Does it feel like at this point the main reason that we are all tuning in to Orioles baseball is to see if they give up five runs? It kind of feels that way to me. Well, those of you who are hoping for the Orioles to break the record are in luck as the Orioles again game up five runs, this time in a 6-3 loss to the Indians. They are now just one game from tying the 1924 Phillies for allowing at least five runs in 20 consecutive games.
Early on it looked like the Orioles might pile on the runs off of Cleveland starter Mike Clevinger. He was absolutely terrible in the first few innings but the Orioles just kept letting him off the hook. They jumped out to an early lead in the first inning courtesy of Seth Smith’s eighth home run of the year, but after that lead off dong it was just one disappointment after another.
After Smith’s home run, a walk by Manny Machado and a single from Jonathan Schoop put two runners on but couldn’t cash in. Clevinger got a force out and a couple strike outs to strand them both.
It got even worse in the second inning. Clevinger loaded the bases, giving up a single to Hyun Soo Kim and hitting both Ruben Tejada and Craig Gentry. Gentry’s HBP looked especially brutal as it hit him right in the ribs and knocked the wind out of him. After laying on the ground for a little while he was able to stay in the game.
So how did the Orioles screw this one up? Seth Smith hit the ball to the one place he really, really shouldn’t have: back to the pitcher. Clevinger started the 1-2-3 double play that left the Orioles with runners on second and third with two outs.
Clevinger then gave the Orioles yet another chance by walking Machado for the second time. Schoop then had a fantastic at-bat that ended in a bases loaded walk that plated the O’s second run of the game. Mark Trumbo lined out to end the inning with the bases loaded.
In the third inning it was Welington Castillo and Kim who were on base when Tejada grounded into an inning ending double play.
Ultimately Clevinger lasted five innings but only gave up two runs despite giving up six hits and four walks. It was an embarrassment that the Orioles let him stick around that long after the first few innings.
On the other end of things was O’s starter Wade Miley, who was just as bad as Clevinger, but the Indians didn’t do him the favor of letting him off the hook.
Miley allowed the first three batters of the second inning to reach, resulting in two runs. With Carlos Santana on first base, Austin Jackson hit a long fly ball that rattled around center field. Santana scored easily and Jackson ended up on third with a triple. He trotted home on a bloop by Yan Gomes.
The Indians scored two more runs in the third inning, and this time it was even more frustrating because Miley got the first two outs before he walked Jose Ramirez. The Indians loaded the bases after that on a single and another walk, setting the table for Austin Jackson, who singled in two runs.
After two scoreless innings, Miley started the sixth with just over 100 pitches and gave up yet another hit to Austin Jackson. That was enough and he was pulled by acting manager John Russell in favor of Richard Bleier. Bleier got a double play but couldn’t get out of the inning without allowing the magical fifth run of the game. Erik Gonzalez homered to make the score 5-2.
Once Clevinger was out of the game, the Orioles stopped looking like they might score. They were quiet in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings before making some noise against Andrew Miller in the ninth.
Gabriel Ynoa, who had done an admirable job in relief for 2 2/3 innings, fell apart a bit in the ninth and gave up the sixth run of the game. Seth Smith poorly played a ball that hit high off the wall to allow Jose Ramirez to triple with one out, but that probably didn’t matter too much as far as runs scoring, because he would have ended up on at least second either way.
Funny thing about the triple is that it says in the game log that Ramirez tripled “on a sharp line drive to Jonathan Schoop, deflected by Seth Smith.” Say what! The ball bounced so far off the wall that it ricocheted back towards the infield, where Schoop retrieved it.
So, Andrew Miller. You may remember that he pitched two innings yesterday, so he seemed an unlikely candidate to come in today. But in the top of the ninth inning the game was in a save situation, and closer Cody Allen is on paternity leave. So Miller warmed up and still came in despite the four-run lead.
It was clear that Miller wasn’t his regular self. He walked Craig Gentry and then Machado smoked a double to center field for an RBI and to make the score 6-3. Schoop worked a nice at-bat against him, but ultimately struck out on a nasty slider. Trumbo then struck out to end the game, and it turns out that even a tired Andrew Miller is pretty filthy.
With the loss the Orioles finish their homestand with 3-3 record. They will now head out for an all-division road trip with three games in Tampa Bay followed by three games in Toronto.