Orioles rookie left-hander Bruce Zimmermann will go a long way in his career if he’s only left lamenting one pitch at the end of a game.
Unfortunately for him, his counterpart on the mound during Wednesday’s matinee against the Miami Marlins was nearly flawless.
Zimmermann allowed a two-out, two-run double to Jesús Aguilar in the fifth inning to break a scoreless tie and chase him from an eventual 3-0 Orioles loss that gave Baltimore a two-game series split at Miami’s loanDepot Park.
“He just ran into trouble there in the fifth,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “His fastball was just a tick down to start the game, but I thought he had some good breaking balls again, threw some good changeups, battled. Was one out away from getting out of that fifth inning ... But I thought he threw the ball well. Kept us in the game, zeroes up until that fifth inning and was a strike away from getting out of the fifth with another zero.”
Aguilar eventually scored on an Adam Duvall single off reliever Cole Sulser, and Marlins rookie left-hander Trevor Rogers made sure that lead would hold up.
He allowed just four hits in seven shutout innings, lowering his ERA to 1.64, and the Orioles (8-10) didn’t get a runner past second base all game.
It made a hard-luck loser out of Zimmermann, who was charged with three runs on six hits in 4 ⅔ innings. He struck out four and walked six, bringing his ERA to 4.57.
“It’s a tough one to swallow,” Zimmermann said.
Zimmerman’s fifth inning featured an inglorious defensive effort from the Orioles on a bunt that gave Miami an extra base. With Sandy León on first base, Rogers dropped a bunt down in front of the mound that Maikel Franco charged across from third base to field and retire him at first base.
No one on the Orioles minded third base, though, and León took the base. Zimmermann noted it was a runner in scoring position either way, but said he should have covered the base. Hyde said it was catcher Pedro Severino’s responsibility.
“We need to communicate there and the catcher needs to go to third base,” he said.
Bats go quiet
The Orioles simply had no chance against Rogers and Marlins relievers Dylan Floro and Yimi García. They required 99 pitches to make their 27 outs, and only Ryan Mountcastle and Franco reached second base the whole game.
Austin Hays, Freddy Galvis and Pedro Severino had singles while Franco had a double in the seventh inning.
“What lost us the game is we didn’t score,” Hyde said. “We lost two games on the road trip and were shut out on both. A 3-2 trip, and our two losses were 1-0 and 3-0.”
Hays holds ’em
Hays started in center field to against the left-handed Rogers to give Cedric Mullins a day off and impacted the game early. Hays has a far better arm than Mullins, and when the first two batters reached against Zimmermann, that came into play.
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A pair of medium-depth fly balls to center field with the speedy Jazz Chisolm Jr. on second base might have been opportunities to tag up and take third and eventually home with Mullins in center field. However, Chisolm didn’t test Hays either time, and Zimmermann got out of the inning without giving up a run.
Santander to IL
Ryan McKenna spent just a day on the taxi squad before being recalled to start in right field in Wednesday’s game as the Orioles placed Anthony Santander on the 10-day injured list with a sprained ankle. McKenna was optioned off the roster as Hays was activated from the injured list Tuesday.
Hyde said an MRI last night on Santander’s ankle revealed good news.
“The MRI showed it was just a sprained ankle, so no fracture,” Hyde said. “Usually, these type of sprains are two-to-four weeks, so we’ll see. But that was very positive news this morning.”
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