Baltimore Orioles

Trey Mancini provides late lead, but Orioles are swept out of Boston with 8-6 loss to Red Sox

Boston — Trey Mancini, in and out of the Orioles lineup this month with an oblique injury, is battling through soreness for days like Sunday. He badly wants to make it to the end of the season, his first since missing all of 2020 because of colon cancer.

“Cancer is the only thing that’s put me on the IL in my career, and I’d like to keep it that way,” Mancini said. “I’m just trying to push through, and when I’m feeling like I’m able to go out there and perform well, I want to be out there competing with the guys.”


The Orioles want their most experienced hitter and inspirational center of the team out there as well, for spots like his seventh-inning trip to the plate Sunday. After Boston walked the bases loaded, Mancini hit a bases-clearing double to give the Orioles a 6-5 lead, a big hit they’ve often lacked late in games. What transpired next, though, makes it a wonder that he or anyone else endures all this losing.

Boston erased that lead quickly, scoring three times in the seventh to win, 8-6, to complete a three-game sweep before an announced crowd of 27,010 at Fenway Park.


“Last day here, we’re down a lot early and we could have cashed it in and we didn’t,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “That gave us a chance to win today. But tough to compete when you’re giving up seven, eight, nine runs a game.”

Full marks go to the Orioles (47-102) for battling back to take the lead in the first place. Rookie Alexander Wells struggled early, loading the bases on a walk and two singles before recording an out, then hitting Bobby Dalbec and allowing a two-run double to Kevin Plawecki for an early 3-0 deficit. Boston added a fourth run in the second when Alex Verdugo doubled and scored on a double by Kiké Hernández.

Wells settled down to retire 12 of 13 the rest of the way. The only blemish was a cheap Fenway Park home run by J.D. Martinez in the third.

By then, the Orioles had clawed back into the game. Cedric Mullins singled, advanced on a walk by Ryan Mountcastle and scored when Anthony Santander doubled. Austin Hays’ two-out single up the middle scored Mountcastle and Santander.

Wells and reliever Eric Hanhold kept it a 5-3 game into the seventh inning, when Mullins, Mountcastle and Santander all walked to bring up Mancini. He hooked a ground ball into the left-field corner to score them all and give the Orioles a 6-5 lead, though he was thrown out at third base trying to advance on the throw home.

“Disappointed in my decision there, but on the flip side, I was happy to come through in that situation because up to that point, it had been a really tough game for me,” Mancini said. “I’m glad that I washed that, especially since I haven’t been playing. I’ve been playing sporadically here. The tensions can get a little higher when you’re up there. I’m glad I was able to come through.”

Mancini hadn’t driven in more than one run in a game since July 11 against the Chicago White Sox, and is batting .259 with a .778 OPS.

“It was a big hit for us,” Hyde said. “He’s a high-character guy, as we all know. He told me last night, he really wants to be in there today. I’m just going to have to monitor him for the rest of this season, but I know it felt good for him to get a big hit there when we needed it.”


The good feelings didn’t last long as Conner Greene, who hadn’t allowed a run in six appearance and had a 1.88 ERA since returning to the Orioles late last month, allowed three runs on three hits to give the lead right back in the seventh.

Dillon Tate kept it from getting any worse by retiring all four batters he faced from the seventh through the eighth, but the Orioles’ offensive day was done. Mountcastle, who became the first Orioles rookie to hit 30 home runs Saturday night, had two hits and two walks but struck out in the ninth.

A good spell for Wells

By virtue of being soft-tossing left-handers, Orioles rookies Zac Lowther and Wells face similar challenges in establishing themselves in the majors. Hyde wanted Wells to attack the zone the way Lowther did late in Saturday’s outing, and after his rocky start, he did just that.

Still, Wells allowed five runs on six hits with a walk and three strikeouts, bringing his ERA from 7.76 to 7.96.

“He gave up four there in the first couple innings,” Hyde said. “Everything was up, for me, either in the top of the zone or above. He got away with some, got lucky on some things as well. But nice to see him put up a zero there in the fourth and the fifth.”

Pitcher parade

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The Orioles added a pair of fresh pitchers to a battered staff Sunday, bringing up reliever Brooks Kriske from Triple-A Norfolk just days after he was claimed off waivers from the New York Yankees and selecting the contract of Thomas Eshelman.


The duo replaced Spenser Watkins, who was optioned to Norfolk, and Dusten Knight, who was designated for assignment.

Hyde said the Orioles were “excited” about being able to get Kriske.

“We’ve seen him briefly, he’s got a great arm,” Hyde said. “We’re hoping … his command was a little bit of an issue in New York, but someone they thought highly of. But we’re hoping we can help him and he can stick with us. Eshelman, we added to give us some length out of our bullpen.”


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