Orioles lose 13th straight, 10-0 to Rays; Means takes the loss: Cowser makes Delmarva debut - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles lose 13th straight, 10-0 to Rays; Means takes the loss: Cowser makes Delmarva debut

Photo credit: Kim Klement - USA Today Sports

The Orioles hoped that starter John Means could put an end to their long losing streak. He couldn’t, and the Orioles have now lost 13 straight, one shy of the second-longest streak in club history.

Means allowed seven runs, three unearned, as the Orioles lost to the Tampa Bay Rays, 10-0, at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida on Tuesday night.

The Orioles lost 14 straight in their inaugural season, 1954, and again from May 18-31. Unless they win on Wednesday night, they’ll have their third 14-game skid and second this season.

They’re the first American League team with a pair of 13-game losing streaks in a season, and they’ve lost 13 of 14 to Tampa Bay in 2021.

The Orioles allowed 10 or more runs for the sixth time during this losing streak and have been outscored, 123-36.

“It’s awful. It hasn’t been easy,” Means said. “A lot of guys are losing sleep. The guys are frustrated with what they’re doing, especially me. I need to be better. I need to do better, and the only way to do that is to keep adjusting, trying to get the work in between starts and move on.”

Means was dominant in the first three innings, striking out seven of the first 11 batters he faced. In the fourth, shortstop Jorge Mateo booted a routine ground ball by leadoff hitter Wander Franco. He scored on a double by Manuel Margot. Mike Zunino followed with his 26th home run to give Tampa Bay (73-47) a 3-0 lead.

Means (5-5), who has won just once since his May 5th no-hitter against Seattle, gave up Nelson Cruz’s 25th home run, a three-run shot, and was removed after a single by Franco.

“I thought my pitch to Zunino was pretty good,” Means said. “He just got to it. The one to Cruz, I thought I left a little bit middle, but I liked my stuff tonight. I just did not get the results that I wanted.


“I felt like today we were really going to turn it around. It’s definitely not for lack of effort.”

Reliever Marcos Diplan, who hadn’t allowed a hit in his first four appearances, saw that streak end on a double by Brandon Lowe. The run was charged to Means.

The fifth run of the inning scored when second baseman Ramon Urias dropped a pop fly for an error. Oriole pitching wasn’t helped by the defense.

Cruz hit his second homer of the game against Tanner Scott in the sixth with Randy Arozarena on base, and the Rays had a 10-0 lead against a team that appears overmatched each game during this latest skid.

Arozarena went 4-for-5 and is hitting .500 (21-for-42) against the Orioles this season

The Orioles (38-80) had just four hits against three Tampa Bay pitchers, including a ground-rule double in the ninth by Ryan Mountcastle. Drew Rasmussen started and allowed one hit in four innings. Adam Conley pitched a spotless fifth. Chris Ellis (1-0) spread three hits over four innings for the win.

Mateo had two hits but his defense was shaky.

After Monday night’s loss, manager Brandon Hyde said that he thought the Orioles’ hitters were pressing. He said the same could be true of Means and the starters.

“I’m sure his thoughts were to stop this,” Hyde said. “To pick us up because he’s a super competitor and he’s a good starting pitchers, and he’s going to be good, and he showed it in the first few innings. He just didn’t make pitches there in the fourth or in the fifth. I don’t know if he was trying too much or just not executing.”

Notes: Right-handed pitcher Adam Plutko cleared outright waivers and accepted an assignment to Triple-A Norfolk. … Spenser Watkins (2-4, 5.25 ERA) will pitch for the Orioles on Wednesday. Louis Head (1-0, 1.85) will open for the Rays and is scheduled to be followed by Ryan Yarbrough. … Five National League teams have had multiple 13-game losing streaks in a season. Arizona did it earlier this season. The 1962 New York Mets, the 1919 Philadelphia Phillies and Boston  (1911 and 1935) are the others. … The Orioles were shut out for the seventh time this season and the first time since June 24.th

Minor league update: Colton Cowser doubled and drove in a run in his debut for Low-A Delmarva as the Shorebirds beat Fredericksburg, 10-1. Cowser, the Orioles’ first-round pick, led a group of 2021 draftees who were added to Delmarva’s roster on Monday.

Catcher Connor Pavalony hit a two-run homer and drove in four. First baseman Jacob Teter drove in two runs.

Grayson Rodriguez allowed a run on two hits in five innings in Double-A Bowie’s 3-2 loss to Reading. Rodriguez struck out six and walked one.

High-A Aberdeen was held to four hits in a 4-0 loss to Wilmington. Shortstop Gunnar Henderson had two of the four hits.

Norfolk’s game at Charlotte was rained out. The teams will play a doubleheader on Wednesday.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB



  1. The Cartoon Bird

    August 18, 2021 at 8:19 am

    Wow. We tied the 1962 Mets. My Father watched them in the Polo Grounds. He said they were hands down the worst baseball team he ever saw in his life. But at least they were an expansion team and many of the players were vets hanging on. My Grandfather was just happy to have NL baseball back after losing the Dodgers. I still have the yearbook with the baby on the cover that they bought at one of the games.

    • EkimC

      August 18, 2021 at 10:11 am

      I, too, lived through the abysmal Mets. As I’ve written here before, the difference is that the Mets were so bad that they were fun to watch. Dr. Stoneglove, the Big Donkey, Puddinhead Jones ,et al, put on a show that made you laugh. This current group of Orioles is basically a sandlot team but , in spite of Hyde’s insistence that they are trying, just can’t cut it. Plain and simple… lack of talent exacerbated by inept coaching! To put it bluntly, there’s not much there to watch and the lack of fans is the proof. Rich… your writings on the minor league teams helps but if you were to make a close examination of the individual statistics you’d realize that “promoting” (as in selling to the fans) guys with .250 batting averages (and below ) and pitchers with 4.00 + eras is mostly blowing “smoke”. That’s what you’re paid to do. But saying that the O’s farm system is #2 tells me that baseball, as a whole, is in a lot of trouble (and that doesn’t include Manfred)…. Just saying…

    • willmiranda

      August 18, 2021 at 10:26 am

      Think positive. Only seven years to go in this Five Year Plan. Is it mere coincidence that we’re focusing our hopes on the farms, just like the 1930’s Soviet Five Year Plans?

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 18, 2021 at 11:46 am

      Ekim, thank you for your comment, but I’m not paid to promote minor league players to the fans. I’m writing game results because fans are more interested in the minor leagues than they’ve ever been because they want to remain hopeful.

      Baseball America has rated the Orioles’ farm system as the second best. We’ll see in coming years if those players make a measurable difference in the major league team.

  2. Orial

    August 18, 2021 at 8:25 am

    Hitters pressing,pitchers pressing. I don’t doubt it. Really bewildered why Hays can’t make that next step,really surprised why Santander has fallen off the map. Right there is an offensive hole. Those 2 along with Mancini are probably the ones pressing the most. The rest–Severino,Franco,Urias,Stewart are just passing through. Mancini getting a much needed blow. Saw in yesterday’s comments that a “culture of losing” may have enveloped this organization. That point is not to be taken lightly. Still wondering if Means,Fry,Plutko haven’t fallen victim to the “Sticky fingers” conspiracy. The sudden demise of those three is noticeable. A lot of chatter by national writers(Olney,Rosenthal)about this mess in Baltimore. Rich as you can probably attest these 2 writers cut their teeth in Baltimore so instead of having an anti Baltimore bias like some like to claim they actually might be feeling a certain pain that we fans are feeling. That being said I agree with their pounts/articles and hope that it smacks Elias and the Warehouse in the face and makes them realize that there’s more to this than just building a farm system. Again–the clock is ticking.

    • Phil770

      August 18, 2021 at 10:35 am

      Biggest failure of Elias is his disregard for the Big club roster. The current product on the field must be competitive, not just a line up card. Very difficult to turn around a losing culture like this one. Hyde is not the answer, nor is Freddi G. Analytics don’t matter if players can’t execute.

    • Bhoffman1

      August 18, 2021 at 10:55 am

      Phil you said in perfect disregard for the big club roster rebuilding doesn’t have to be this ugly . I assume his hands are tied as the Angelos just want to keep the budget as low as possible. It’s a sad situation from top to bottom

      • Phil770

        August 18, 2021 at 2:46 pm

        Agree with ‘sad’ and rebuilding does not have to be this ugly. But I am less inclined to blame Angelos brothers. Every organization has a budget, Elias allocated too little of that budget to build a somewhat competitive, MLB roster. Baseball is far more important to the Baltimore community than it ever will be in Houston. His lack of experience in building a competitive MLB roster in this market is sadly showing. In addition to his “the future will be better” mantra, some players who should have provided proof of future success have regressed (Akin, Stewart, Kramer), that is all on Elias and the coaching staff. It is nice too have a good strategy and long-term plan, but if you produce a shoddy product today, there won’t be any customers for that better product that he keeps telling folks is coming.

    • CalsPals

      August 18, 2021 at 4:19 pm

      Well said Phil…go O’s…

  3. Orioleschatter

    August 18, 2021 at 8:47 am

    Pretty good analysis, Orial. Here’s my take.

    There is very little talent on this roster. There is no way they will be able to compete, I’ll say it again, NO WAY, with the other 4 teams in their division anytime soon.

    I’m not sure I agree but I have to give Mike Elias some credit for having a plan and sticking with it. We all know he is trying to build a foundation. I think they are at least 5 years out from winning say 80 games in a season. Until then, a lot of losing and an empty Camden Yards.

    • willmiranda

      August 18, 2021 at 10:52 am

      I think the problem with long-term plans is that in sports, as in much of today’s culture, short-term hyperactivity has so accelerated the churn that a goal you set today may be inoperable within a year or less. Look at how quickly our rivals retool their major league rosters within a season while we shuffle our deck of minor leaguers. I hope the NBA isn’t the harbinger for all sports, but players bounce around from club to club in random molecular motion. There really are no teams of players of any duration. Even last month’s jerseys are outmoded. I think the new Baseball Agreement this winter will be contentious, with demands for greater player autonomy and mobility. Basketball and football get along without farm systems, and baseball is turning more and more to college and international prospects. I suspect that all this “player control” stuff, a watered-down reserve clause, is going bye-bye. The big boys, owners and players, will want to buy right now, for today, with few strings. Think, for example, over the recent outrage, even on this discussion board, over the Chris Davis contract. It may be an extreme example, but I think one that many people regard as an argument for short-term deals and, ultimately, short-term plans.

  4. Orioles20

    August 18, 2021 at 8:50 am

    Means didn’t pitch that bad. He did give up three unearned runs due to terrible defense behind him. Nothing new there. The offense is abysmal. Problem is no real replacements are close the big leagues. Should’ve traded Santander in the offseason when his value was at all time high. Think it’s time to move on from the likes of Franco and Stewart. Put Urias at third and Mateo at second with Martin at shortstop. Franco has been a disappointment. Thought he’d at least hit like 240.

    • Icterus fan

      August 18, 2021 at 10:59 am

      Agree with the above re: Means’ pitching up to 4th inning. He was clearly in a groove; hitting corners, pitches on the black, etc. then came the homers.
      No offensive help for the guy – predicable outcome assured.

  5. CanOfCorn

    August 18, 2021 at 9:36 am

    Watched Suicide Squad last night.

  6. Bman

    August 18, 2021 at 9:58 am

    It’s all about pitching, and the Os are on the brink within the next year of having a rotation of Means, Rodriguez, Hall, Baumann, Bradish, with other guys ready too, Smith, Lopez, Zimmerman, knight, Peralta, Rom, Kremer, Wells, Lowther. Once the rotation is turned around the hitting will fall into place. We won’t have the Franco’s, Stewarts, and Severinos out there every night but Rutschman, Vavra, Westburg. Near future is bright.

    • jimcarter

      August 18, 2021 at 10:13 am

      A lot of names, but most haven’t shown much or are going downhill. It reminds me of the infamous “cavalry” of young pitchers who were supposed to save the day. That entire group was a bust (as Orioles). I can’t see the Elias group as being any better at evaluating talent than Duquette’s bunch.

    • Bhoffman1

      August 18, 2021 at 10:59 am

      Who says they will be here next year and if you don’t supplement them with free agents who can play it will be just as bad. Even Tampa shelled out bucks for Cruz . All out money goes to the guy in Texas who everybody on this chat loves.

    • WorldlyView

      August 18, 2021 at 3:12 pm

      I think a prediction that the Orioles’ promising farm system translates into a bright “near future” for NORFOLK is optimistic, but plausible. Bman’s assumption that these guys are going to leap from being good-to-very-good AA level minor leaguers this year to first rate, AL East-bashing Major Leaguers in the “near future” is multiple steps beyond wishful thinking. It’s just slightly more likely than the chances of me being the O’s Gold Glove winning shortstop next year.
      I think a burning question is how to properly apportion the blame between the Angeloses and Elias for the dreadful aggregate level of baseball talent–one that has sunk to making AL history by having two 13 game losing streaks in a season and having the potential for at least third. If only the other MLB clubs waived or released higher caliber players, we might do better.

  7. BenSch

    August 18, 2021 at 11:02 am

    I’m definitely suffering a crisis of faith. But since nobody in the organization cares what I think, I’m doing my best to believe.

    Again, I like a lot of the talent (Cedric, John, Trey et al plus Adley, Grayson et al) but can they develop a “New Orioles Way?” the Japanese have this concept of “wa” which is a bit mystical but I think of it as the team playing as a unit and functioning on a higher level. Like a New Orleans jazz band. The whole being greater than the sum of the parts.
    Anyway, that’s what I’m waiting for.

  8. Diamondguy

    August 18, 2021 at 11:39 am

    Well I haven’t watched the games much recently. Watched last night, probably will not watch any game for a while again. There is enough frustrating things that happen without being frustrated by the O’s!

  9. Balt mp

    August 18, 2021 at 12:46 pm

    I understand that Elias has basically taken a hands off approach to the major league club . When you come into a situation where there is a dearth of talent what can you do ? The problem is Hyde now I didn’t always hold this view I thought he was in a similar situation as Elias not much talent what do you do . Having said that the lack of accountability the lack of emotion on his part is amazing . He gave an interview on 105.7 where he said he’d identified the problems well that’s great but a good leader takes action he solves the problem or at least takes some kind of corrective action . But to see the same mistakes the same lackadaisical play and he sits in the dugout and does nothing . It’s just unbelievable .

    • jimcarter

      August 18, 2021 at 1:23 pm

      Hands off? He’s in charge and has chosen to fill the roster with castoffs and the same faces filtering through Norfolk over and over. If these guys had any talent, so many wouldn’t pass through waivers and/or accept minor league assignments back in Norfolk. The team didn’t move guys at the deadline because they weren’t in demand. If a good manager can transform a team, why aren’t the Angels better? Joe Maddon certainly is regarded as a better than average manager.

      • Phil770

        August 18, 2021 at 3:14 pm

        Angels are a good example of not being able to buy a winner; still, they are .500 and a good win streak away for a Wild Card spot, with the highest paid, best player in the game still on he DL. Rendon has under performed, but Ohtani is an attraction and there is still legitimate hope they can compete for a playoff spot. If Hyde were managing that team, they would not be doing as well. It’s not just the losses, it is the way the O’s are losing – looking overmatched and defeated… there is not a ‘go-to’ veteran than can offer the intangibles that help a young player from pressing.

    • CalsPals

      August 18, 2021 at 4:23 pm

      Again, well said Phil, although I believe Rendon is out for the rest of the season, at least they TRIED…go O’s…

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