs? When a team claims a player on waivers, do they simply inherit the player’s contract or do they negotiate?

    • Camden Brooks

      August 1, 2021 at 3:44 pm

      Haaa!

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 1, 2021 at 6:49 pm

      Steve, Sisco is in the minors with the Mets. As of this morning, Ruiz was 1-for-7 with Colorado, Flaa was in one game for the Braves, Sceroler is in Double-A with the Reds and Waddell was in four games for thr Cardinals. Claiming teams assume the existing contract.

  8. jimpalmer65

    August 1, 2021 at 12:27 pm

    Nice to see Means have a good outing and get a long overdue win. Maybe, he can get on a roll like Harvey. No Coke… Mt. Dew

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