Just as quickly as the Orioles looked like improbable winners on Father's Day at Camden Yards, their lead disappeared.
What was left — an 8-6 loss to the Boston Red Sox in 10 innings Sunday at Camden Yards — goes into the growing pile of games in which the Orioles can feel good about much of what they did while lamenting a few fatal errors that made it a loss, this one No. 50 on the season.
“We've had our fair share of tough losses this year,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “I've never seen a club go through so much in the first few months of the season, but I just really liked the way we played today.”
“Very strange game, but in the end, that's a really tough loss,” right fielder Trey Mancini said. “We competed. We played well. But at the end of the day, that's a game we need to win, and good clubs win those games.”
Trailing 2-1 on an afternoon of missed opportunities against Red Sox pitching, Jonathan Villar stole second base, then third and scored on a wild pitch after a leadoff walk in the eighth inning. Stevie Wilkerson tripled and scored on a single by Hanser Alberto to give the Orioles a 3-2 lead.
But closer Mychal Givens allowed a game-tying home run to No. 9 hitter Marco Hernández with one out in the ninth and gave up a 458-foot home run to Rafael Devers to open the 10th before Boston scored five runs against him and David Hess to turn it into a rout.
Givens has five blown saves against six converted saves this season, although one of those blown saves didn’t come in the ninth inning. The most recent means the Orioles are 21-50 through 71 games. Only three teams this century have lost 50 games faster — the 2003 Detroit Tigers, and the 2010 and 2018 editions of the Orioles.
Sunday's game, albeit a slog that featured 15 pitchers, was the kind Hyde — who was ejected in the fourth inning after the Orioles lost a run on an interference call — will have wanted when he described the previous two games of this series with Boston as "embarrassing" and "sloppy," respectively.
He was smart to issue a challenge to play better when his best starter, rookie left-hander John Means, was pitching the next day. For large stretches of the game, they played as they were expected to defensively and had good at-bats to produce threatening situations, even if going 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position hurt badly.
Means wasn't his best, grinding through five innings of two-run ball, and left with a 2-1 deficit after five innings.
Means would have exited a tie game had the umpires not nullified a run-scoring sacrifice bunt by Keon Broxton, who ran inside the baseline and was called out. Since interference calls like that aren't reviewable, Hyde's objections led to an ejection.
In Hyde’s place, major league field coordinator Tim Cossins was aggressive with his bullpen to keep the game as close as it was, using Jimmy Yacabonis, Richard Bleier, Shawn Armstrong and Paul Fry to carry the game into the eighth inning at 2-1. They combined for three scoreless innings.
Following Hernández's home run, Givens had to strand Mookie Betts at third after a one-out triple in the ninth inning to keep the game tied, but wasn't able to do it in the 10th.
An error by Rio Ruiz in the 10th made things more complicated than they needed to be, which meant a two-run home run by Wilkerson and a solo home run by Trey Mancini in the home half were only consolation.
Monday, 10:07 p.m.
Radio: 105.7 FM
O’s starter: RHP Andrew Cashner (6-2, 4.73 ERA)
Latest Baltimore Orioles
A’s starter: RHP Mike Fiers (6-3, 4.63 ERA)