Arozarena's 2-run homer leads Rays past Orioles; Means pitches well; Minor league update - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Arozarena’s 2-run homer leads Rays past Orioles; Means pitches well; Minor league update

Photo credit; Mitch Stringer-USA Today Sports

BALTIMORE—The Orioles had beaten the Tampa Bay Rays just once in 17 games this season, and going into the eighth inning, the Orioles had a one-run lead.

John Means, who has won just once since throwing a no-hitter on May 5th, pitched six scoreless innings and allowed two runs in the seventh.

Cole Sulser began the eighth for the Orioles and allowed a two-run home run to Randy Arozarena, who has battered their pitching all season long, and the Rays had a 4-3 win before an announced crowd of 11,110 at Camden Yards on Saturday night.

Arozarena is batting .429 against the Orioles this season and has eight home runs and 18 RBIs.

“We just don’t pitch well against him,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “His numbers against everybody else aren’t what they are against us. He’s hurt us, and he hurt us again tonight.”

The Orioles (40-88) have lost 17 of 18 to the Rays (81-48), who lead the American League East by five games over the New York Yankees.

Sulser (3-3) walked Kevin Kiermaier, his first batter in the eighth. On a 2-1 count, Arozarena hit his 17th home run to give the Rays a 4-3 lead.

“I felt like I made a pretty good pitch to him,” Sulser said. “The problem is I fell behind in the count, which definitely gives the hitter more control. He can be more selective, more aggressive on the pitch. It’s my fault for falling behind. He put a good swing on, I think, a well-located pitch, but I can’t fall behind in the count like that.”

After ending their 19-game losing streak, the Orioles beat the Los Angeles Angels twice, but have lost twice to the Rays.

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“No matter what, no matter how many close games you’re in or not, you want to win every one of them,” Sulser said. “To go out there and not feel like I did my job when the rest of the team did a really good job today is disappointing for sure.”

The Rays’ J.T. Chargois (4-0) and Andrew Kittredge combined for three perfect innings. Kittredge recorded his fourth save.

“We’re mainly right-handed, and these guys are really good against right-handed hitters,” Hyde said. “We don’t have a ton of balance and we’re easy to match up against.”

Oriole catcher Pedro Severino led off the fifth with a double. With one out, Jorge Mateo struck out. Kelvin Gutiérrez walked against Michael Wacha, who was replaced by Adam Conley, who hit his first batter, Cedric Mullins, to load the bases.

Ryan Mountcastle hit a long fly to left, and Severino scored.

Austin Hays tripled with one out in the sixth. Ramón Urías walked. Severino hit a double to score Hays, and Mateo blooped a single to center to score Urías to give the Orioles a 3-0 lead.

With one out in the seventh, Wandy Diaz singled and, after Brandon Lowe doubled, Dillon Tate relieved him and allowed both to score. Austin Meadows grounded to second to scoredDiaz, and Joey Wendle doubled to drive in Lowe, reducing the Orioles’ lead to 3-2 and set up the Rays’ comeback win.

Means allowed two runs on five hits in 6 1/3 innings, striking out five.

“That seventh inning, I’ve got to be able to shut the door, especially after scoring two runs in the bottom of the sixth. That shutdown inning is so important, and I just couldn’t get the job done,” Means said. “That last part left a sour taste in my mouth.”

In Means’ previous start, he allowed three runs on four hits in six innings against Atlanta in a 3-1 loss on August 23rd.

“I felt a little bit more relaxed tonight,” Means said. “I was putting unneeded pressure on myself. I was just trying to have fun, relax and just play the game. It seemed to help me.”

Means knows how difficult Tampa Bay is to play against.

“They know how to put their guys in positions to succeed,” he said. They just know how to win.

“They seem to string hits together and string scoreless innings together…It seems like they’re having a lot of fun out there, and that’s the thing I think we can definitely use.”

Notes: Spenser Watkins (2-6, 7.07 ERA) will face Chris Archer (0-1, 4.26) on Sunday afternoon at 1:05. … The Orioles have lost eight straight games to Tampa Bay at Oriole Park, the longest single-season losing streak to an opponent in ballpark history.

Minor league update: Triple-A Norfolk managed just two hits in a 1-0 loss to the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp. Nick Vespi (1-2) allowed a seventh-inning home run to Lewin Diaz. Alexander Wells started and was removed after two scoreless innings and 26 pitches.

Grayson Rodriguez allowed two runs on three hits in five innings, striking out nine and walking two in Erie’s 6-5 win over Double-A Bowie in 10 innings. Leftfielder Johnny Rizer hit a grand slam, his 10th home run. Second baseman Terrin Vavra had two hits and an RBI.

Connor Loeprich (0-4) allowed two runs on three hits in five innings in High-Aberdeen’s 4-1 loss to Brooklyn. Loeprich walked four and struck out four.

Low-A Delmarva scored four runs in the 10th inning to beat Salem, 7-3.  Shortstop Darell Hernaiz, rightfielder Billy Cook and catcher Ryne Ogren each had three hits and drove in two runs. Cook hit his first home run. Jean Pinto started and allowed two runs on one hit in five innings, walking three and striking out six.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

36 Comments

36 Comments

  1. Bhoffman1

    August 29, 2021 at 7:41 am

    Well will Baltimore be the next Tampa Bay . 2022, 2023 ? Ever

    • Arkyoriole

      August 29, 2021 at 7:49 am

      I wouldn’t hold my breath.

    • Baltimore Castaway

      August 29, 2021 at 9:57 am

      That is a great question. Elias and Company definitely have the smarts and stones to run the Orioles in a similar fashion. The real question is do the Brothers have the stones to let him run the team in a similar fashion..

      It takes a completely different mindset to run a team in their fashion. Rays fans have to endure the shorter shelf-life of their young Stars and quickly welcome new even younger players who also perform at a high level.

      • He Hate Me

        August 29, 2021 at 10:34 am

        BC … funny … and respectfully … but I wouldn’t connect “having stones” to Mike Elias’ methods.

        If in 3 years from now you’re claiming that Elias runs the team in similar fashion to Tampa … well I may have to disagree with that point as well. I can’t ever remember Tampa having sold their fans out to get to the point they are now.

        • Baltimore Castaway

          August 29, 2021 at 10:59 am

          Certainly not looking to argue these points HHM….but it takes stones to trade away guys like Shields, Garza, Longoria, Zobrist, Snell, Price, Archer, and many others… These were/are players who were at the top of their games, most at the height of their careers. The Rays own the best record in the AL. They come to play every night. I would gladly trade their approach to the way this team has been run in a middling fashion over the last 20 years.

          This would be very hard to do in Baltimore since we all “love our guys” even though they are not too good at making the team a whole lot better..

          Mr Angelos never would have allowed trading #13 two years earlier to get a truck load of future talent.. not the lesser lights that they ultimately received.

          And as for Elias—he has shown a great deal of courage even taking this job–we should not lose sight of this. We are lucky to have him. His Drafting acumen alone, in addition to setting up a consistent Minor League Player Development analytics system is way better than what we’ve had for years..

          • He Hate Me

            August 29, 2021 at 12:21 pm

            Courage taking the job”. Other than well established GM types such as a Maddon or Larussa… who wouldn’t take the job? Hell, I would … Hah!

            I agree with your entire 1st paragraph 100%. It does take stones to trade players while they’re still productive and under control. It also takes stones to bring them up to the big club at the younger ages that Tampa does. Elias certainly hasn’t done the latter, so what makes you think he’ll trade his future Longorias and Zobrists so readily? That’s a large leap of faith you’re placing with Elias with that one.

            “Drafting acumen” you say? Sure he’s appears to have been solid so far, but let’s admit that it’s more than a little easier when you’re drafting at the top of each round. The price of which has been a 3 year sell out of the fans, withn quite possibly, a 4th looming.

            Normally BC, I find you comments more than well thought out, but this time I feel you’re giving Elias a lot of credit well before it’s due. I’m not saying it won’t come due, and believe me I’m rooting for him, but a lot remains to be seen.

            Respectfully

          • OriolesNumber1Fan

            August 29, 2021 at 2:58 pm

            BC – You certainly make great points! I believe that Mike Elias certainly and definitely has the stones and the smarts to run the Orioles the way he want to. I think the brothers Angelos will let him continue to run this organization just like he has been! He promised a continuous pipeline of talent in the farm system to compete against other teams in their division that can certainly outspend anyone and he has certainly made great strides in doing just that! But like he also stated after hearing the Orioles have the number 1 farm system, there’s still a lot more work to be done and he will continue to do the same!
            And remember most GM’s that take over come in and have the luxury of trading away players for guys that they like. Mike didn’t have this luxury! He came in with the farm system floundering in the high 20’s (I believe 27 or 28 out of 30) as far as the ranking goes and the previous regime was the one who traded away all those really good/great players before he even arrived. He also had just 5 rounds of draft picks in the 2020 First Year Player Draft. So with just two plus drafts and starting a new overseas hires and signings, and new analysis department, he certainly was behind the eight ball! But with just 2 plus years of games so far with 2020 only having 60 games, man this team has come a long way.
            Now as far as the Angelos brothers are concerned, I believe when Mike Elias makes them winners again, his $$$/budget for payroll allowed will go way up again just like it did for Dan Duquette, topping out at $172mm. Of course this won’t happen overnight but over the course of time. Now like any fan, the brothers may or may not mention in passing certain players they might like to keep, that they have seen play well, maybe like the next Machado, but Mike will discuss with them that they are not interested in signing/staying so the brothers will give their blessing for Mike to do whatever makes the Orioles better.
            Their dad was always concerned with trying to keep popular and good/great players because the the fan base and season ticket holders. And we certainly know now how the fan base turned on him and blame him for interfering on everything now. Their dad certainly never liked cutting payroll/trading away good/great players at the trading deadline either when the team didn’t perform well and struggled. And again he was always concerned because of the season ticket holders and always said as much!!! And again how the fans turned on him now and blame him for everything. So I think the sons learned from that and will stay out of the way and just give Mike Elias a certain budget for payroll. And it will be up to Mike Elias to fit in the players he likes to stay within the budget. Although I imagine there will be some flexibility pertaining to the budget numbers within reason.

          • Boog Robinson Robinson

            August 30, 2021 at 1:47 am

            Onsey … Ya just can’t stay away from me can you? You really are obsessed aren’t you? It’s like you’re one of my old girl friends that I dumped long ago! Please I’m begging you, stay away. Rich says I’m not allowed to repond to you any more. And before you say it … don’t give me this “I’m responding to BC, not you” crap.

    • cedar

      August 29, 2021 at 12:30 pm

      I would argue, respectfully, that Tampa has never really sold out its fans because they have a history of not drawing people to their games. Even this year the Orioles are outdrawing the Rays.

    • CalsPals

      August 29, 2021 at 3:02 pm

      Well said Boog…go O’s…

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        August 29, 2021 at 5:19 pm

        That wasn’t me. That was He Hate Me.

    • CalsPals

      August 29, 2021 at 6:20 pm

      Gotcha…I’m easily confused…;)…go O’s…

    • CalsPals

      August 30, 2021 at 7:03 am

      Obsession…:)…go O’s…

  2. 33d St

    August 29, 2021 at 8:43 am

    Hmmm… same guy keeps hitting us? Well I think we have to look back at recent history like Mookie Betts, Gleyber Torres, etc. What worked for us with those guys? You got it – keep doing the same exact thing over and over and over again and hope you get different results. Proven success formula. You know what to do Hyder- keep pitching him exactly the same way every time — it’s bound to work eventually!

    • OhMy!

      August 29, 2021 at 9:16 am

      Okay 33d St, how have the O’s been pitching Arozarenas? You should know as they are pitching to him exactly the same way over and over and over again according to you. I looked at Arozarenas 4 ABs last night and there seemed to be some variety in pitch type and location to my untrained eyes, but maybe you can explain the pattern in more detail.

    • Icterus fan

      August 29, 2021 at 9:34 am

      Maybe he’s related to Randal Grichuk.

      • Buzz1979

        August 29, 2021 at 11:48 am

        Intentional walk every time. Hyde has not learned anything by repeatedly pitching to guys like Torres and Grichuk? Get a clue, it’s not that difficult!

  3. EkimC

    August 29, 2021 at 8:45 am

    Rich… Any idea why Wells was removed after just two innings?

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 29, 2021 at 8:59 am

      No.

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 29, 2021 at 12:15 pm

      Ekim, there is nothing wrong with Wells. orioles wanted him available for the upcoming road trip.

    • EkimC

      August 29, 2021 at 2:08 pm

      Thanks, Rich. As you might guess I’m a big fan of his and hope to see him succeed.

  4. NormOs

    August 29, 2021 at 9:46 am

    Hyde is guilty of two things::overmanaging and mismanaging of which he does both consistantly. He has NO bullpen yet he takes out his best pitcher who has shutout the Rays for 6.1 innings. Instead of letting his best pitcher in to try and get out of the inning, Genius2 goes to a bullpen that doesn’t exist and the results are what they normally are when this BP is in to pitch. Elias (Genius1) can talk all he wants about his imaginery “Rebuild” but without a top flight pen, there is nothing. Who knew the inevitable? OK let’s have a show of hands..

    • jimcarter

      August 29, 2021 at 10:50 am

      It’s 2021. Starting pitchers RARELY go past 100 pitches. Since Means was recently shelved and the Orioles are only contending for the #1 draft pick, pushing him would be foolish. Hyde IS guilty of overusing Mancini. He’s playing far more than players on contenders who aren’t cancer survivors. The reason he’s doing it is obvious–avoiding the worst record in the modern era.

      • He Hate Me

        August 29, 2021 at 12:25 pm

        “contending for the #1 draft pick” ….do you know what we call that around here?

    • Orial

      August 29, 2021 at 10:54 am

      Love it–Hyde either over manages or mismanages. Other than that he’s ok.

      • He Hate Me

        August 29, 2021 at 12:26 pm

        Managing this club is a no-win situation…literally. I know I’ve been critical of him a time or 2 in the past, but could any of us have done better?

        Hyde deserves the job at least one more year.

  5. dlgruber1

    August 29, 2021 at 10:43 am

    This has nothing g to do with the O’s but I just wanna relay my experience of staying in Baltimore this weekend. We stayed at Hampton Inn on Redwood St., centrally located to OPACY and Inner Harbor. Wife and daughter went to an all day concert near Harbor while I went to PGA tour event.
    After getting back to hotel I decided to walk and meet them after the concert. Hotel was a block from Light St. Light St. had all kinds of eateries and was really hopping with business at about 9 pm. I had pizza at a place actually called Tiny Brick Oven Pizza, very aptly named but also very good. If you go there you gotta try and probably buy the gelato. I never felt unsafe at any point in the walk which just about a mile. Now I’m not naive, I’m sure there are parts of Baltimore that are unsavory, but you’ll find that in any big city, certainly no reason not to go to a game.

  6. Balt mp

    August 29, 2021 at 11:02 am

    Last nights game just typifies what’s wrong here . Means leaves and Tate gives up the additional run , you hate to see it but if you trade 2 outs for a run you can live with it .

    Sulser comes in and throws 3 straight balls not even close to the zone walks the guy and boom we lose . I’m sorry if anybody gets their feelings hurt but that can not ever happen winners don’t do that simple as that . If your going to win you have to have guys back there who throw strikes same for Tanner Scott . By the way has anybody figured out why he has dropped his fastball ?

    • dlgruber1

      August 29, 2021 at 11:11 am

      Balt mp, I think it’s just that he’s lost command of it. I have no idea what else it could be. But it’s a very good question. One would assume it was his fastball that got him to professional baseball and the slider that got him to the bigs. But we all know what they say about assume, so who really knows.

  7. Orial

    August 29, 2021 at 11:13 am

    Until the O’s gain respectability and have pitchers who can throw the ball where they want to they will be owned by certain hitters. Ironically Mountcastle may lose the ROY Award to Arozarena simply by stats accumulated against his very own team. Now that’s a low blow. Interesting comment from Hyde referring to how his right handed hitters struggle against right handed pitching(always thought it was more of a lefty/lefty thing). 2 hitters Hays/Mountcastle come to mind. Could explain why we see so much of Stewart. A successful,healthy,and I repeat successful,Hunter Harvey with his strikeout potential could really come in handy in some of these 7th inning situations where a K is all that is needed(sorry Tate you look promising but that spot hasn’t suited you well). Chris Archer today? A blast from the past. His opponent?–Lord have mercy it’s Mr. Watkins.

  8. CalsPals

    August 29, 2021 at 11:24 am

    Tate let’s way too many inherited runners score, doesn’t hurt his era, but has to make whomever he is replacing cringe when he comes in…go O’s…

  9. Buzz1979

    August 29, 2021 at 1:34 pm

    Still pitching to the guy, look what happens? Hyde needs to go!

  10. Buzz1979

    August 29, 2021 at 3:18 pm

    What happened to the folks comparing Watkins to Boddicker?!?! LOL!

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      August 29, 2021 at 4:40 pm

      I remember comparing him to Greg Maddux.

  11. Massmonster

    August 29, 2021 at 3:24 pm

    can there be any worse relief pitcher than Paul Fry please DFA him

  12. Buzz1979

    August 29, 2021 at 4:06 pm

    Fried! Whipped, tied, fried died and tossed to the side! Thanks for not trading him…”D’OH!”

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