clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Orioles allow five home runs, get crushed 17-6 by Red Sox

New, comments

How bad did things get? O’s utility man Stevie Wilkerson had to throw two innings.

Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images

Welp, that was kind of a bummer. The Orioles pitching staff got beat up on Saturday night as the Red Sox evened the weekend series at one game apiece with a 17-6 win at Camden Yards.

Tom Eshelman is probably a lovely man, who cares for his family and contributes to his community. But he had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day as the Orioles starter in this game.

Following a 1-2-3 first inning, things fell apart for the soft-tossing righty in the second. The first four hitters of the frame went like this: single, four-pitch walk, RBI single, three-run homer. It was Jackie Bradley Jr. who smacked the Earl Weaver special, and it would prove to be just the beginning of an offensive outburst for the former World Series MVP. Rafael Devers led off the third inning with a solo home run, extending the lead for the bad guys to 5-0.

However, the Orioles bats would not go away quietly. They battled back in the bottom of the third inning with five runs of their own. Richie Martin kicked things off with a double. Following a Jonathan Villar walk, Trey Mancini doubled to bring home Martin. Two batters later, Renato Nunez crushed a three-run dong to left field, drawing the O’s within a run. Later, Anthony Santander hit a triple off of the out-of-town scoreboard in right field and came home moments later on a single off the left-center wall by none other than Chris Davis. Just like that, the home team had tied the game at five runs apiece.

Unfortunately, those good vibes would not last long. Eshelman returned to the mound for the fourth inning, but he likely wishes that he hadn’t. He retired two of the first three batters in the inning, and the only one that reached base was the result of what would prove to be a costly throwing error by the shortstop, Martin.

A Mookie Betts home run knocked in Michael Chavis, who had gotten aboard with the Martin error. The round-tripper was followed by a Devers walk and a Xander Bogaerts single. That was when Eshelman was removed in favor of Jimmy Yacabonis, who would fare no better.

In a flash, the Orioles went from trailing 9-5 to trailing 13-5. J.D. Martinez doubled home Devers and Bogaerts. After an Andrew Benintendi walk, Christian Vazquez singled in Martinez. And then Bradley Jr. hit his second three-run homer of the day to put a cap on an eight-run inning for the Red Sox.

It wouldn’t stop there. Boston put up three more runs in the fifth inning. Brock Holt led off the frame with a double to center. A wild pitch moved him to third base, and then a Betts single scored him. Devers drove in Betts with a triple, and then Devers himself scored on a fly ball to center field. At first glance it looked like Santander made a nice diving catch, but the umpiring crew disagreed. Either way, the run would have score via a single or a sacrifice fly, but it did deny the O’s outfielder of a potential web gem.

O’s manager Brandon Hyde had seen enough. Yacabonis was lifted from the game with two runners on and no outs. Tanner Scott trotted in from the bullpen and was able to shut things down, retiring the next three batters with a strikeout, a fielder’s choice and a ground out, but the damage had been done. The game had been lost.

Santander stayed hot at the plate with a solo home run to right field in the fifth inning. That would eventually be cancelled out by a Sandy Leon homer in the ninth inning. However, Santander’s dong came against a real pitcher. Leon took a 55 mph Stevie Wilkerson “slider” deep. Sure, they go down the same in the box score, but there is a difference, people!

Scott was great out of the bullpen, tossing three shutout innings and escaping from Yacabonis’s jam. Wilkerson took one for the team by throwing two innings with his mid-50’s repertoire. He was nowhere near the Orioles worst performer in this one.

On a positive note, Santander ended up a double short of the cycle. His 4-for-5 performance at the plate is the shining takeaway from the latest awful game for the 2019 Orioles. Mancini, Davis and Martin each had multi-hit games as well.

The problem in this game was the same problem that has reared its head all season. The Orioles are allowing too many home runs, and their starting pitching depth is limited. As Jim Palmer put it during the broadcast, Eshelman is a control guy and he didn’t have much control in this game. When you can’t located 87 mph fastballs, you are going to allow nine runs to teams like the Boston Red Sox.

These two teams meet up once more on Sunday. A familiar face will be on the mound for the Red Sox as Andrew Cashner (9-4, 4.09 ERA) makes his second start since the trade. He will be opposed by Asher Wojciechowski (0-3, 5.74 ERA). First pitch is set for 1:05