Orioles get just 4 hits as Means struggles in 7-4 loss to Rangers - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles get just 4 hits as Means struggles in 7-4 loss to Rangers

Photo Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

BALTIMORE—For their final home Sunday afternoon game, the Orioles started John Means and, with Cedric Mullins resting a sore hamstring, they hoped for the best.

Means wasn’t sharp, needing 108 pitches, the second-most this season, to struggle through five innings,  He left trailing 3-2.

The Orioles’ offense wasn’t sharp, either, getting just four hits, nor was their bullpen or defense. The 7-4 loss to the Texas Rangers before an announced crowd of 13,495 at Oriole Park gave them a split of the four-game series with Texas (56-99).

Texas starter Dane Dunning allowed just one hit in 4 2/3 innings, a two-run home run by Anthony Santander in the fourth, and it tied the game at 2. Dunning walked five and hit a batter.

Nathaniel Lowe singled with one out in the fourth, and Andy Ibañez’s seventh home run gave Texas a 2-0 lead.

Leony Taveras singled to begin the fifth. With one out, Isiah Kiner-Falefa grounded to second. Pat Valaika flipped the ball to shortstop Richie Martin, who forgot to cover second, and both runners were safe. A double by Adolis Garcia scored Taveras, and Texas led, 3-2.

Means (6-8) struck out eight without walking a batter. It was the most strikeouts by an Oriole starter since Jorge López struck out eight on June 12th.

“It was not a very sharp outing,” Means said. “I wasn’t getting ahead. The changeup was good early, and then I lost it late, and I had to go with the curveball, which already sucked as it was. Just had to grind through that.”

Means will get a final start next weekend in Toronto. His season will be remembered mostly for his May 6th no-hitter. He has only two wins in 18 starts since then, but his 3.32 ERA is excellent.

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“I’m happy with most of it,” Means said of 2021. “Grinding my through some rough parts and also it clicked there for a while. It’s been tale of two changeups. I had the changeup for the first half and did well, then I lost the changeup. Once the pitch was on, and it was on today until it wasn’t, I was all right. That’s really what happened this season.”

Manager Brandon Hyde knows that as the changeup goes, so goes Means.

“Just a little bit inconsistent for him,” Hyde said. “The last couple of starts, he was getting better. I thought he showed some flashes of it today. Unfortunately, we didn’t score many runs for him, either, but I thought he really competed today.”

Texas added a run against Eric Hanhold in the seventh on a run-scoring single by Kiner-Falefa.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Orioles (50-106) had their best chance to remain competitive. Pedro Severino walked against Jharel Cotton (2-0). Valaika struck out. Kelvin Gutiérrez singled, and Mullins, whose hamstring has kept him from starting the last two games, pinch-hit for Martin.

Mullins’ dropped a short pop to right against Dennis Santana, which fell in front of Adolis Garcia, who threw to second to force Gutiérrez. Jahmai Jones ran for Mullis, and Ryan McKenna struck out to end the inning.

Texas added three runs in the eighth on a two-run triple by Willie Calhoun and an RBI double by Charlie Culberson for a 7-2 lead.

Severino hit a two-run home run in the ninth, his 11th, and after Kolby Allard walked Jones with two outs, Joe Barlow struck out McKenna for his ninth save.

Just as Texas manager Chris Woodward walked to the mound to change pitchers, many fans erupted with loud cheers, not for the Orioles, but for Justin Tucker’s record-setting 66-yard, game-winning field goal for the Ravens. Those who weren’t watching on their phones got to watch on the scoreboard a moment later.

Notes: Santander left the game after eight innings because of leg discomfort, according to Hyde. He jogged down to first base after making the final out of the eighth. Santander missed three games this past week because of soreness in his left hamstring. Santander’s home run was his 18th, and the 13th straight at home. … Severino’s home run was his first since August 26th. … Bruce Zimmermann (4-4, 4.83) is expected to be activated from the 60-day injured list to start on Tuesday against the Boston Red Sox. Chris Sale (5-0, 2.57) will start for the Red Sox. Zac Lowther (1-2, 7.66 ERA) will face Nathan Eovaldi (10-9, 3.88) onWednesday. Alexander Wells (1-3, 7.61) is scheduled to pitch for the Orioles on Thursday. Boston hasn’t named its pitcher.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

 

31 Comments

31 Comments

  1. Boog Robinson Robinson

    September 26, 2021 at 6:41 pm

    So Means wasn’t sharp. He wasn’t awful either. He’s a gamer. Otherwise ….

    Let’s Go Diamondbacks!

    (that IS how it works isn’t it? You know …. the process?)

    • HmmmImNotSoSureAboutThat

      September 26, 2021 at 8:15 pm

      Top 1 or 2 minor league system, so yup the process is working somewhat…hope for near 0.500 next season and then a playoff contender in 2023. 1st or 2nd pick next year won’t make much of a difference IMO

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        September 26, 2021 at 9:28 pm

        I was hoping for .500 this year. Don’t tell me it was out of reach. All they had to do was … well … reach.

    • Buzz1979

      September 26, 2021 at 8:30 pm

      You do know the Angelos clan is too cheap to draft the best overall player, don’t you?

      • AkronOhioOriole1

        September 26, 2021 at 9:33 pm

        I talked to the Dalai Lama and Santa today, and they both promised me that our under slotting GM will take Elijah Green with the first pick………..so we have that going for us.

  2. dlgruber1

    September 26, 2021 at 6:52 pm

    Other than their starting pitcher, the offense, defense and the bullpen struggling, they pkayed a fine game.

    • CalsPals

      September 27, 2021 at 6:55 am

      LMAO, well said DL…go O’s…

  3. dlgruber1

    September 26, 2021 at 6:59 pm

    I’ll be upset if Mullins hit that was turned into a fielders choice ends upbringings then difference for him hitting belie .300. His sustained excellence all season has been amazing.

    • Icterus fan

      September 26, 2021 at 7:38 pm

      Agreed. Team player on an underachieving team, good attitude, even keeled performer. Takes pitches, battles at the plate and has great discipline. Consummate pro.

    • HmmmImNotSoSureAboutThat

      September 26, 2021 at 8:12 pm

      Who cares if he hits 300 or 298…

    • dlgruber1

      September 26, 2021 at 8:32 pm

      Um, I sorta thought it was pretty obvious by my comment, but I’ll explain it better to you, or anyone else that didn’t understand it. I CARE!! I doubt really care if you or anyone else does but it’s an achievement. Any more questions?

    • CalsPals

      September 26, 2021 at 9:16 pm

      I care DL, remember when batting .300 was held in high esteem…too bad some don’t think it matters anymore…go O’s…

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        September 26, 2021 at 9:31 pm

        Sort of like … Who cares if somebody wins the AL ROY or if they finish 2nd?

    • CalsPals

      September 27, 2021 at 6:57 am

      Double thumbs up Boog…go O’s…

  4. HmmmImNotSoSureAboutThat

    September 26, 2021 at 8:13 pm

    Means seemed to hit a breaking point of sorts after the 3rd inning, hope they shut him down for the season, he doesn’t need to throw another 100+ pitches in a game this season.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      September 26, 2021 at 9:32 pm

      Or he can be a man and give it his best effort. Damn … something has been lost on your generation.

    • CalsPals

      September 27, 2021 at 6:58 am

      Agree, again Means is a great guy & teammate, been struggling since AS break…go O’s…

    • CalsPals

      September 27, 2021 at 9:21 am

      Means era since all star game, 4.62…go O’s…

      • Birdman

        September 27, 2021 at 3:48 pm

        Even a 4.62 ERA looks elite for an Orioles starting pitcher … and Means has a 1.00 WHIP for the season.

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 27, 2021 at 9:42 am

      John Means is an outstanding pitcher. His ERA in five September starts is 2.76. His WAR is 4.7, fourth in the American League, trailing only Robbie Ray, Gerrit Cole and Lance Lynn.

      Please stop complaining about a truly excellent pitcher–who never complains.

      Look at the run support he gets. The Orioles haven’t scored more than four runs in a game he started since August 6.

      There’s a lot to complain about with the Orioles. Please focus your complaints on the many shortcomings on this team instead one of the true strengths.

    • CalsPals

      September 27, 2021 at 9:57 am

      Sorrrrryyyy, you can’t pick & choose your analytics, wasn’t complaining about him, read EVERYTHING I said, your headline said “As Means struggles”, he has since the all star game is all I said & provided the #’s backing it up, also said he’s a great guy & teammate, you’re sounding very 1/2 empty to me, maybe they should give him the Cy Young for his no no…wow…go O’s…

      • Rich Dubroff

        September 27, 2021 at 10:05 am

        I don’t have a Cy Young vote this year. I had one last year.

  5. Buzz1979

    September 26, 2021 at 8:32 pm

    Another very winnable game. Can we agree Conner Greene is not the answer? Mike Wright throws hard, too.

    • jimcarter

      September 27, 2021 at 11:36 am

      Wright has a 3.63 ERA this season with Chicago. Sound familiar? Stinks with the Orioles, but rises to (at least) respectability with another team.

  6. Buzz1979

    September 26, 2021 at 9:02 pm

    Can’t wait to see the release list after the season, should be anywhere from 12-20! Why is Valaika playing???

    • NormOs

      September 26, 2021 at 10:23 pm

      Buzz, you can easily name the KEEPERS. Mullins, Mancini, Mountcastle, Hays, and Santandar. Starters: Means and maybe 2 or3 of the young guys. The bullpen: Wells and Lopez Also maybe Guterez, Urias, and Wynns. Also Hyde and Elias would NOT be missed. That’s only my idea of a starting roster

  7. Buzz1979

    September 26, 2021 at 9:31 pm

    Let’s start a list! 1 Valdez, 2 Valakia 3 Watkins 4 Greene 5 Wade, 6 Hanhold 7 Diplan 8…

  8. BenSch

    September 26, 2021 at 10:44 pm

    Bizarre lapse at short by Richie Martin. Like, “what?”

    • CalsPals

      September 27, 2021 at 6:59 am

      Agree, a SS forgetting to cover 2nd, inexcusable…go O’s…

  9. willmiranda

    September 27, 2021 at 10:57 am

    When we Rule Fived Martin he was a good-field/light hit shortstop. After several years in our
    player development program, he has forgotten how to field. And, no, I’m not putting this on him.

    • CalsPals

      September 27, 2021 at 11:29 am

      Agree mostly, we know who are accountable…go O’s…

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