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CHICAGO—Brandon Hyde has a special feeling about the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field. The affinity he has for the Cubs, whose success propelled him to the manager’s job with the Orioles, is authentic.
Hyde continued to live in a Near North suburb in his early years with the Orioles and feels at home in the Friendly Confines.
On Friday, Hyde felt like an unwelcome visitor as the Orioles suffered a 10-3 loss before an announced crowd of 37,515.
Oriole starting pitcher Cole Irvin allowed three solo home runs in the space of five batters in the third inning, but the Orioles (43-26) scored single runs in the fourth and fifth before Mike Baumann, Cionel Pérez and Reed Garrett allowed six runs in the sixth to put the game out of reach.
Chicago (32-37) is a surprise contender in the National League Central Division. They’ve won four straight and though they’re in fourth place in a weak division, they’re only three games out of first place.
Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks (2-2) allowed two runs on five hits in five innings.
After Irvin (1-3) gave up homers to Miguel Amaya and two-out, back-to-back shots to Dansby Swanson and Christopher Morel, all on changeups, the Orioles were down, 3-0.
“Two of them were just bad location, bad pitches,” Irvin said. “That’s what it comes down to, and then the last one, I felt like it was a bad sequence. I think the location wasn’t too bad. It was down in the zone. He just wasn’t fooled by it.
“All in all, I felt good. The spin was really working well. The fastball command was good, in-and-out, up-and-down. Interesting to see my second-best pitch, arguably. I rely on my fastball, but my changeup is my bread and butter. The command there wasn’t good with it.”
In his five starts, Irvin has finished the fifth inning just once. In his first start since being recalled from Triple-A Norfolk, he allowed one run on six hits in 5 1/3 innings on June 10th.
“Those decisions aren’t up to me,” Irvin said. “As much as I’d like to stay in that game, somehow, some way, show the team I can pitch here and provide the team innings, I just wasn’t dealt those cards, I guess. Just trying to show that I can make that turn in the rotation, do my job. I thought I did that, outside that one inning … I can say that outing, and I can see a lot of success in it.”
Hyde wasn’t displeased with what he saw from Irvin.
“Balls that were in the middle part of the plate,” Hyde said. “Besides those three homers, I thought he did a nice job … 3-2 game there got away from us in the sixth inning.”
In the fourth, Ryan O’Hearn doubled with two outs, and Austin Hays singled to score him. Jorge Mateo’s fifth-inning double scored Ramón Urías, and the Orioles were down, 3-2.
O’Hearn had three hits and he’s batting .338 with Ryan Mountcastle on the 10-day injured list because of vertigo.
“It feels good to play. It feels good to get hits and contribute and all that, but we want Mounty back as soon as possible,” O’Hearn said. “Such a big part of this time and this lineup. The sooner he can get back in this lineup and on the field, it’s going to be a lot better for us.”
Irvin left after he allowed a leadoff single to Nick Madrigal in the fifth. After Baumann didn’t allow a run to score, he walked Mike Tauchman and former Oriole Trey Mancini to start the sixth. Pérez balked the runners to second and third to set up a two-run single by Ian Happ that stretched Chicago’s lead to 5-2, and the rout was on.
“It happens. It’s a crazy game. Things can go sideways on you,” O’Hearn said. “They squeak some hits down the line. Balls get through, and things just kind of spiral. We didn’t do a good job of limiting the damage.”
After 10 batters, three relievers and six runs, it was 9-2.
“We had three walks and a balk. If we don’t balk there, that was a double play ball by Happ, and the game might be a little bit different,” Hyde said. “Not real good command in that inning.”
Morel added a two-run double against Garrett, who allowed three runs on five hits in 1 2/3 innings.
Mancini, who had been 2-for-17 in his first six games against the Orioles, had a single, double, two walks and two runs scored.
Notes: Mountcastle is with the Orioles this weekend, but Hyde didn’t say he was near a return. “He’s starting to feel a little better, but he’s still a little bit under the weather,” he said. … Kyle Gibson (8-3, 3.29) will face Justin Steele (6-2, 2.65) on Saturday at 2:20 p.m. Sunday’s game begins at 12:05 p.m., and is only available on Peacock. … Terrin Vavra was placed on Norfolk’s injured list because of a strained right shoulder. … Catcher Mark Kolozsvary elected free agency after he cleared waivers and rejected an outright assignment to Norfolk.
Call for questions: I’ll be answering Orioles questions in the next few days. Please email them to: [email protected].
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