Orioles hit 4 home runs but losing streak hits 17 with 1-run loss to Braves; Minor league update - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles hit 4 home runs but losing streak hits 17 with 1-run loss to Braves; Minor league update

Photo Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

BALTIMORE–During their 17-game losing streak, the Orioles have seldom been competitive. On Saturday night, they hit four home runs, including one in the ninth inning, but still lost, 5-4, to the Atlanta Braves before an announced crowd of 15,774 at Oriole Park. It was their only one-run loss during the skid.

The Orioles, who are within four games of equaling the 21-game losing streak of 1988, trailed, 4-3, heading into the ninth. Cole Sulser allowed the Braves to go up, 5-3. Anthony Santander hit his second home run of the game to lead off the ninth to cut the lead back to a run, 5-4. The Orioles (38-84) went quietly after that, and Will Smith earned his 27th save.

On Friday night, the Orioles also played well but lost, 3-0, to the Braves.

“It’s always tough to lose close,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “I think we’ve played pretty good baseball the last two nights. I don’t think we played well for a while.

“We scored our runs on homers. You’ve got to be able to muster some rallies.  You’ve got to keep the line moving. We didn’t walk again tonight. It’s hard to string hits together right now.”

Ryan Mountcastle’s 21st home run, which extended his hitting streak to 13 games, gave the Orioles a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first.

“It’s not easy. Losing isn’t fun,”  Mountcastle said.  “You’ve got to keep forward and keep working hard every day. It’s all you can do.”

A two-run double by Dansby Swanson put Atlanta (67-56) ahead, 2-1, in the top of the third. Joc Pederson’s 16th homer against Matt Harvey increased the Braves’ lead to 3-1.

Back-to-back home runs by Santander, his 11th, and Ramon Urias, his seventh, against Drew Smyly (9-3) tied the score, 3-3, in the fourth.


Austin Riley’s 27th home run gave Atlanta a 4-3 lead in the fifth. Harvey (6-13)  allowed four runs on seven hits in 5 1/3.

“I made a couple of mistakes that cost us the game,” Harvey said. “Other than that, I pitched pretty well. I’m happy with it. I’m happy with the stuff that I had.”

Marcos Diplan pitched two innings, allowing a walk. Since joining the Orioles, Diplan has allowed an unearned run on two hits in 11 innings.

After Trey Mancini’s sixth-inning single, the Orioles made eight consecutive outs against Richard Rodriguez, Tyler Matzek and Luke Jackson before Mancini singled with two outs in the eighth. Austin Hays singled Mancini to third, and Pedro Severino struck out to end the eighth.

Atlanta took a two-run lead in the ninth on Stephen Vogt’s single against Sulser. Ozzie Albies doubled on the last pitch of an 11-pitch at-bat. Vogt scored on Jorge Soler’s sacrifice fly.

“When you’re in a streak of bad games like we are, everything intensifies,” Harvey said. “I think we played really good tonight. They just happened to beat us … We’ll come out of it. Hopefully, it’s tomorrow.”

Notes: John Means (5-5, 3.44 ERA) will face Touki Touissant (2-2, 4.01) in the final game of the series on Sunday. … The Orioles have hit back-to-back home runs seven times this season. … Santander’s two home runs were the first he hit right-handed in 2021. His first 10 home runs of the season came batting left-handed. … Santander’s first home run snapped an 0-for-17 streak. … The Orioles’ 17 straight losses equal Arizona’s June losing streak. It’s the longest streak by an American League team since the 2011 Seattle Mariners.

Minor league update: Double-A Bowie outfielders Johnny Rizer, Kyle Stowers and Toby Welk each homered as the Baysox defeated Reading, 5-1, in the first game of a doubleheader.

Gray Fenter, Steven Klimek (4-4) and Morgan McSweeney held Reading to three hits.

David Lebron (5-0) pitched four hitless innings in relief as Bowie swept the doubleheader with a 4-1 win the second game.

Zac Lowther allowed five runs, three unearned, on two hits in 2 2/3 innings in a rehab start in High-A Aberdeen’s 7-5 loss to Wilmington. He struck out five and walked one.

Second baseman Terrin Vavra continued his rehab assignment with a three-hit game.

Colton Cowser, the Orioles’ top pick in the draft  last month, drove in the winning run with a 10th-inning single as Low-A Delmarva beat Fredericksburg, 5-4.

Connor Norby, the Orioles second-round draft pick, had two hits and two RBIs.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB




  1. Bhoffman1

    August 22, 2021 at 8:06 am

    Almost 16,000 showed up. Do you they sell crab cakes at the stadium. I will take a trip and catch a game then.

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 22, 2021 at 8:41 am

      Yes, they do sell crab cakes, Bruce, and make sure to introduce yourself.

  2. Bhoffman1

    August 22, 2021 at 8:08 am

    Any chance Adley gets called up in September. He’s already the best player in Triple A

  3. EkimC

    August 22, 2021 at 8:28 am

    Rich… any chance you could open each post with the Minor League Update so we could be greeted with positive news instead of the “same ole, same ole” bad news? … just saying…

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 22, 2021 at 8:43 am

      How about if the minor league teams each lose?

    • CalsPals

      August 22, 2021 at 8:51 am

      Won’t be 17 times in a row:)…go O’s…

  4. jimcarter

    August 22, 2021 at 8:30 am

    Close only counts in dancing, horseshoes and hand grenades.

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 22, 2021 at 8:41 am


      • RoenStein

        August 22, 2021 at 9:09 am

        Incorrect? Please elaborate.

        Has anyone else noticed that the Orioles official twitter feed does not mention the outcome/score when the Orioles lose? How bizarre is that?

    • CalsPals

      August 22, 2021 at 9:30 am

      Maybe he doesn’t dance…lol…go O’s…

      • RoenStein

        August 22, 2021 at 9:57 am

        Historically bad losing streaks, almost 50 games under .500 in August yet still, no criticism from the local media. All drinking the Kool Aid and trusting “The Plan.” I think Boog RR’s comment yesterday was spot on – the locals are afraid to tell it like it is for fear of being cancelled. At least some in the national media like Buster Olney are calling out the organization for intentionally tanking. This is bad for baseball.

        Perhaps the Orioles can petition Rob Manfred’s office to add another column to the standings – W, L and CG (close games). MLB is so “Woke” they’ll probably go for it.

        Has anyone heard Elias, Hyde or the Angelos family use words like “Embarrassing” or “Unacceptable” to sum up the performance on the field at CAMDEN YARDS? Once losing becomes acceptable, it’s awfully hard to change the culture of an organization.

        • OhMy!

          August 22, 2021 at 10:13 am

          Houston / Baltimore

          2010: 76-86 2017: 75-87
          2011: 56-106 2018: 47-115
          2012: 55-107 2019: 54-108
          2013: 51-111 (0.315) 2020: 25-35 (0.417)
          2014: 70-92 (0.437) 2021: 38-84 (0.311)

          Comparable rebuilds. Houston since 2015 – made the playoffs 5 out of 6 years and are in first place so far in 2021. Huh? Who was Elias with before he came to Baltimore? Everyone have a Snickers and enjoy a top three selection in the 2022 draft!

          • Old Orioles Fan

            August 22, 2021 at 11:19 am

            Keep polishing that turd! If you keep it up, it will magically transform into a World Series trophy!

          • Boog Robinson Robinson

            August 22, 2021 at 2:40 pm

            And they cheat. No problem unless you get caught, ‘eh Pajama Boy? Like I’ve said before, it’s a matter of scruples and character.

            Some people have them, some people don’t care to.

          • willmiranda

            August 22, 2021 at 4:37 pm

            To play along with your fanciful analogy, do you really believe the 0’s will win 32 more games this year?
            Or, how far below .437 do you consider a valid equality? I don’t believe .311 is.

        • jimcarter

          August 22, 2021 at 2:53 pm

          I’m going to get August high temperatures in the 70s before the Baltimore media hurls criticism toward the Orioles.

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 22, 2021 at 9:34 am

      If you lose many lopsided games, which they did, you blow out your bullpen because the starter was gone so quickly. Bad bullpen performances mean more roster churn.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      August 22, 2021 at 9:49 am

      You forgot nuclear warfare.

      • RoenStein

        August 22, 2021 at 10:00 am

        They’re still looking for the WMD’s at Camden Yards:

        Wins Mike Despises

    • CalsPals

      August 22, 2021 at 10:30 am

      I don’t care what Houston has done or is doing, ultimately Mikey didn’t decide anything for them, for all we know he didn’t help them much at all, or did everything, don’t care, just care what the O’s are doing, or not doing…losing sucks, it’s embarrassing even if they’re not saying it…go O’s…

      • OhMy!

        August 22, 2021 at 10:57 am

        “ultimately Mikey didn’t decide anything for them” lol but good rant/post CP with two “don’t cares” very nice – when you write “don’t care” that does a nice job of summing up your thought process IMO, keep up the good work!

  5. OhMy!

    August 22, 2021 at 10:03 am

    Today’s the day! Means, Ellis, and T. Wells combine for a four-hit shut out. Wynns with multiple hits. O’s will go 0.500 the rest of the season and Elias will rotate players from Norfolk throughout September so as to get a decent assessment of them before the off-season. Then he will make wise decisions regarding the 40 man roster, protecting all valuable prospects from the Rule 5 draft. After acquiring two decent FA starting pitchers, one very good FA reliever, a FA veteran club house leader back up catcher, and a particularly interesting utility player via the Rule 5 draft, Hyde will lead the O’s to challenge early in 2022 for a playoff spot before falling to 82-80 due to a September slump. There will be no strike, Roenstein will love the O’s restaurant again, and CP will post 100% positive posts closing all with a smiley face icon! 2022 will be a wonderful year, hold on tight!

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      August 22, 2021 at 1:46 pm

      A club house leader backup catcher? Why not make Hyde a player/manager? You know … kill two birds and all? Plus just imagine the thousands of dollars you’d save! More $$ than firing your pitching coach!

      I think you’re onto something Pajama Boy.

  6. BenSch

    August 22, 2021 at 10:59 am

    @OhMy!, thanks for the comparison to the Steps rebuild. That’s helpful. Losing sucks. Humiliating! But let’s exercise our “planning for the future” muscles, kids. Rome wasn’t built on a day.

  7. BenSch

    August 22, 2021 at 11:00 am


    • CalsPals

      August 22, 2021 at 11:07 am

      You misspelled it, it’s Stroh’s, we will continue to need many during this rebuild…go O’s…

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        August 22, 2021 at 1:48 pm

        You give away your Ohio roots with that one. Stay thirsty my friend.

        Drink Strohs!

    • CalsPals

      August 22, 2021 at 1:58 pm

      :)…go O’s…

  8. 33d St

    August 22, 2021 at 11:12 am

    Norfolk is 39-54, second to last in its division. Given how many current and former O’s are playing or have played for Norfolk this year, it doesn’t look like much help is on the way any time soon.

    Still think back to how they touted this great “analytics department” was going to improve us at the big league level. They were going to see video and learn “launch angles” and “spin rates” like all the other teams. Our pencil-neck shortstops were suddenly gonna hit 30 homers. In 3 years who has improved? Mullins and Means. That’s it. Everybody else is still right where they always were.

    Any idiot can lose games and compile high draft picks. Outside of drafting finished products like AR, is there any sign at all this management group is adding value to what we have? Making guys better?

  9. dlgruber1

    August 22, 2021 at 11:21 am

    Roenstein, I really loved you’re restaurant analogy the other day, but I gotta say, as one who has reached the point of total apathy regarding the O’s right now, I don’t need a delicious dinner, I’d settle right now for just a happy meal.

    • RoenStein

      August 22, 2021 at 11:54 am

      Thanks, dlgruber1. Like you, I’d settle for anything remotely edible right now. The effort of this organization right now is impossible to swallow.

      Although I saw a lot of great Orioles baseball in the 70’s up through the ’83 championship, the 85-89 teams were among my favorites. I could finally drive to the ballpark and drink (legally) some beer. These teams weren’t the O’s of old, but at least I knew the old, surly short order cooks (Weaver, Ripken Sr. & Robinson) weren’t going to intentionally screw up my order and that bacon and eggs (Murray & Rip Jr.) would be on the menu.

  10. Orial

    August 22, 2021 at 11:23 am

    4 “solo’ HRs. Only the Orioles could turn a HR into a weakness. Starting to get a warm and fuzzy feeling, after listening to Elias and Palmer reiterate, that maybe just maybe the O’s will spend a little on Free Agency this winter. O’s hitters seem to step in the box with the attitude that they just want to get this AB overwith–swing away. I’m sure that’s probably a result of a lost,depressing season but hopefully not habit forming. Inject some new blood in 2022,work against that growing “culture of losing”. Curious to see how Ellis does after being somewhat decent with Tampa. Then maybe again I may not wanna know.

  11. Bman

    August 22, 2021 at 11:31 am

    I still believe in what Elias is doing. The organization is well positioned to make a jump in the next year or two. Lots of talent coming through the minors. Patience.

    • RoenStein

      August 22, 2021 at 11:42 am

      Before listing your house, you look at “comps” in the area. A real estate appraisal is based upon several “comps” – not just the most expensive house sold in your part of town. Of course, the condition also plays a part in the appraisal and how much your house will bring.

      When it comes to rebuilding the Orioles, why is the strategy and the results of the Astros the only comparison, the only thing that matters? I get that Elias came from there so let’s take a look at his body of work. That organization (Houston) credits Elias as being the “driving force” behind drafting/signing Carlos Correa. Nice job, Mike. What about the other core players during this era of “Tank To The Top?” Was Elias the “driving force” behind finding/drafting the likes of Alex Bregman and George Springer? Jose Altuve was a walk on in 2007 – long before Elias was with the organization.

      When looking at the roster from the 2017 WS Champs, I see names like McCann, Reddick, Beltran, Morton and Verlander. What does that indicate? That veteran presence (via trades and FA signings) and a willing ownership (i.e. spend money) are important to winning championships. Was Elias behind the astute decisions to make said trades and signings? If it were really as simple as tanking for a few years and stocking up on high draft picks, where are the other examples?

      I’m open to hearing about how Elias was critical to turning around the Astros but I need specific examples and facts. I need more than Carlos Correa or that he was named the Assistant General Manager in August of 2016. If you have to do some research – like I did – perhaps you might want to read up on Jeff Luhnow and his questionable ethics and the toxic environment he created in the Astros front office. Sounds like he was really good at taking credit for positive results and even better at shifting the blame when things didn’t go well. Sound familiar?

      Time will tell and I hope I’m wrong, but I think Elias is in way over his head.

      • Rich Dubroff

        August 22, 2021 at 1:39 pm

        It’s been nice to read a new commenter’s opinions. I’m intrigued by your blanket criticism of the local media. When have I guaranteed or predicted that the Orioles would be measurably better? As for comparisons, I’ve used Tampa Bay, Oakland and Cleveland, not Houston. Thank you for sharing your thoughts here.

        • RoenStein

          August 22, 2021 at 2:57 pm

          Hi Rich,

          In the spirit of full disclosure, I’m new to the site and not familiar with your rebuild comparisons. Apologies if you feel I’ve unfairly painted you with the same brush when it comes to the local media giving the organization a pass for the current state of affairs.

          I do stand by my observation that the press in Baltimore are failing to ask the hard questions. Such as why are the GM and manager seemingly okay with losing this bad at the major league level? Why aren’t local writers pointing out that losing this bad is embarrassing and unacceptable? I doubt old school reporters like Tim Kurkijan (ex-Baltimore Sun) or Thomas Boswell (WaPo) would have had effusive comments regarding the “rebuild.” Pretty sure Boswell would have excoriated Elias and ownership for the results at the big league level. And speaking of ownership, why no interviews with the Angelos brothers? Regardless of recently being ranked #2 for MLB farm systems, they can’t be happy with the performance on the field or at the gate.

          Many posters on this site (and others) can only point to Houston when the performance of Mike Elias is called into question. But where are the questions about how much Elias really had to do with the turnaround in Houston? As Phil770 pointed out in his intelligent comments today, Elias is doing a good job of rebuilding the farm system. But a good GM would never risk permanently damaging the core product – which is the major league club – to do so.

          The Baltimore Sun recently published an article on how the pandemic and low attendance have slashed the Orioles’ rent payments to the Maryland Stadium Authority. I would argue that the Orioles performance on field has far more to do with the drop in attendance than COVID-19. And as Phil770 points out, the arrogance of Elias and is “results don’t matter for now” attitude has turned off many fans (including this one). 3 million streaming through the gates at Camden Yards once they’re winning again? I’m not so sure about that.

          • Rich Dubroff

            August 22, 2021 at 5:26 pm

            It’s nice to have a new voice around here, especially one who’s so passionate and informed. It would be unprofessional of me to write about my friends and colleagues in the Baltimore press, but we have asked these questions. We would love to interview the Angelos brothers. However, they’ve decided Mike Elias will speak for them.

            Shortly before his retirement, Boswell, who’s been an infrequent visitor in recent years here, did write a column critical of the team.

            I’ve written extensively about comparisons. Early in Elias’ tenure, I wrote about his Houston experience, but I believe the Tampa Bay, Oakland and Cleveland models are more apt comparisons, as I’ve written earlier this season.

            In sports, many teams hire managers, coaches and general managers who haven’t been in that position before because they’ve worked for top flight organizations. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Look at the New England Patriots. Many assistant coaches who’ve worked for Bill Belichick haven’t managed winning records elsewhere.

            I’ve also written a lot about attendance, and the reasons for the decline. Of course, losing is most of it, but in fairness, early in the season when crowd sizes were restricted, the Orioles lost out because 14 dates against the Yankees and Red Sox, including Opening Day, came then. It’s no surprise given five years of losing and some people still being reluctant to go to games because of the pandemic, that attendance is down.

            Because of the Nationals, I think the days of 3 million fans here may be over, but with the Nats possibly entering their own rebuild, the Orioles have a chance to regain some fans with better teams. In the 2012-16 period, attendance peaked at just under 2.5 million. That’s more realistic as a goal.

            I don’t know whether the Orioles will be competitive in a year or two. I leave that to the readers. I just try to pass along information that I feel is useful.

            Welcome to our site. I hope you will read and comment regularly.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      August 22, 2021 at 1:51 pm

      They were positioned to jump into THIS year. Tank Elias pulled hard on the reigns to make sure it didn’t happen.

  12. Phil770

    August 22, 2021 at 12:46 pm

    Good points, RoenStein. “Success has a thousand fathers, failure is an orphan.” I think Elias has done well in executing the strategy to build a talent pipeline – time will tell whether that execution will continue. In seeking to establish player development, coaches were added to every minor league affiliate, far more than in the past, technology was also added (equipment, how to use, etc.), along with a commitment to analytics. The Astros and Rays each used a similar approach. Was Altude just a late bloomer or did the coaching, analytics and other tools bring out the best of his talent? Means and perhaps Mullins are likely examples of technology and coaching (IMHO). Developing a minor league system/pipeline plays to Elias’ strength and experience. Where he has failed is at the major league level, not recognizing that Baltimore and its baseball fans are very different customers than Houston or Tampa Bay, which each lack the emotional connection to the community or rich tradition that is Baltimore for the Orioles. The disrespect of the Orioles’ fans and failure to recognize the importance of fielding a competitive MLB team is arrogant, lacking humility and supports Elias being over his head as a GM. Every strategy needs to be open to adjustment, particularly for changing market conditions (in this case the Pandemic qualifies). Instead on signing veterans to a 1-year, make good contract, and if they are good trade them for some lottery tickets, it would have been better to sign solid MLB players to 2- and 3-year contracts to provide a more realistic bridge from the past to the future. Would have been more expensive money-wise in the short term, but would make the strategy more credible. Certainly for the IF, this still needs to be done. The Oriole way was pitching AND defense. 3B, 2B, SS are lacking. A culture of losing, bred out of a management philosophy to focus on development over trying to win, is not something that is easily remedied. That is on Elias and Hyde. I am reminded of the saying the a club is never as good as it looks when it’s winning or as bad as it looks when it is losing…. I sure hope so.

    • jimcarter

      August 22, 2021 at 4:36 pm

      Elias has succeeded in getting people to overuse the word “pipeline”.

    • CalsPals

      August 22, 2021 at 4:45 pm

      Very well said Phil, double thumbs up…go O’s…

    • WorldlyView

      August 22, 2021 at 5:10 pm

      IMHO, the O’s ARE as bad as they look. Third rate pitching and second rate hitting isn’t a recipe for respectable baseball.

  13. dlgruber1

    August 22, 2021 at 4:53 pm

    Nothing to do with the O’s, just a hearty congratulations to Miggy for reaching the 500 club! Although I’m of course a lifelong loyal O’s fan I’ve certainly become a fan of many opponents thru the years and Miggy is near the top of the list. Next stop, Cooperstown for him.

    • CalsPals

      August 22, 2021 at 9:12 pm

      Not to shabby for a singles hitter…;)…go O’s…

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