A late hit barrage by the Atlanta Braves gave the Orioles the wide-margin defeat they deserved as they managed just four hits in a 5-1 loss Tuesday night at Camden Yards.
For most of the night, it was a two-run deficit that felt like 10 before reliever Asher Wojciechowski gave up three runs in the ninth inning to put the game out of reach. An Orioles offense that scored 14 runs Monday night looked a lot more like the one that managed to score just three times in the previous four games.
“We didn’t have much offense tonight,” manager Brandon Hyde said.
Thomas Eshelman, who last pitched in relief Friday, gave the Orioles (21-27) as much as they could ask for in his spot start. He allowed a run on a double by Freddie Freeman in the third inning and a solo home run to Adam Duvall in the fourth.
Every reliever who followed Eshelman held strong, too. Paul Fry finished out the fourth inning with no further damage. Travis Lakins Sr. pitched a scoreless, if not entirely comfortable, fifth. Cole Sulser brought that 2-0 deficit to the eighth, where Wojciechowski picked it up before things unraveled in the ninth.
All the while, the Orioles offense managed nothing. José Iglesias had two of their four hits, doubling in the first inning before being left on third base and singling to open the seventh.
Pedro Severino’s leadoff single in the second inning was the only Orioles base runner in between those hits from Iglesias. In the ninth, Iglesias grounded out to score Cedric Mullins, who reached on a one-out double, for the Orioles' only run.
The Orioles remain 5½ games behind the Toronto Blue Jays, who lost 20-6 to the New York Yankees on Tuesday, for the final American League wild-card spot with 12 games remaining.
Leaving the dugout to argue with umpires is forbidden under baseball’s COVID-19 protocols, but Hyde was ejected by first base umpire Brennan Miller before he even got out of the dugout for arguing a checked swing in the fourth inning.
"Pretty quick, for sure,” Hyde said. “We had some disagreements on a few check swings. I guess he didn’t like what I said there out of the dugout on the third check swing that we disagreed with. Pretty quick hook, but it’s so quiet out there. It was definitely the weirdest ejection I’ve ever been a part of.”
Hyde then came out to argue his case before leaving the Orioles dugout. It was his fifth career ejection, and fourth since taking over the Orioles last season.
Third time’s a charm
Austin Hays, making just his second career start in left field, showed off quite an arm Tuesday but only had one assist to show for it.
He could have had three, but Nick Markakis knocked the glove off of Hanser Alberto’s hand when stepped on it coming into second base on a second-inning double, dislodging the ball.
Alberto also missed a tag on a double by Ozzie Albies, but Iglesias got the tag down when Freeman tried to stretch a single into a double in the seventh inning.
The Orioles will commemorate the 1970 World Series championship team in several virtual ways Friday before the team’s home game against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Jim Palmer, Brooks Robinson, Boog Powell and Don Buford will hold a streaming roundtable discussion on YouTube with broadcaster Rob Long to look back on the series-clinching win, and Powell pre-recorded a ceremonial first pitch that will be played at the ballpark and shown on television.
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Players will wear commemorative jersey patches, and Palmer will join the game broadcasts to discuss the anniversary.