TORONTO — The Orioles’ season hit a new low in multiple ways Sunday afternoon at Rogers Centre, swept out of Toronto with an ugly 13-3 loss, tying their worst margin of defeat this season while sinking to a season-most 26 games under .500.
This club continues to set standards for what rock bottom can be, and on Sunday, right-hander Alex Cobb was blasted for a career-high nine runs, unable to get through the fourth inning.
The Orioles, who opened their six-game road trip with two hard-fought, low-scoring wins in New York against the Mets, lost all four games in Toronto — including two in extra innings — by a total of 16 runs.
The momentum stalled after the Orioles blew a three-run ninth-inning lead in Thursday night’s series-opening 10-inning loss. They walked in the game-winning run in the 10th on Saturday, and Sunday’s game was one of their most uncompetitive of the season, marking the first time the Orioles have been swept in a four-game series since Sept. 9-12, 2016, in Boston.
“Yeah, it’s tough,” left fielder Trey Mancini said. “We were feeling pretty good coming in here after the series in New York. It’s tough. They played really well over there, and that first game was a tough loss obviously. Unfortunately, we didn’t really bounce back well from that and kind of let spiral into the whole weekend.”
And now after losing 11 of their past 13 games, the Orioles leave Toronto with the majors’ worst record at 19-45. Sunday’s loss marked the seventh time the Orioles have been swept in a three- or four-game series.
The Orioles have allowed 10 or more runs nine times in their first 64 games, tied with the Kansas City Royals for the most in the major leagues.They own a majors-worst .250 winning percentage on the road (9-27), and are 9-20 against AL East competition with the heavy-hitting Boston Red Sox coming to Camden Yards on Monday night to open a three-game series.
Cobb — who was coming off his best outing of the season (a one-run, two-hit, six-inning performance Wednesday against the Mets) — unraveled in a fourth inning during which the Blue Jays scored six runs and sent 11 batters to the plate.
“I mean we gave up 19 hits and only scored three runs,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “That’s not a very good recipe for success.”
Cobb struggled to locate his curveball and splitter, allowing the Blue Jays hitters to sit on his fastball.
June 10, 2018 -- The Orioles lose to the Blue Jays, 13-3. (Denise Sanders, Baltimore Sun video)
After giving up a pair of singles on liners that came through the mound and nearly struck Cobb, Curtis Granderson hit a 3-0 fastball over the right-center-field fence to give the Blue Jays a 6-1 lead.
Yangervis Solarte and Kendrys Morales followed with back-to-back singles, and both scored two batters later on Kevin Pillar’s two-out single that chased Cobb from the game.
Cobb was hoping to build on his previous start, but Sunday’s outing was the fifth time in 11 starts this season he’s allowed 10 hits — and in four of those outings, he’s allowed at least five runs.
“I thought I was trending in the right direction, for sure,” Cobb said. “But you know these games this year where I struggled, I’ve really struggled. I mean they were just terrible outings and no good can really come from them. You’re hurting the bullpen and not giving your team a chance to win. That’s tough to swallow.”
Orioles pitching allowed four homers Sunday — two off Cobb and two off Rule 5 draft pick Pedro Araujo, who allowed four runs in an inning of work in relief of Cobb.
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Araujo allowed his two homers in a three-batter span in the sixth, a two-run shot by Teoscar Hernández and a solo blow by Pillar that put Toronto up 13-1.
Two of the Orioles’ three runs came on solo homers — nearly three-quarters of the team’s homers this season (53 of 73) have been with the bases empty — as long-slumping sluggers Trey Mancini and Jonathan Schoop each connectedshots.
Mancini’s second-inning blast marked his first RBI in 13 games, and Schoop’s homer in the seventh ended a 0-for-18 stretch for him.
“Tough to say after a 10-run loss, but, yeah, you are not going to crawl out of a slump in one day,” Mancini said. “But you try to take it day by day and put your best foot forward and try to get back to what you do. I think that is what a lot of us are trying to do. Hopefully we can keep the momentum going there.”
After Mancini’s blast gave the Orioles a 1-0 lead, he made an unsuccessful diving attempt at a bloop into shallow left off the bat of Granderson, and the ball got by him, enabling two runs to score in an inning that didn’t include any hard-hit balls. Morales hit an opposite-field homer to left off Cobb in the third inning to give Toronto a 3-1 lead.
“You know, it’s tough because the [first] two runs [Cobb] gave up, he gives up a ground ball that sinks through the infield and a swinging bunt and a popup and the next thing you know, he’s given up two,” Showalter said. “That took a little air out of our [and] his sails I’m sure. After that, it obviously got away from him a little bit. The whole group has been pitching real well on this trip. We started out winning the two games on the road in New York, and then we came here and then it’s certainly gotten away from us.”