When the Orioles' night began, most of the announced 44,317 at Camden Yards gave a standing ovation to the 1966 World Series champion team, which the club honored on the field before Friday night's game against the Los Angeles Angels at Camden Yards.
Within an hour, the crowd turned to booing struggling starter Ubaldo Jimenez. And the energy was never the same again in a 9-5 loss.
Jimenez and reliever Mike Wright each had control problems, totaling four walks and nine runs (seven earned) through six innings. The Angels needed just eight hits to take a 9-3 lead, scoring in six of the first seven innings. Three walks came around to score, as well as another runner who reached on an error by Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy.
“He was keeping a quick pace going, but some balls just kept leaking back middle on him,” catcher Matt Wieters said of Jimenez. “It was just kind of a couple innings that he couldn’t quite hit his spot to get a big out when we needed it. We had some opportunities to score runs. It’s a team loss all the way around. We didn’t pitch well, we didn’t play defense well and we didn’t hit some timely hitting tonight.”
Jimenez managed just four outs, allowing five runs on five hits and two walks. The Orioles (49-36) nearly erased their early 2-0 deficit in the bottom of the first. Adam Jones hammered the first pitch from Matt Shoemaker over the center-field fence, and two batters later, Manny Machado hit a towering fly ball to left, but Daniel Nava leapt at the wall and snatched it out of the air.
Through five innings, the Orioles managed only solo home runs by Adam Jones and Jonathan Schoop. Their best chance to rally came in the sixth, when Manny Machado singled, Chris Davis walked and Mark Trumbo hit an RBI single to cut the deficit to 9-3 with no outs. But Matt Wieters, Pedro Alvarez and Hardy each struck out to end the threat.
Trumbo smacked a two-run homer to left with two outs in the ninth, but the Orioles stopped there.
Jimenez out early again: Jimenez turned in his second straight rough outing since posting two straight wins in late June. After the Orioles demoted him to the bullpen for one appearance June 17, Jimenez returned to beat the San Diego Padres on June 22 and June 28, pitching 11 total innings and allowing three runs.
His season ERA is now 7.38, and his record is 5-9.
Errors haunt Hardy: It was a rare off-night for Hardy, the Orioles' three-time Gold Glove-winning shortstop. He booted back-to-back ground balls with no outs in the fourth inning, loading the bases with no outs. The Angels (37-50) went on to score two runs in the inning.
Hardy committed errors on back-to-back plays for the first time in his career. Entering Friday, he had only twice made two errors in a game: June 6, 2007, as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers against the Chicago Cubs; and June 5, 2014, against the Texas Rangers, when he made three, including two in one inning.
Wright loses control: In his first big league appearance since June 17, Wright reverted back to the control issues he had during his first stint with the Orioles. He hit two batters in the third and another in the sixth, in addition to two walks.
To start the third, he hit C.J. Cron, walked Daniel Nava and hit Johnny Giavotella to load the bases with no outs but managed to limit the damage to one run. In the sixth, he walked Mike Trout and hit Cron again before allowing an RBI single to Nava. Cron left the game with a fractured hand after the second pitch.
He finished with 4.2 innings, serving as a bridge to the seventh inning. But he allowed four runs (two earned) on three hits.