➔ See how BaltimoreBaseball.com can grow your business.
BOSTON—After a shocking first series, in which they allowed 27 runs and lost two of the three to the Boston Red Sox, the Orioles are moving on to Texas. They’ll hope to forget the cold, the wind and the Red Sox offense that pummeled them this weekend.
After two short starts, manager Brandon Hyde was hoping that the Orioles’ debut of Cole Irvin would be just what his team needed. Instead, Irvin lasted just four innings and allowed six runs as the Orioles lost their second straight to Boston, 9-5, before an announced crowd of 27,886 at Fenway Park on Sunday
Kyle Gibson worked five-plus innings in the opener, allowing four runs. Dean Kremer gave up five in three innings. With Irvin’s six earned runs, Oriole starters have an earned-run average of 11.25 in their first three starts.
Hyde knows he needs to get better starts. Kyle Bradish and Tyler Wells, who have yet to pitch, will work in the first two games of the series at Texas, which begins on Monday.
“We didn’t have our best series on the mound,” Hyde said. “We need to improve on that, but I think we will.”
In addition to the starters, the Orioles’ bullpen hasn’t helped matters much.
Once the Orioles closed to within 6-5 in the seventh, Keegan Akin allowed two runs and it was 8-5 after seven. Mike Baumann allowed another run in the eighth.
“We went into this game a little short already in the bullpen,” Hyde said.
Akin worked in each of the three games. Bryan Baker and Baumann pitched in two, while Félix Bautista, Logan Gillaspie and Cionel Pérez pitched in the first two, but didn’t pitch on Sunday.
Irvin (0-1) threw 32 pitches in the first inning, allowing two runs and walking two. He gave up just one run, but was limited after that. Hyde removed him after he allowed his first three runners in the fifth. They all scored.
Irvin allowed a run in each of the first three innings. Kiké Hernández hit his second home run in the series in the second inning.
“First start of the year, so there’s a lot of adrenaline,” Irvin said. “Anxiousness and all that stuff going into the first inning … Put myself in a hole early. One of those days where … I thought I was making the right pitches, except for the one to Hernández that he hit out. Was making good pitches, and just got singled to death.
“A lot of that today was due to the adrenaline, the anxiousness, the readiness to pitch. Done my homework on these guys for the past week. You’ve got a solid game plan going into it. You’re just anxious. It’s the first start, so there’s a lot more to come.”
It was Irvin’s first regular-season start for the Orioles, and his first at Fenway Park.
“I think it was just the first start in general,” Irvin said. “I’ve had the same nerves, same anxiousness, same preparedness going into every opening series in the past three years. I don’t think I’ve had a solid opening series, but I’ve had a good season at the end of it. If that’s how it’s going to start, I’ll keep focusing on my next one and just start ready.”
“Living on the edges,” Hyde said. “A lot of calls didn’t go his way in the strike zone. Extending some counts, a lot of deep counts. I thought his stuff was OK. He gave us a chance. We swung the bat well. We’ve just got to pitch better.”
The Orioles (1-2), who had notable defensive outfield miscues in the first two games, had just one when Terrin Vavra, an inexperienced leftfielder, interfered with shortstop Gunnar Henderson’s attempt to catch Alex Verdugo’s pop to short left in the fifth. Henderson was charged with an error.
Third baseman Ramón Urías committed an error in the eighth after he snared Adam Duvall’s line drive. He threw wildly to second in an attempt to double up Masataka Yoshida, who walked and stole second. After Yoshida advanced to third, he scored on a single by Verdugo. That error prolonged the three-run fifth, but no more runs were scored.
Duvall, who hit two home runs, including the game-winner among his five hits on Saturday, had three more hits, including a two-run single in the fifth.
Centerfielder Cedric Mullins hit his second home run in as many days in the fifth inning and hit a two-run single in the seventh that brought the Orioles within 6-5.
“I like where we are as a whole,” Mullins said. “I felt like we were in all those games. I felt like we [had] a chance to win all those games. It’s just a matter of making those adjustments and committing to what we need to work on and moving forward.”
Mullins believes the Orioles’ pitchers are better than they’ve shown this weekend.
“They’re way better,” he said. “I know these guys work hard. It’s just one of those things where today they had a good amount of soft hits right over the infield, and it hurt us. I know that in the near future, they’ll be able to lock it in and put some zeroes on the board.”
Second baseman Adam Frazier hit a two-run home run in the fifth, his first with the Orioles.
The Orioles hung on for a 10-9 win in Thursday’s opener. On Saturday, they lost, 9-8, after leftfielder Ryan McKenna dropped a fly ball that would have been the final out and Duvall followed with a two-run homer. Winning two of three would have been much better.
“We swung the bat well enough to,” Hyde said. “We’ve got to pitch and play defense. We didn’t have our best series on the mound or defensively. Those are two things we have to do better to win series in this league.”
Notes: The Orioles hit seven home runs in the series, tying a team record for most home runs in a three-game series, set in 2006. … The game-time temperature was 43 degrees, 5 degrees warmer than Thursday’s opener. “I thought today wasn’t as bad as the previous couple of days,” Hyde said. “Pretty windy. I’m not going to make that as an excuse because you play in all kinds of weather, and Boston had to play in it also. … Kyle Stowers pinch-hit in the ninth inning and struck out, his first at-bat of the season. … Bradish will face the Rangers’ Jon Gray on Monday night.
RAVENS LINKS FROM BALTIMORESPORTS.COM