The Orioles were unable to successfully implement the opener strategy yet again, with their first two pitchers unable to prevent runs or get deep into the game. Between Jimmy Yacabonis, the opener, and Josh Rogers, the bulk guy, the two lasted only five innings and allowed a total of eight runs.
It wasn’t like the Orioles bats were totally silenced the entire night either. On the contrary, the Birds were able to scratch out 11 hits and the Padres even committed two errors. But Baltimore just wasn’t able to get base knocks when it counted the most. They went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base.
In his highly anticipated return to Camden Yards, Manny Machado was received warmly by the Orioles’ faithful. If there were any boos, they were inaudible over the cheers. He came to the plate in the first inning — after a walk by Fernando Tatis Jr. and a lineout by Eric Hosmer — and struck out looking on a Jimmy Yacabonis slider. Hunter Renfroe popped out afterward to end the inning.
Hanser Alberto flashed his doubles power in the first when he drove a ball to the fence in left that was in Renfroe’s glove briefly, until the Padre’s left-fielder slammed into the wall and it popped out. The next batter, Trey Mancini, drove home the first run of the game with a single to left.
The Padres came thundering into the picture in the second, scoring four runs with two outs. After a flyout and a strikeout to start the inning, Francisco Mejia singled, Ian Kinsler doubled and Manuel Margot drove both of them home with a single. Then Tatis Jr. lofted a home run that just made it over the wall and into the Orioles’ bullpen to cap off the scoring barrage. 4-1, Padres.
In his second at-bat of the night, Machado absolutely destroyed a first-pitch fastball from Yacabonis that ended up in the visitor’s bullpen. After securing the next two outs, Yacabonis was lifted from the game in favor of left-hander Josh Rogers. The O’s Opener allowed five hits, five runs and one walk with two strikeouts in 2.2 innings. He also surrendered two long balls and left the mound with a 5.96 ERA.
The Birds got a run back in the third courtesy of Dwight Smith Jr. Jonathan Villar worked a walk with two outs and came home when Smith Jr. laced a line drive into the corner in right. Padres right-fielder Franmil Reyes bobbled the ball, allowing Villar to score easily and prompting Smith to advance to third. But the Orioles’ left-fielder overran the bag and got tagged out by Machado, making the dreaded third out of the inning at third.
San Diego tacked on a pair of runs in the fourth on a solo home run by Margot and an RBI single by Machado. The very next inning, Mejia hit a solo home run of his own. It was the fourth home run of the night for the Padres and the second off of Rogers, putting the Orioles further in the hole, 8-2.
Rogers’ night ended after 2.1 innings. He allowed three runs in total on five hits, including two homers, and one walk. The left-hander’s ERA is a bloated 8.79. Miguel Castro followed him to the mound and pitched two scoreless innings with one hit, one walk and three strikeouts.
The Padres’ starter Logan Allen followed up his major league debut — a seven inning shutout — with another strong effort. He scattered eight hits over six innings, allowing two runs, two walks and five strikeouts.
Down by six runs late in the game, the Orioles got that deficit down to five in the seventh, but they would not get any closer. Richie Martin hit an opposite field homer off of Padres’ reliever Phil Maton for his second hit of the game. He would finish the night 2-for-4, raising his average to .180.
It was an ugly loss, but the positive included Alberto’s four hit night, which leaves his batting average at .318 on the year. In addition to Castro’s two scoreless innings, Branden Kline came out of the bullpen and threw two scoreless innings to close out the game, allowing one hit and striking out one.
On a side note, Adley Rutschman’s introduction provided a nice distraction at Camden Yards on a night when the Padres had their way with the Orioles. The young catcher is a symbol of hope for the Orioles’ future, which is sorely needed in dark times like these.