What they're saying about Mateo's incident, Orioles' inability to get clutch hits in 4-3 loss to Rays - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Rich Dubroff

What they’re saying about Mateo’s incident, Orioles’ inability to get clutch hits in 4-3 loss to Rays

Photo Credit: Daniel Kucin Jr. USA TODAY Sports

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BALTIMORE—What happened? The Orioles had 15 hits and left 13 runners on base in a tough 4-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday.

Second baseman Jorge Mateo was placed in concussion protocol after he was accidentally hit in the batting helmet when Cedric Mullins was warming up for an at-bat in the fourth inning and hit him.

Cole Irvin started and allowed two runs on eight hits in 6 1/3 innings, but Dillon Tate allowed a two-run double that gave the Rays the lead and the win.

Tate was in the game because Yennier Cano, Cionel Pérez and Jacob Webb were unavailable because they had pitched two days in succession.

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Gunnar Henderson led off with his 19th home run, his sixth leadoff homer. It landed on Eutaw Street. On Saturday, Anthony Santander’s home run was hit to Eutaw Street.

“We just had so many opportunities to score,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “We were definitely going to be short in the ‘pen today. Hopefully, we were going to be able to add on.

“We got 15 hits. We didn’t get the hits with runners in scoring position today. Those things happen. We had opportunities there. We had opportunities late  … or get the lead back and just didn’t come through today.”

The Orioles took two of three from the Rays  and had won eight of their previous nine games. They’ll play four games at Toronto and another four at Tampa Bay.

“It’s kind of weird for us not to put that many runs on the board with that many hits,” Mullins said. “It was one of those days. Series went well, take the momentum in Toronto and then we’ll see Tampa at their place.”

How is Mateo feeling? Mateo’s status for the road trip to Toronto and Tampa Bay is uncertain because he’s in concussion protocol

“We’re just waiting to see,” Hyde said. “Get some more tests and see how he feels tomorrow.”

Mullins had no idea what was happening.

“I was getting loose, looking at the pitcher and did a circle stretch, pretty normal stuff,” Mullins said. “He was right behind me. I didn’t even see him. I just saw him in the kitchen. He seems to be doing OK.”

What went wrong with Tate? Tate got the final two outs of the seventh, allowing a hit to Randy Arozarena between the two outs. In the eighth Isaac Paredes and Amed Rosario singled and Jose Siri doubled for two runs. Siri tried to bunt, but at two strikes, he swung away.

“I just wasn’t good at my job today,” Tate said. “Ultimately, if I do what I need to do out there, outcome could be different if we get him to lay a bunt down.

“I wasn’t going to pitch Cano or Webb. Tate was really the right-hander there available,” Hyde said.

“Everybody has a role to play, and if those guys aren’t available, it’s my job to step up,” Tate said.

How did Irvin pitch? The Orioles needed a long start and extended Irvin into the seventh inning. He allowed one run in six innings, and after José Caballero led off the seventh with a home run and Alex Jackson flied to center, Irvin was removed in favor of Tate.

“I executed when I needed to, limited the damage,” Irvin said. “They’re going to get their hits. They came out swinging early. We had to bob and weave a little bit.”

“Irvin, he did a good job,” Hyde said. “Once again, a ton of strikes, mixed speeds extremely well. Faced nine righties in the lineup and did a great job of working in and out and being unpredictable, efficient innings. Doing what he’s been doing for us this season. A ton of strikes, a ton of early contact.”

What was good and bad about Mullins? Mullins leaped and caught Jonny DeLuca’s drive to center, robbing him of a home run. It was the second time that Mullins made a terrific catch when Irvin was pitching.

On April 15th with Irvin on the mound, Mullins made a spectacular diving catch of Kyle Farmer’s drive.

“Something about Irvin on the mound that gives me opportunities to make really good plays,” Mullins said. “Really found the wall there …took three hard steps, four hard steps towards the wall, came back and was able to time it up and make the play.”

“He just is incredible out there no matter who’s on the mound, but it’s showed up when I’ve been out there,” Irvin said. “He’s incredible defensively. He’s going to get his bat going soon. I know it. It’s just unbelievable what he can do defensively and on the basepaths for us. It was a lot of fun to watch that play.”

Mullins was hitless in four at-bats and his average is down to .181. In his last at-bat in the seventh, he struck out and slammed his bat down. Colton Cowser hit for him in the ninth and made the final out.

“I try to let my defense give me the momentum going into my at-bats,” Mullins said. “It’s really been a struggle. Working every day to get out of it.”

Hyde is hoping Mullins gets hot, but his offensive struggles continue.

“I’ve got all these outfielders I’m trying to juggle,” Hyde said. “Get guys going that have been here … Ced saved a run with what he can do defensively, but a tough day offensively.”

What does it mean? The Orioles may need to make a roster move for Mateo and they could make a bullpen move, too.

What’s the word? “If I could request a centerfielder for every time I start, it’s going to be him.”-Irvin on Mullins’ catch

What’s the stat of the day? 15. The last time the Orioles had 15 hits and three or fewer runs in a loss was June 20th, 2016. It was the eighth time in franchise history it’s happened.

What’s going on in the minor leagues? Chayce McDermott (2-3) allowed one run on four hits in five innings, walked four and struck out seven as Triple-A Norfolk beat Gwinnett, 3-1. Rightfielder Heston Kjerstad hit his 14th home run, a two-run homer.

Kyle Brnovich (4-1) pitched six hitless innings in Double-A Bowie’s 6-3 win over Somerset. Brnovich struck out six and walked one. Centerfielder Dylan Beavers had two hits and an RBI.

Centerfielder Scott Etzel drove in three runs and leftfielder Enrique Bradfield Jr. drove in two as High-A Aberdeen beat Hudson Valley, 7-3.

Second baseman Angel Tejada drove in six runs in Single-A Delmarva’s 13-12 loss to Carolina.

What’s next? The Orioles begin a four-game series at Toronto on Monday at 7:07 p.m. Grayson Rodriguez (5-2, 3.53) will face former Oriole Kevin Gausman (4-3, 4.14). Corbin Burnes is scheduled to pitch on Tuesday, but the Orioles haven’t announced their starters for Wednesday and Thursday.

Call for questions: Each weekday, I’ll be answering at least one Orioles’ question. Please send yours to: [email protected]

 

 

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