BALTIMORE—Detroit starter Tyler Alexander entered Monday’s night’s game against the Orioles with a 3-10 record and a 5.35 earned-run average. The Orioles entered it after getting four ninth-inning opposite-field hits in a come-from-behind win over the Toronto Blue Jays. Manager Brandon Hyde said about the opposite-field success: “I hope they’re taking notice.”
On Monday, there was no evidence that the Oriole hitters were paying attention. Alexander held them hitless through six innings. In the seventh, the Tigers’ left-hander gave up singles to Ryan Mountcastle and Anthony Santander. He struck out four in seven innings and the Orioles were shut out for the 10th time this season in an embarrassing 11-0 loss to Detroit before an announced crowd of 10,201 at Camden Yards. It was the Orioles’ fourth straight loss to the Tigers.
If Sunday’s win kept their slim playoff hopes alive, Monday’s loss appeared to be a knockout punch for the Orioles (76-70), who are five games behind Seattle for the third and final wild-card spot with 16 games to go. They’re 8-9 in September.
“Nothing really went our way,” said Hyde, whose players haven’t been able to hit with any kind of consistency. “We had two hits and gave up 11.”
Oriole starter Tyler Wells (7-7) lasted four batters into the fourth inning in his third start back after missing time because of a left oblique injury. He allowed five runs on four hits.
In the first, Javier Baez scored from first base when Miguel Cabrera dropped a hit in front of a diving Austin Hays in left. In the fourth, Wells allowed the first four Detroit (56-91) batters to reach and all scored.
“Definitely felt better than the results showed,” Wells said. “With a soft tissue injury like the oblique, you’re going to go through ups-and-downs where it fatigues a little faster some days than others and maybe that’s what happened tonight.”
In the fourth, Cabrera singled, the 3,081st hit of his career to tie Cap Anson for 24th on the all-time list. Spencer Torkelson singled and, after Wells walked former Oriole second baseman Jonathan Schoop, he walked Ryan Kreidler to score Cabrera.
“I just thought that he got tired there,” Hyde said. “This guy’s thrown a lot of innings this year. I know he had a bunch of time off just recently, but that’s why we were monitoring him so closely the first half of the year because of this transition to a starter is something he has not done—the amount of innings.
“Hopefully, this will make him better for next year, build him up to pitch six months-plus next year in the rotation. It’s a long season for these guys, and some of these guys haven’t been through something like this, and it’s not easy.”
DL Hall relieved Wells and struck out Tucker Barnhart. He allowed Torkelson to score on a wild pitch and allowed a two-run bloop single to left by Akil Baddoo, who scored on a double by Riley Greene to put the Tigers ahead, 6-0.
“We might be putting too much pressure on ourselves,” Wells said. “We’re a young club. We’ve got a lot of really good guys … As we continue to go on, I think that, hopefully, we’ll continue to even each other out and really start to pick each other up, just kind of get back on track.
“I’m pretty upset about it and given our certain circumstances, you would say, you put pressure on yourself. I feel like I let the team down tonight, especially with what we’re trying to chase. It sucks, but at the same time we’re going to keep moving forward and continue to get better.”
Alexander (4-10) retired the first 11 Oriole batters before a fourth-inning walk by Mountcastle, who was back in the lineup after missing Sunday’s game because of a bruised elbow.
“We didn’t square hardly any balls up. We had a lot weak popups,” Hyde said. “I thought we were a little passive early in the game, a lot of strike three called, looking. Just didn’t come out very aggressive, and got it handed to us.”
Gunnar Henderson hit a long drive to center field for the third out of the second and Ramón Urías lined to shortstop to begin the third, but those were the loudest outs.
Hays walked with two outs in the sixth, and Adley Rutschman hit a sharp grounder to Kreider near the bag at third. He made a fine play on the ball and threw Rutschman out to end the sixth.
Greene hit a two-run double in the sixth against Keegan Akin to put Detroit ahead, 8-0, and an RBI single by Kreidler in the seventh made it 9-0.
For the second time in nine days, outfielder Ryan McKenna was brought in to pitch. On September 10th, he gave up two hits and a walk in a 17-4 loss to Boston. McKenna gave up two runs on three hits
“I think tonight nothing really went right for us,” Hyde said. “Hopefully, we can rebound tomorrow, and we’ll turn the page on this … McKenna saved our ‘pen tonight. That was a bonus. Hopefully, we’ll play better tomorrow.”
The Orioles have two games left against the Tigers and four against Houston, which clinched the AL West on Monday night before going to Boston and New York next week.
“Obviously, not how you want to start the homestand,” Mountcastle said. “All you can do is get back up and try to keep pushing forward and finish the rest of this homestand good.”
Notes: Austin Voth (5-2, 4.36) will face Joey Wentz (1-2, 4.14) on Tuesday night. … Dillon Tate, the Orioles’ nominee for the Roberto Clemente award for community service, was recognized on the field before the game. Hyde presented the award to him. … With Double-A Bowie’s season over, second baseman Connor Norby has been promoted to Triple-A Norfolk for the final week of the minor league season.
Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB