After a pair of buoyant, 13-0 wins over the Cleveland Indians, the Orioles found that their production — and luck — had run out in a 2-0 loss in Sunday’s series finale as Cleveland starter Shane Bieber shut them down for the second time this season.
Bieber, who struck out 15 in a shutout of the Orioles on May 19, reprised that performance with eight innings of three-hit, shutout ball with 11 strikeouts before an announced 20,048 at Camden Yards, taking the molten-hot Orioles offense and dipping it in water to quickly cool it as if he were smelting iron.
Once he left, the Orioles loaded the bases in the ninth against closer Brad Hand with singles by Jonathan Villar and Trey Mancini and a walk by Chance Sisco, but outfielder Anthony Santander struck out to end the game.
“We gave ourselves a chance to win,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “Just faced a really good pitcher today that kind of carved us up.”
Even so, the two preceding wins meant the Orioles on Saturday clinched their first series win since April 22-24 against the Chicago White Sox and end the home portion of their first-half schedule at 11-31.
Only Dwight Smith Jr., Rio Ruiz, and Stevie Wilkerson had hits off Bieber, and even if it wasn't a winning performance for right-hander Gabriel Ynoa, his 5 1/3 innings of six-hit, one-run ball was an improvement after allowing six runs and seven runs in his previous two starts, respectively.
“I thought Ynoa, that was his best start,” Hyde said. “I thought he threw the ball great. I thought his velo was ticking back up. Threw some really good change ups. It's mainly a left-handed lineup and did a really nice job pitching in and out, using his change up. Lot of ground balls, kept the ball [down], threw strikes. Did a great job.”
Left-hander Paul Fry pitched a scoreless inning of relief before Carlos Santana had his second run-scoring hit of the game off Orioles reliever Shawn Armstrong, with Ynoa ceding the first. Left-hander Richard Bleier recorded the last four outs for the Orioles.