Baltimore Orioles

Orioles get swept as offense strikes out season-high 16 times in 5-1 loss to Tigers: ‘We’re going to get through this’

DETROIT — In what might be a move most emblematic of how lackluster the Orioles offense performed against the Tigers this weekend, the Baltimore infield crept onto the grass once Detroit had a runner reach third base with one out in the second inning.

Miguel Cabrera had already homered off right-hander Tyler Wells. And the possibility of another run crossing the plate, putting the Tigers up two on Sunday afternoon, was too imposing — at least for an offense that had scored two runs in the first two games of the series.


The infield depth didn’t matter in the end, as Harold Castro’s RBI single found the outfield grass. And either way, that extra run didn’t change much. The one run scored earlier appeared to be more than enough for Detroit, a molehill in the shape of a mountain the Orioles were incapable of climbing, until Trey Mancini’s solo homer in the ninth inning of the 5-1 loss.

Orioles reliever Logan Allen, center, hands the ball to manager Brandon Hyde, left, in the seventh inning Sunday in Detroit on Sunday. Baltimore struck out 16 times in the 5-1 loss as the Tigers completed the series sweep.

“Nothing changes,” outfielder Anthony Santander said through team interpreter Brandon Quinones. “We’re going to keep working hard, and we’re going to get through this.”


Baltimore matched a season high by striking out 16 times, with 11 of those coming against left-hander Tarik Skubal across the first six innings. Center fielder Cedric Mullins was responsible for four of those punchouts — a career high for last year’s All-Star. It amounted to a dismal series finale at the end of a weekend in which the offense only seemed to regress.

On Friday, the Orioles stranded 14 runners and went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position. They were shut out Saturday, finally pushing a runner into scoring position in the seventh inning. And on Sunday, they managed just four hits with Mancini’s homer the only extra-base knock.

“The last two days, just not much offense,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “Got the Yankees coming in. Got to move on from this one and be ready for tomorrow.”

The Tigers' Javier Baez slides home while Orioles catcher Robinson Chirinos awaits the throw home in the bottom of the third inning Sunday in Detroit.

The efficiency that allowed Wells to complete at least five innings in each of his last three starts vanished Sunday, even as he avoided a walk for the fifth straight start. The 27-year-old allowed eight hits in four innings, including two to the first two batters he faced in the fifth before Hyde made a call to the bullpen.

Hyde targeted somewhere between 60 and 80 pitches for Wells, with the hope that would push him into the fifth or sixth inning. But a 22-pitch second inning that included Cabrera’s second home run of the weekend and the 505th of his career taxed Wells early.

“I’m sure he’s seen so many pitches that were great pitches for him to hit that he missed, and then there’s also a lot of pitches that he’s seen that he’s absolutely killed,” Wells said. “I’m not going to worry too much about giving up a home run to that guy. He’s hit a lot of them. Obviously, a lot of hits. He got the best of me.”

Then Castro added his RBI single in the second before Cabrera added another RBI with a sacrifice fly in the third.

The leadoff singles by Tucker Barnhart and Robbie Grossman were the final straw, raising Wells to 71 pitches. And between left-hander Logan Allen and right-hander Bryan Baker, another two runs came home, pushing Baltimore further behind.


“I believe in our hitters,” Wells said. “They’ve done a lot of really good things as of late. The last three games haven’t really told the bigger picture.”

Orioles shortstop Jorge Mateo is tended to by the team trainer after being injured in a collision in the second inning in Detroit on Sunday.

A big hit of the wrong kind

Shortstop Jorge Mateo attempted to push a base-hit bunt down the first base line, and as the ball rolled foul, he took a crunching hit from first baseman Spencer Torkelson that left Mateo on the dirt. Mateo remained in the game for two more innings, but he didn’t break on a ball at shortstop he tends to get to before he was replaced by Chris Owings in the fourth.

The Orioles announced Mateo left with rib soreness. An injury to Mateo would further deplete the Orioles, who are already dealing with injuries to first baseman Ryan Mountcastle and outfielder Austin Hays.

Mateo was diagnosed with a chest and shoulder contusion and X-rays were negative, Hyde said after the game. Hyde said he didn’t anticipate needing to make any player movements, with Mateo just day-to-day, but another injured player remaining on the active roster slims the bench to just two position players.

“It was a little scary, for sure,” Santander said. “The first baseman has a big body, and you could tell it was a heavy, hard hit, so you kind of get scared a little bit.”

A matter of days for Hays

Hays considers himself lucky. For how the cleat landed on his hand Thursday night, there could’ve been worse damage — a torn ligament or a broken bone. Still, despite avoiding that outcome, the stitches and cuts that are now scabbing across his left hand aren’t pleasant, and the swelling hasn’t fully abated.


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“I was really lucky the cleat didn’t hit anything,” Hays said. “It was just kind of cuts, that was it. No serious damage. Just let that settle and then I’ll be good.”

Hays needed 48 hours for the stitches to set before he was able to begin working out again, so he threw without a glove and ran in the outfield Saturday. He hopes to begin swinging Monday. Even with the potential of more time off over the upcoming series against the New York Yankees, there hasn’t been any discussion of an injured list stint.

“I missed a lot of games the last couple years, so I want to be in there every game,” Hays said. “Seems like most injuries I’ve had are freak things. So, yeah, it’s very frustrating. I was going really good, my body was feeling pretty good, was going pretty good at the plate. Just trying to get back in there as soon as possible so I can keep up the consistent at-bats.”


Monday, 7:05 p.m.



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