April 10, 2018 -- The Orioles lose to the Blue Jays, 2-1. (Denise Sanders, Baltimore Sun video)
If the baseball gods were real and paying attention to the Orioles' 2-1 loss Tuesday night to the Toronto Blue Jays, they would have likely used their energy to improve the weather rather than ensure a trio of Orioles whose sloppy play almost cost their team the game in the top of the eighth inning got a chance to rectify it in the bottom half.
But faced with the prospect of being no-hit by Aaron Sanchez and spoiling a fabulous start from Andrew Cashner thanks to their own misplays, the bottom-of-the-order trio of third baseman Tim Beckham, right fielder Anthony Santander, and catcher Chance Sisco instead erased the deficit with the Orioles' first three hits of the night.
And if they existed as merciful entities, Orioles left fielder Trey Mancini would have come up in a tied game after three well-barreled balls with nothing to show for it and seen his fortunes reversed.
But Mancini popped out, struggling second baseman Jonathan Schoop grounded into a double play, and the Blue Jays pulled ahead for good on a solo home run from Curtis Granderson with two outs in the ninth inning off reliever Darren O'Day.
"I don't know what it is, but sometimes games like that when somebody finally scores, the other team [scores] that next inning," manager Buck Showalter said. "It was for us. We had bases loaded, [one] out. … You'd just like to take advantage of that type of pitching after what we got from our starting pitcher again tonight."
The setback came before an announced 8,640 at Camden Yards, which dropped the Orioles to 4-8 and left chilly fans with little to cheer over other than the eighth inning.
To that point, the Orioles offense had been hitless. Relieving Cashner after seven innings of four-hit, shutout ball, right-hander Miguel Castro walked leadoff batter Justin Smoak and watched him come around to score in frustrating fashion.
Two pitches later, with designated hitter Yangervis Solarte at the plate, Castro yanked a changeup in the dirt that went past catcher Chance Sisco for a wild pitch to put Smoak on second. Solarte hit a 3-1 fastball to right field for a base hit.
Smoak stopped at third, and was never going to make an attempt for home, but rookie Santander overthrew the cutoff man on the infield and his throw bounced past Sisco at home plate and into the Blue Jays' dugout.
Smoak was granted home plate, breaking the scoreless deadlock. A batter later, a slow roller to Beckham hit off his glove for another error. Castro got out of the inning unscathed.
Beckham led off the bottom half of the inning by smoking a ball through third baseman Josh Donaldson's legs for a double, ending Sanchez' no-hit bid. He went to third base on a single by Santander, and then Sisco, who entered the plate appearance batting .200 this season, doubled to tie the score.
Mancini had two in scoring position after flying out to the warning track three times in his previous at-bats, but popped up. The Blue Jays walked shortstop Manny Machado to get to Schoop, who grounded into a double play to end the inning.
O'Day got two quick groundouts before he left an 86-mph fastball over the plate to Granderson, who hit it onto the right-field flag court.
"Game's not fair," Showalter said. "Trey squared up three balls and with nothing to show for it. They were playing guys right. Adam hit a ball real well. I don't think the ball was carrying real well. It carried good enough on Granderson's home run, but … the balls we did square up, they caught."