Orioles reach longest losing streak since 2005 with 18th straight setback; Means lacks support - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles reach longest losing streak since 2005 with 18th straight setback; Means lacks support

Photo Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

BALTIMORE–The Orioles played better this weekend against the Atlanta Braves, but they still couldn’t win. Sunday’s 3-1 loss was their 18th straight, the longest in the major leagues since Kansas City dropped 19 in a row in 2005. The Orioles are three losses from tying their club record, when they began 1988 with 21 straight losses.

After being thoroughly outplayed in the first 15 games of the streak and being outscored, 138-42, they had chances in all three games of the series. On Friday, they were shut out, 3-0, when Max Fried tossed a complete game on just 90 pitches. Saturday’s loss was 5-4, which has been the only game decided by one run in the streak and featured four Oriole homers.

With John Means pitching on Sunday, the Orioles thought they had a good chance to end the streak, but a bad fourth inning cost him before an announced crowd of 11,180 at Camden Yards.

“I thought today was going to be the day,” Means said. “I felt good. I felt like things were going in our favor.  It didn’t happen at the end of the day, so move on to the next one.”

The Orioles (38-85) were swept for the 16th time. They were 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position.

“I’ve been pretty frustrated for a while,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “This has been a tough run, extremely tough.”

The Orioles have Monday off and will try to end the skid against former Oriole Dylan Bundy and the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night.

“I have no problem with our effort,” Hyde said. “We’re not winning games. We’re not executing. We’re very inexperienced. We got beat this series by good pitching. We just didn’t swing the bat well this series. We didn’t pitch very well last series.”

After allowing just one single in the first three innings, Means (5-6) allowed Jorge Soler’s 18th home run with one out in the fourth. Leftfielder DJ Stewart failed to catch Freddie Freeman’s drive that went for a double. With two outs, Means walked Dansby Swanson, and Adam Duvall’s two-run double put Atlanta ahead, 3-0. That was all the runs the Braves would need.

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The Orioles had a scoring chance in the third against Touki Toussaint. With one out, Austin Wynns walked but Richie Martin struck out and, when Cedric Mullins doubled into the right-field corner, Wynns had to stop at third. Ryan Mountcastle grounded out to end the inning.

Trey Mancini doubled to start the fourth. He scored on a two-out double by Ramon Urias. Wynns struck to end the threat.

In the fifth, Martin led off with a single. Mullins lined out sharply to right, and Mountcastle ended the inning by hitting into a double play on a sharp ground ball.

“We’re not putting enough major league at-bats together,” Hyde said.  “Atlanta’s got a nice pitching staff, and we just had a tough time getting the big hit.”

Touki Touissant (3-2) pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing a run on five hits.

Means left after he walked Swanson to start the seventh. He allowed three runs on four hits, walking two and striking out five. Means has won once in 12 starts since his no-hitter on May 5th.

“Still wasn’t great, but definitely a step in the right direction,” Means said.

With two outs in the seventh, Martin singled against Chris Martin. Tyler Matzek walked Mullins, and Mountcastle struck out, ending his 13-game hitting streak.

Luke Jackson struck out Mancini, Anthony Santander and Austin Hays in the eighth.

Urias led off the ninth with a double against Will Smith. Jorge Mateo struck out. Pedro Severino flied to center, and Maikel Franco struck out to end the game. Smith recorded his 28th save.

“I think we’ve been pressing pretty hard, honestly,” Means said. “I think everybody’s been trying to fix everything. We just need to relax and play the game and have fun again. It has not been a whole lot of fun lately, that’s for sure.”

Notes: After Monday’s offday, the Orioles play three games against the Los Angeles Angels. Spenser Watkins (2-5, 5.63 ERA) will face Bundy (2-9, 6.04) on Tuesday night. Hyde hasn’t decided on Wednesday’s starter against Shohei Ohtani (8-1, 2.79), who comes in with 40 home runs. On Thursday afternoon at 1:05, Keegan Akin (0-8, 7.92) will pitch for the Orioles. The Angels haven’t announced their starter. … Right-hander Cesar Valdez has cleared waivers and accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A Norfolk. … The Orioles grounded into three double plays, equaling their season high. … Jorge Lopez pitched a scoreless ninth in his first outing since he was sent to the bullpen after Thursday’s abbreviated start. … High-A Aberdeen’s game with Wilmington was rained out.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. jimcarter

    August 22, 2021 at 5:41 pm

    Embrace the pipeline and hope there are no leaks. In the meantime, be prepared to hear “modern era” and references to the Spiders and various other teams from the 1800s.

  2. Orial

    August 22, 2021 at 5:41 pm

    I guess it doesn’t matter what team or what league they play the results are the same. Play the slugging AL teams and get outscored 45-10 in a 3 game set,play the fundamental NL teams and get outscored 11-5 in a 3 game set. Amount of runs either way are irrelevant–they lose. I guess some of the younger hitters are trying to hustle and impress for future recognition but this is a spiraling downward offense. The good news is that this NL competition has brought the pitching staff fiasco down to earth now the offensive shortcomings come to the forefront. Message to Hyde–give Mullins a rest.

  3. Boog Robinson Robinson

    August 22, 2021 at 5:46 pm

    It’s not even worth crying about. The process goes on. Soooooooo….

    Am I alone in questioning whether Hays might be a better centerfield choice than Mullins.

    I’ve noticed on several occasions this season where Mullins very much shied away from making what would have been acrobatic catches up against the wall. But IMO, they were catches that the better defensive players at this level SHOULD catch. Then today … on Adam Duvall’s 4th inning double that scored 2 … it looked to me as though Cedric had a chance to lay out near the warning track to make the catch. Haven’t seen a replay…but it really appeared that he hesitated and then played it safe.

    I think Hays would have made the attempt. Granted, as fast as Hays is, he’s not Mullins, and granted, plays like that lead to injuries to fragile outfielders on occasion. Regardless, I like players that go all out and I’m not sure Cedric does.

    Again….I’m not saying…just questioning.

    • BarstoolSleeper

      August 22, 2021 at 6:07 pm

      It did look to me like he would’ve had a shot had he laid out for the ball that fell for a double. Hard to put yourself in his shoes in that moment but he decided to pull up and take an angle to play it off the wall instead of diving.

    • Orial

      August 22, 2021 at 6:19 pm

      Boog my exact sentiments on that double to center. He seemed to give up on it.

    • Icterus fan

      August 22, 2021 at 9:10 pm

      Good defensive debate here, done respectfully. I didn’t see the game, so can’t comment directly. However, will agree that Hays is a gamer, and that exposes him to more potential for injury. Mullins has a weaker arm, so will not be necessarily known for throwing out runners. Hays on the other hand, has a cannon.
      Is that justification to move Mullins? I dunno. He’s the biggest catalyst on the club.

    • CalsPals

      August 23, 2021 at 8:49 am

      Not a knock on his skill set, but Mullins needs to try to catch that ball, there have been more than a couple of times when I thought he could attempt to lay out or jump at the wall to make a catch, he doesn’t seem to have that mentality in his OF play, agree, he is the biggest catalyst on the club, could be the same from left field…go O’s…

      • Raveonjo

        August 23, 2021 at 12:38 pm

        I really like Mullins, and I’ve seen him make plays against that hard wall in Bowie, but I thought the same thing yesterday afternoon. Maybe the season-long losing is getting to him.

  4. TxBirdFan

    August 22, 2021 at 5:59 pm

    At least we have the Little League World Series to watch this time of year!!

    • The Bird1

      August 22, 2021 at 6:19 pm

      At which the Orioles would finish in 4th place, at best, if they were in it. lol

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        August 22, 2021 at 6:44 pm

        Those kids would light up our bullpen.

        • OhMy!

          August 22, 2021 at 8:04 pm

          Youse guys are so darn witty, it cracks me up…

    • CalsPals

      August 22, 2021 at 9:09 pm

      Remember you don’t sit with the popular kids…lol…go O’s…

  5. Buzz1979

    August 22, 2021 at 8:19 pm

    The ’62 Mets are now seeing a glimmer of hope! Mr .201 Soler again, with a batting average 15 points LOWER than Mendoza/Flaherty career mark of.216! The Oriole way, now!

  6. Bmore

    August 23, 2021 at 8:39 am

    This team here seems like it’s the worst team since the start of the rebuild what’s up with these Orioles

  7. NormOs

    August 23, 2021 at 1:32 pm

    And nobody gets fired or released………isn’t that curious? Looks like the front office is in for their long Summer’s nap. They don’t even pretend to hide the fact that this so called rebuild is farsicle and the team is the laughing stock of baseball. Who are the players that are going to change this perception? Elais certainly doesn’t know but he’s got The Brothers buffaloed. Well, 7:05 this evening is the time for our daily Orioles colonoscopy.

  8. Dantor

    August 23, 2021 at 2:43 pm

    Glad today is an off day. In the Mullins case, have watched him for the years through the minors and to the big club. He has been good then terrible. Made the big club, sent back to AAA, and then on downward to AA. Lacking something in the attitude. Has shown that he’s a big time player, but needs to get his mindset together. Maybe the losing streak is weighing on him to be the “guy”. Just an observation.

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