Eventually, the Orioles’ continued drilling to new depths will find rock.
As awful as Sunday was, their ability to keep finding worse and worse ways to lose means even this 22-7 defeat to the Toronto Blue Jays before an announced 8,474 at Camden Yards can’t quite be deemed the bottom yet.
After the Orioles (49-97) allowed 11 runs in each game of a doubleheader sweep Saturday, blowing seventh-inning leads in each, Toronto nearly matched that production in one inning in a game that was never close.
“We’re just not pitching very well against a good lineup,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “That game was over early. We had a tough time getting them out. It’s a good-hitting team, and we’ve got to pitch a little bit better.”
Rookie Zac Lowther loaded the bases with Toronto’s first three batters of the game on a single and two walks, hit the fourth with a pitch, then allowed a grand slam to Lourdes Gurriel Jr. to create an early 5-0 hole. He allowed a run in the second and was charged with one in the third after a leadoff walk came around to score on Spenser Watkins’ watch.
“I was pitching kind of scared, or not attacking them to good zones and getting ahead of guys,” Lowther said. “With a lineup like that, you have to get ahead and attack and I wasn’t doing it.”
Watkins allowed seven runs on seven hits, including two home runs, and recorded just one out — on a run-scoring single by Breyvic Valera where he got caught too far of the base. Orioles rookie Mike Baumann, fresh off an impressive debut Tuesday, took over and was charged with six runs in three innings of relief.
“It’s just tough all around,” Lowther said. “Those are really good friends of mine and good teammates of mine, so if I don’t do well, so be it. It just sucks seeing everyone kind of have not their best day.”
The Orioles allowed 10 runs in the third inning after giving up 11 in the seventh Saturday night. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Orioles are only the third team ever to allow 10 or more runs in one inning in back-to-back games and the first since the 2005 Arizona Diamondbacks.
Eric Hanhold had the team’s first 1-2-3 inning in the seventh after allowing two runs of his own in the sixth. Conner Greene and Fernando Abad pitched scoreless innings to keep the game from getting even further out of hand.
Sunday was just the fourth time the Orioles have allowed 22 runs or more in a game since moving to Baltimore in 1954, with the most recent being the 23-2 loss to the Houston Astros on Aug. 10, 2019. The club record for most runs allowed in a game is 30 on Aug. 22, 2007, against the Texas Rangers, which also doubles as the most allowed in any major league game since 1900.
The Orioles narrowly missed setting the franchise record for most runs allowed in a four-game series since moving to Baltimore. They allowed 47 this week against Toronto, one short of the 48 allowed from Aug. 9-12, 1993, against the Detroit Tigers.
Mountcastle ties Ripken’s rookie record
Perhaps inspired by Toronto’s 10-run third inning, rookie Ryan Mountcastle came up in the home half and hit a home run to tie him with Cedric Mullins for the team lead with 28.
Mountcastle’s homer also tied him with Cal Ripken Jr. for the Orioles’ rookie record.
“Since May, he’s just had an outstanding season,” Hyde said. “Take away April, it’s a great year. What a great accomplishment, your rookie year, to be on a list with some of the greatest players of all time. It’s really, really cool, and well-deserved. He put a lot of work in. I’m really happy with how he dealt with adversity after that first month. Made some good adjustments and he’s putting together an outstanding Rookie of the Year campaign.”
With a two-hit game, Mountcastle is batting .264 with an .814 OPS this season. Anthony Santander and Austin Wynns added solo home runs for the Orioles, with Wynns driving in three runs.
Hyde said the team held out designated hitter Trey Mancini because of continued oblique soreness, with the hope that he’ll be healthy enough after Monday’s day off to continue the season.
Mancini tweaked his side last Sunday against the New York Yankees and finished the game, then missed the next three before returning to the lineup Thursday. He has reached base in all eight of his starts this month, batting .360 with a 1.168 OPS.
Tuesday, 7:05 p.m.
Latest Baltimore Orioles
TV: MASN Radio: 105.7 FM