The Orioles sent three pitchers to the Camden Yards mound Friday, two they acquired last season in trades in hopes of building for their future. They signed the other in April in hopes of potentially flipping him for talent, too.
The Boston Red Sox tagged each of them for multiple runs in cruising to a 13-2 series-opening victory. Luis Ortiz, the right-hander thrust onto the Orioles’ roster and into a spot start thanks to a blister on Andrew Cashner’s right middle finger, did little to capitalize on the opportunity. He was due Friday to start for Triple-A Norfolk, where he had a 7.01 ERA. But a need for pitching sent him to Baltimore.
Although the Orioles told him late Thursday night they were calling him up, Ortiz — acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers in the Jonathan Schoop trade — said he didn’t know he would start until Friday. He lasted 3 1/3 innings, walked five and allowed four runs, then was optioned back to Norfolk after the game.
“Tough one to get up here and not do so well,” Ortiz said. “Competed every pitch, but it is what it is. Go out and get better and learn from the mistakes.”
Ortiz’s fourth run came after he was out of the game and Dan Straily was in. Straily, signed to a one-year deal after the Miami Marlins released him late in spring training, allowed as many home runs as outs he recorded. He exited the game after 1 1/3 innings having allowed 19 home runs on the year, only one off the major league lead. All but one has come at Camden Yards.
Josh Rogers, one of three pitchers the Orioles received for sending Zack Britton to the New York Yankees, provided the innings coverage manager Brandon Hyde was hoping for when the left-hander was added to the roster two hours before the game. Rogers, who had an 8.51 ERA with Norfolk, allowed two runs over the final 4 1/3 innings, with three scoreless frames to close his outing. But he’s possibly heading back to Triple-A as the Orioles seek someone to handle a similar workload should it be needed Saturday.
For the third straight night, the middle innings proved the most troublesome for Orioles pitching. Christian Vázquez and J.D. Martinez homered in a four-run fourth, then Jackie Bradley Jr., Michael Chavis and Martinez took Straily deep in the fifth. Andrew Benintendi’s two-run single in the sixth accounted for all of Boston’s runs off Rogers.
“We had very limited options tonight, honestly,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “I didn’t want to throw [Mychal Givens or Richard Bleier] in a game that we were losing in, so we were gonna try to somehow navigate through with Ortiz, Dan and Rogers.”
The Orioles did not go without a home run, either. Trey Mancini, the Orioles’ All-Star favorite by deservedness and default, hit one in the bottom of the first. That marked the only time the Orioles scored against former Baltimore farmhand Eduardo Rodriguez, who entered with a 5.00 ERA but mostly cruised through seven one-run innings.
Brock Holt hit a two-run home run off Ortiz in the top of the second to erase the Orioles’ early lead and start a run of 13 straight Red Sox runs. Keon Broxton ended it and spared the Orioles from matching their largest loss of the season with a run-scoring infield single in the ninth.
JBJ robs another homer – sort of
A month after robbing Mancini of what would’ve been a walk-off home run, Bradley again denied an Oriole of a round-tripper with his center-field play.
Two batters after Mancini singled to lead off the sixth, Pedro Severino hit a deep fly to center, but Bradley leaped at the wall and got his glove on it. Unlike the Mancini catch, Bradley was unable to corral Severino’s drive, but he effectively robbed him of a home run by keeping it in the yard. The ball bounced from Bradley’s glove to the top of the fence to the outfield grass. Mancini stopped at third on Severino’s strange double.
The next batter, Anthony Santander, hit a line drive to right. Mancini tried to score on the play, but Martinez’s throw was excellent and caught him at home as Bradley again managed to stop Mancini from scoring.
Alberto exits with illness
Hanser Alberto, who entered play with baseball’s best average against left-handed pitchers, exited the game with an illness in the fifth inning. Rio Ruiz replaced him at third base and went 0-for-2.