Coming into the night, the Orioles had won seven straight games, not having a win streak of eight or more since May-June of 2005. Tonight, the streak of non-streaks continued, as the O’s dropped the series opener at home against the Blue Jays.
Jeremy Hellickson has been up and down as far as results go since the O’s acquired him, but tonight he completely flopped. The Orioles offense exploded for a total of eight runs, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the ineptitude of Hellickson and the bullpen.
Marco Estrada hasn’t been particularly good in 2017. Perhaps coincidentally, though, he had thrown a combined 20.2 IP allowing 3 ER across three starts this season against the Orioles. The O’s didn’t waste any time bucking that trend, carrying a lead into the fifth inning, lighting Estrada up along the way.
Hellickson didn’t look too bad until the aforementioned fifth, when he came completely unraveled. Either way, the game always had the feeling of one where no lead was safe, and in the end 11 runs was the winning number. Unfortunately, the Orioles mustered “only” eight.
The O’s didn’t waste time getting on the scoreboard, putting a two-spot up in the first. Manny Machado worked a really good looking walk with one out, and then tried to steal second base. He was entirely unsuccessful in this attempt, but lucky for the him the Jay’s catcher, Miguel Montero, threw the ball away.
Manny advanced to third on the play—but ultimately it didn’t matter what base he was standing on. Why? Because Adam Jones leaned over the plate and slapped a dong just over the left field wall. 2-0 in favor of the Orioles to that point.
The (good) Birds kept cranking in the second, adding a run on a long Chris Davis single, a long Welington Castillo single, and a Tim Beckham slow-roller off of Josh Donaldson’s bare hand. Donaldson charged, missed, and CD scored. 3-0, Orioles.
General ineffectiveness and the inability to find the strike zone (from an Orioles pitcher?! Really?!) finally caught up to Jeremy Hellickson in the third inning. With two outs, Josh Donaldson hit a two-out double, and then Kendrys Morales hit a two-run homer. Morales had a decent night, tallying four hits, three home runs, and seven RBIs. More on that later. 3-2, Orioles.
The O’s begun to sense that three runs just might not get them a victory tonight, so in their half of the third, they added a couple of runs. The inning started with back-to-back singles by Jonathan Schoop and Adam Jones. They advanced on a Trey Mancini fly out, and Jones scored on a Chris Davis groundout. 4-2, Orioles.
Mark Trumbo came up next, and now with AJ on third base, hit a hard liner to the left-center gap. Jones scored easily, but Trumbo opted to stay on first base. He’s not very fast. Welington Castillo couldn’t keep the rally going, and the inning ended with an okay-feeling 5-2 Oriole lead.
There was no scoring in the fourth inning, but the fifth was when the game took a permanent nose-dive. The Blue Jays batted around, and nothing about it was okay. This is how it went:
Ryan Goins doubled, Josh Donaldson walked, Kendrys Morales singled, Jose Bautista walked, Miguel Montero doubled, and Kevin Pillar doubled. It was as ugly as it sounds, and Buck Showalter had to call on Richard Bleier to finish the inning.
In all, this sealed Hellickson’s final line at a repugnant 4.2IP, 7H, 7ER, 4BB, 2SO, 1HR.
Chris Davis hit a solo dong with one down in the Orioles half of the fifth, bringing the score to 7-6 at the time. This was the closest the Birds would get to retaking the lead on their way to an eventual, terrible loss.
Richard Bleier retired the first two Jays he faced in the top of the sixth, but then Steve Pearce doubled down the left field line. With Josh Donaldson due-up, and the game still late, Showalter called on Mychal Givens. Whoops.
Givens walked Donaldson, and proceeded to give up a three-run home run to Kendrys Morales. The score was very quickly 10-6 in favor of the Blue Jays, eight of those runs scored between the fifth and sixth innings.
There was no scoring in the seventh inning, but in the eighth, Kendrys Morales went ahead and decided to put a cap on his already great night. Sometimes you’ve just got to tip your cap to an opposing player. Morales cranked his third home run of the evening (second off of Givens)—this one a solo shot. 11-6, Blue Jays.
The Orioles didn’t go entirely quietly, scoring a pair of runs in the eighth inning. Mark Trumbo led off with a double, and after two outs were recorded, Tim Beckham hit the ball to the mummified remains of Jose Bautista out in right field.
Bautista booted it, and Trumbo did a double-take rounding third. He took home easily on the play, as Joey Boots chased the ball across the field. It probably would have been a comical scene if the O’s weren’t getting whooped. A pair of singles from Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop scored Tim Beckham, and finalized the scoring at 11-8 on the night.
O’Day pitched a perfect(ly meaningless) ninth inning, and Blue Jays closer, Roberto Osuna, collected a 1.1 inning save, allowing no walks or base hits. Whomp, whomp.
With the loss tonight, the Orioles are now 2.5 games back from the second AL Wild Card spot. Minnesota won their fourth game in a row today, and the Angles did not play (although they are currently on a three-game winning streak).
The Birds look to turn up the heat on the other, different, blue birds tomorrow night at 7:05pm ET. Kevin Gausman will square off against Joe Biagini to start the game.