BALTIMORE—Oriole starter Keegan Akin had pitched six hitless innings against the Toronto Blue Jays. There were no hard-hit balls, no great plays, and because the game was scheduled for seven innings, it wouldn’t have qualified as a no-hitter.
Akin’s performance for the first six innings against the hard-hitting Blue Jays had been impressive, but in the seventh inning, Toronto came alive with an 11-run inning and completed a sweep of its doubleheader against the Orioles with an 11-2 win before an announced crowd of 10,219 at Camden Yards on Saturday night.
A four-run rally capped by George Springer’s two-run home run in the seventh inning in the first game enabled the Blue Jays to beat the Orioles, 11-10. They are the first team in Major League Baseball history to hit a go-ahead home run while trailing in the final scheduled inning of both games of a doubleheader, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
In the nightcap, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. began the seventh with a line-drive single to right. Before the inning would end, the Blue Jays would add 10 more hits, four of them home runs.
After Guerrero’s hit, Bo Bichette hammered a changeup by Akin for his 23rd home run to left, and suddenly the Orioles were trailing, 2-1. Teoscar Hernández singled against Akin (2-9), and Tanner Scott replaced him.
Alejandro Kirk smashed his eighth home run, and it was 4-1.
Lourdes Gurriel and Randal Grichuk singled, and Gurriel scored on a sacrifice fly by Breyvic Valera.
George Springer singled, and Marcus Semien hit a three-run home run, his 39th, for an 8-1 lead.
Scott was charged with six runs in 1/3rd of an inning, and every ball was hit hard.
Orioles manager Brandon Hyde brought in Manny Barreda, who allowed a three-run home run to Hernández, which traveled 445 feet, and it was an 11-run, 11-hit inning.
“Pretty disappointing way to end the ballgame,” Akin said in an understatement. “I’m really bummed … You don’t want to lose a ballgame like that at the end. We let it get away from us.”
The 11 runs in the seventh were the most allowed since the Orioles gave up 12 in the first inning on July 30, 2011 against the New York Yankees. The 11 hits were the most since the Orioles allowed 11 in the first game of a doubleheader against Detroit on September 20, 1983.
Springer walked to begin the game against Akin. He then retired 15 straight until Grichuk walked to start the sixth. Valera bunted, and Akin threw wide to first. Initially, Valera was ruled safe but was called out after a review.
Springer popped out to first baseman Trey Mancini in foul territory, and Semien popped out to second, ending the sixth.
“We had a no-hitter going into the seventh inning and an extremely short bullpen for Game 2,” Hyde said. “I was hoping Keegan could finish it.”
Cedric Mullins hit his 29th home run, leading off the third inning. He needs one home run and two stolen bases to become the first Oriole to hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases in a season.
The Orioles had a chance to add on when Mancini followed Mullins’ homer with a walk off Thomas Hatch. Anthony Santander doubled and, with runners on second and third, Austin Hays struck out looking, DJ Stewart fouled out, and Jorge Mateo grounded to shortstop.
“I thought Keegan Akin did a great job at changing speeds,” Hyde said. “I thought his fastball had really good life throughout his outing. I was really happy with how he threw, and we only scored one run. That makes it even more difficult in that situation. An opportunity to score a couple of more early didn’t … that would have made it easier on Keegan. A 1-0 game is tough going into the last inning when you have a no-hitter.”
Toronto’s Trevor Richards (7-2) pitched a scoreless sixth for the win.
Richie Martin doubled in the bottom of the seventh and scored when Mullins reached on a throwing error by Bichette.
The Orioles are 46-96 and the Blue Jays are 79-63.
Notes: After the game, the Orioles returned right-hander Dean Kremer to Norfolk and optioned Barreda to the Tides. Kremer was the 29th man for the doubleheader. … Zac Lowther (0-1, 6.91 ERA) will face Steven Matz (11-7, 3.70) on Sunday. … Austin Hays’ 17-game hitting streak ended.
Minor league update: Blaine Knight allowed four runs in 2 1/3 innings as Triple-A Norfolk lost the second game of its doubleheader to Durham, 6-1. The Tides won the first game, 3-1.
Knight (0-1) gave up five hits, struck out one and walked three. Rightfielder Kyle Stowers hit his first Triple-A home run.
Shortstop Jordan Westburg’s three-run, ninth-inning triple lifted Double-A Bowie past Harrisburg, 5-4. The Baysox were trailing 4-1 heading to the ninth. Third baseman Willy Yahn’s RBI single and Westburg’s triple turned the game around. Knuckleballer Mickey Jannis started and allowed four runs on seven hits in six innings.
Zach Peek allowed two runs on four hits in five innings as High-A Aberdeen lost to Wilmington, 3-2. Shortstop A.J. Graffanino hit a two-run home run, his first.
Designated hitter Colton Cowser had four hits and drove in four runs as Low-A Delmarva beat Fredericksburg, 9-7. Cowser, the Orioles’ first-round pick and fifth pick overall, is batting. 377.
Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB
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