BALTIMORE–The Orioles lost their 16th consecutive game on Friday night, but this one at least felt different. Oriole starter Keegan Akin gave up two home runs that accounted for all the scoring but pitched five solid innings. His counterpart, Atlanta’s Max Fried, was just better, pitching a complete-game shutout as the Braves beat the Orioles, 3-0, before an announced crowd of 13,583 at Camden Yards.
Fried (11-7) gave up just four hits and threw only 90 pitches. The Orioles were shut out for the eighth time this season.
According to STATS, the Orioles became the first team since the 1876 Cincinnati Red Stockings to lose 16 consecutive games by two runs or more. Their 16 straight losses are the second most in club history behind the 21 consecutive losses to begin the 1988 season.
“We thought we had a chance to win that game the whole way through,” said Austin Hays, who made two outstanding plays in left field on liners by Jorge Soler. “We end the game every night, and everybody’s upset. There’s no music in the clubhouse. Everybody’s just mad because we’re losing games.
“It’s a very tough atmosphere. I think we’re doing as good a job as you can do. We come in the next day with a positive mindset and getting our work in and making sure we’re continuing to be professionals and doing everything that we can control and having a positive mindset for the game the next day.”
Akin (0-8) gave up three runs on two homers–Travis d’Arnaud’s two-run homer in the second, and Soler’s in the third.
He loaded the bases after Soler’s home run, but Adam Duvall’s long fly ball to left ended the inning and kept the score at 3-0.
“I made a couple of bad pitches, and paid for those,” Akin said. “I definitely feel a little bit better about it, but I have to keep going.”
After 101 pitches, Akin was removed with runners on first and second in the sixth. Dillon Tate, who had allowed each of his previous 11 runners to score, stopped that streak.
Ryan Mountcastle extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a first-inning single. Trey Mancini ended the inning with a double play.
“We didn’t have enough offense against a good pitcher tonight,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “Even though we didn’t put a whole lot of pressure on them offensively, I thought we pitched. We’ve been struggling on the mound.”
Paul Fry pitched a scoreless 1 1/3 innings, and Tanner Scott worked a scoreless ninth.
Mancini doubled in the fourth and singled in the seventh, and Jorge Mateo ran his hitting streak to 11 with a fifth-inning single.
“He was pitching ahead, and forced us to have to move the bat,” Hays said. “He had some really good defense behind him. There were probably five or six balls that they hit right on the screws, and they had guys there, a couple of really good defensive plays. He didn’t walk anybody, he didn’t give us any free 90-feets, and they didn’t make any errors. Just really a combination from their starting pitching and their defense.”
Notes: Hyde said that 36-year-old changeup pitcher Cesar Valdez, who was designated for assignment on Friday when the Orioles acquired right-hander Chris Ellis on waivers from Tampa Bay, would be missed. “Really enjoyed having him here. He’s a total pro,” Hyde said. “Very well liked in our clubhouse. He was a good story.” … Matt Harvey (6-12, 6.25 ERA) will face Drew Smyly (8-3, 4.50) on Saturday night. It’s John Means’ Bobblehead night. The first 15,000 fans 15 and over get a bobblehead. … Akin is the sixth pitcher in franchise history to fail to record a win in his first 11 starts of a season.
Elias on Davis: In his first comments on the retirement of Chris Davis, which was announced on August 12, Orioles general manager Mike Elias said:
“Having a resolution of the situation is good. It’s good for him. It’s good for us. He had a significant injury on top of the struggles that he’s had since being on this most recent contract. It hasn’t gone well. It’s been something that has weighed on everybody and hung over the roster. I’m glad that we came to a conclusion that made sense for everybody and allows us to move forward in the future, and allows him to not have to address a rehab, a very difficult rehab in the situation that he was in and kind of retire on his terms, so I think it’s a very positive thing for this organization that it was resolved.”
Elias on Diaz: During his meeting with the media on Friday, Elias was also asked about Yusniel Diaz, the outfielder obtained by the Orioles in the Manny Machado trade in July 2018. Diaz has had a disappointing year and missed time with leg and toe injuries.
“The injuries certainly haven’t helped,” Elias said. “But it hasn’t really gotten off the ground, going back to spring training and the alt-site. It hasn’t been characteristic of what we’ve seen from him in the past. It’s been really hard to work with them to get him going offensively because of the injuries. I think that’s compounded it. You just can’t get really he momentum going in the work that we’re trying to do with him on the hitting side.
“It hasn’t been on the success side of the ledger in 2021 so far. He still has a ton of talent. I’ve always been a fan of his talent, as I’ve said, and we’ve got to keep pushing with him.”
Minor League update: In his Triple-A debut, Cody Sedlock, the Orioles’ top pick in 2016, pitched five scoreless innings as Norfolk beat Charlotte, 4-1. Sedlock (1-0) allowed three hits, struck out six and didn’t walk a batter.
Ryan McKenna hit two home runs, and first baseman Adley Rutschman had two hits.
Blaine Knight allowed a run on three hits in four innings for his first save.
In his first start for Double-A Bowie, knuckleballer Mickey Jannis pitched six innings, giving up one run as the Baysox defeated Reading, 5-3, in 10 innings. Jannis gave up a run on five hits, walking two and striking out two.
First baseman Andrew Daschbach hit two home runs and drove in three runs. Designated hitter Patrick Dorrian had three hits.
Leftfielder Lamar Sparks’ game-winning RBI single gave High-A Aberdeen a 6-5 win in 11 innings over Wilmington. Sparks also homered and tripled.
Catcher Ryne Ogren hit a three-run home run, designated hitter Billy Cook drove in four runs and centerfielder Mason Janvrin and first baseman Jacob Teter each drove in two runs as Low-A Delmarva beat Fredericksburg, 17-1
The Shorebirds scored six runs in the first, five in the second and six in the eighth.
Jake Lyons (3-3) gave up a run on three hits in six innings. He struck out eight and walked one.