Trey Mancini showed signs of breaking out offensively with his first three-hit game since May 10, but after the Orioles’ 7-1 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Friday, all the left fielder wanted back was a misplay that fueled a three-run sixth inning.
Mancini lost a fly ball off the bat of Luis Valbuena in the twilight with a runner on second and no outs in the sixth, letting it drop to put two runners in scoring position. The Angels would go on to score three runs in the inning against rookie right-hander David Hess.
“I saw it when it made contact and when it went into the stands and then once it hit the sky, [I lost it],” Mancini said. “There’s always a couple-minute span where you just lose it. It happened to me last year and I didn’t see it until it hit the ground. It’s the most helpless feeling in the world, but I tried looking for it desperately obviously.”
At the plate, Mancini reached base in all four plate appearances in the series opener against the Angels, finishing with two singles, a double and a walk. With that three-hit performance, Mancini is now 9-for-22 (.409) in his six games since returning from a stiff neck that forced him out of the starting lineup for three games last week.
Before this stretch, Mancini’s season batting average had dipped to .219 after hitting just .147 over the previous 32 games.
“Yeah, [I’m] trying,” Mancini said of breaking out of his slump. “It’s nice, but at the same time you want to win games. Just trying, like I said, work on some things offensively. But hopefully we can string a couple wins together these next couple days.”
Mancini’s had a frustrating year. He’s been unlucky on occasion, robbed of hits by fine defensive plays or hard-hit balls that went right to defenders. He played through a knee injury he sustained while sliding on the outfield warning track in an attempt to catch a ball in foul ground, and his knee might have prompted some bad mechanics with his swing.
Two of Mancini’s three hits Friday — a sixth-inning single and ninth-inning double – went to the opposite field, which was a good sign he might be showing signs of regaining his swing, manager Buck Showalter said.
“I’d like to think so, yeah, on the positive side,” Showalter said. “We’ve seen some games where it seemed like he was going to get going, the signs of hitting the ball the other way and taking what they’re giving him.”