Advertisement

Orioles drop season-high ninth straight, 5-4 to Marlins

If progress for the Orioles offense comes in the form of a string of two-out singles, then so be it. That might speak more to the depths of frustration a beleaguered batting order is experiencing more than anything. It served as a sign of life Saturday afternoon, but it wasn’t enough to break this floundering team out of its season-long losing streak.

When the hole is dug this deep, results are all that matters. And manager Buck Showalter realizes that pointing to the light at the end of the tunnel won’t sit well with the Orioles reaching their 50th loss in their 69th game of the season after their 5-4 loss to the lowly Miami Marlins, a defeat that was their ninth straight and their 16th in 18 games.

Advertisement

They also dropped their 11th straight game at Camden Yards while losing a home series to the Marlins (28-43), who have nine more wins than Baltimore despite being in the middle of an overhaul.

Inside an empty Camden Yards hours before Saturday’s first pitch, several Orioles hitters took early swings on the field, trying to work their way out of their collective offensive funk by trying to take pitches the other way. Come game time, the Orioles had 11 hits, but stranded eight base runners. They scored four runs, and have now been held to four or fewer in 18 of the past 19 games. The only time they scored more was when they scored five June 2.

“We got 11 hits, we scored four,” said second baseman Jonathan Schoop, who showed a flash of breaking out of his slump with a solo homer in the sixth. “We got our chances. We didn't come through. So, we've got to keep grinding. We've got to keep working hard and hopefully the losing streak ends and we start winning tomorrow and keep going through until the season's over.”

Trey Mancini epitomized the frustration of the Orioles these days, emphatically removing his helmet with both hands and slamming it on the ground after stranding the tying run on third base in the seventh inning.

“I really would like to see them get a return for what they’re putting in,” Showalter said. “It’s very frustrating for me for them to see them not getting back what they’re putting into it, but at some point you’d think the game’s going to let them up a little bit. But nobody’s going to feel sorry for you. They step on your neck when you’re down and we did the same to other clubs and we’ve got to figure out a way to get back in that mode.”

For the second time Saturday, Mancini had the chance to tie the game in the seventh inning after consecutive two-out singles by Adam Jones, Manny Machado and Danny Valencia off Marlins reliever Tayron Guerrero manufactured a run to cut Miami’s lead to 5-4.

With runners at first and third, Mancini battled back from down 0-2 against right-hander Brad Ziegler before hitting a ball sharply up the middle but within range of Marlins shortstop JT Riddle, who threw to first to get Mancini by a step. After crossing the bag, the typically calm Mancini slammed his helmet with a loud thud.

That came after Mancini had two on with two outs in the third two batters after Machado hit a two-run single to bring the Orioles within two runs at 4-2. But Mancini couldn’t keep the inning going, stranding two base runners with a groundout to third to end the inning.

“I was talking to Trey about it today in my office. It’s not a thing that one swing is going to get back,” Showalter said. “You’ve got to stay with the process and your approach and trust yourself. It’s so easy not to trust yourself at this point.”

Right-hander Alex Cobb (2-9) was stung by Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto, who drove in four of Miami’s five runs. After an RBI single in the first, Realmuto hit a two-run homer in the third after Cobb issued a walk to Brian Anderson. Realmuto added a solo home run to lead off the sixth.

All three hits were off fastballs from Cobb, who saw his split-change and curveball combine for 10 swinging strikes. But the Marlins only needed to tag his fastball to beat him. Cobb allowed five runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out six in seven innings.

“I think the overall repeating of the delivery, which allows the fastball command to really be there consistently game in and game out, the overall delivery, just hasn’t been crisp and clean,” Cobb said. “That’s why the stuff is starting to come. But the fastball command is struggling right now. So, like I said, I’ve just got to harness what was doing good and why I was doing good and clean up those poorly executed fastballs.”

Cobb has allowed 14 runs in 10 2/3 innings over his past two starts.

“It’ll probably get some eye rolls to say that he’s close, but changeup is there, and if it’s not always there but the curveball, I think it’s been pretty crisp the last three or four outings,” Showalter said. “It’s just the fastball command’s that last missing piece. I think we’ve all seen him be so good for so long, we know what it looks like. It’s another one where you see a statistic of whatever you want to look at, ERA or whatever. Yeah, it’s reflective, but I don’t think with him it paints the whole case.”

Advertisement

Former Orioles left-hander Wei-Yin Chen (2-3) — making his first start at Camden Yards since signing a five-year, $80 million deal with the Marlins before the 2016 season — pitched a quality start, allowing three runs on eight hits and a walk over six innings.

Schoop, mired in a 9-for-66 slump over his 17 games before Saturday that lowered his season average to .207, hit his seventh homer of the season in the sixth inning off Chen, just his second since May 26, to cut the Miami lead to 5-3.

In the ninth, pinch hitter Corban Joseph’s leadoff walk from Drew Steckenrider put the tying run on base, but Jones – who had three hits on the day – hit a double-play grounder to second baseman Starlin Castro. Castro tagged pinch runner Jace Peterson running to second and still had time to get Jones at first. Machado then flied out to end the game.

Advertisement
Advertisement