You never know how the 2018 Orioles will manage to lose a baseball game. Those who spent a beautiful Saturday in the mid-Atlantic watching this game saw Mychal Givens walk in the winning run on four straight pitches. The final score was 4-3 in ten innings as the O’s lost their third straight in Canada, falling to 19-43.
Kevin Gausman started for the O’s and pitched fairly well in his no-decision, registering a quality start. He allowed three runs in six and a third innings while striking out six. He wasn’t as sharp as we’ve seen him, as he allowed nine base hits. Worst of all, he gave up a home run immediately after his team tied the game. At the end of the day, he did give his team a chance to win.
The Orioles had scoring opportunities in the second, third, and forth innings. Pedro Alvarez was left stranded in scoring position by Mark Trumbo in the second. The O’s made an attempt at a two-out rally in the third after Jace Peterson and Adam Jones walked. Manny Machado came to the plate, right guy in the right spot, but he popped up to shallow right. A Danny Valencia walk was washed out when Jonathan Schoop grounded into a double play to end the fourth inning.
The defense and Gausman came up big in the second inning to keep Toronto off the board. With runners on third and first with no outs, Gausman struck out Randal Grichuk and Chanco Sisco threw out Kevin Pillar attempting a delayed steal of second. The runner at third did not score and the O’s got out of the inning.
The scoring opened in the home half of the third inning. Aledmys Diaz singled (his sixth hit in ten at-bats this series) and Gio Urshela followed with a ground ball that got past Danny Valencia at third base. It was ball that a very good defensive third baseman makes. Yangervis Solarte singled to score the Jays’ first run, but Gausman then induced a 4-6-3 double play to limit the damage.
After Gausman got the Jays in order in the fourth, the O’s tried to mount another two-out rally. Chance Sisco reached on and error and Peterson singled. Adam Jones then got under a Sanchez offering a flied to left-center to waste another scoring opportunity.
Gausman looked to have settled in after retiring the side again in the fifth inning. But Yangervis Solarte and Teoscar Hernandez led off the sixth with back to back doubles to give Toronto a 2-0 lead. Hernandez feasts against Baltimore; now hitting over .400 against them in his career. Gausman beared down and struck out the next three batters, stranding Hernandez at second.
Aaron Sanchez returned to the mound in the seventh as his pitch count neared 100 and the O’s finally struck. Chance Sisco doubled in Trey Mancini with one out and then moved to third base on the throw home. After Danny Barnes replaced Sanchez, Adam Jones singled to bring home Sisco to even the score at two. The O’s once again left runners in scoring position as Machado and Valencia were retired.
That missed opportunity reared its head on the very first pitch of the seventh inning. Randal Grichuk took Gausman deep to give the Blue Jays the lead again. The 2018 Baltimore Orioles, ladies and gentleman. Richard Bleier relieved Gausman and got the final out of the seventh inning with the O’s down by one.
The O’s managed to scratch across a run in the eighth without getting a hit to tie the game. Jonathan Schoop was hit by a pitch, Mark Trumbo reached on an error, and Trey Mancini walked with one out. Sisco struck out and wasted an opportunity to score a run without getting a hit, but Tyler Clippard uncorked a wild pitch to score Schoop.
Miguel Castro pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth innings, allowing three baserunners, to move the game into extra innings. Sisco walked with two outs in the tenth, but Peterson was retired.
Mychal Givens (0-2) came on for the bottom of the tenth and managed to lose the game while giving up only one hit. After recording a strikeout, he allowed a walk, single, and a hit by pitch. He then threw four straight out of the strike zone to lose the game. John Axford pitched two scoreless innings and picked up his first decision of the season.
For a team that has found a lot of ways to lose, this game was more of the same. The offense mustered eight hits in ten innings, Gausman allowed a run immediately after his offense bailed him out, and Givens didn’t throw a single strike with the game on the line.
The O’s will try to salvage one game in this four-game set tomorrow at 1:07. Alex Cobb (2-7, 6.19) will face Marco Estrada (2-6, 5.29) as Baltimore tries for that elusive twentieth win.