Trey Mancini got the news last night that he’d be out of Sunday’s lineup for a light day before the taxing Home Run Derby the following day. The Orioles star responded to Brandon Hyde’s text with a prescient promise.
“If you need me in a big spot, I’ll be ready,” Mancini texted back.
So, after the Orioles went essentially the entire game without a hit, between Austin Hays’ two-run home run in the first inning and Ryan McKenna’s two-out single in the ninth, Hyde called on Mancini to provide a rare moment of thrill.
He hit a two-run home run off All-Star closer Liam Hendriks to tie the game at 4 and send it to extra innings, where rookie Tyler Wells allowed a three-run home run to doom the Orioles to a 7-5 loss, a series sweep, and a fourth straight defeat entering the All-Star break.
“Trey came through in a big way,” Hyde said. “We didn’t have a hit for a long time. ... It was just a tough loss, because you like to see guys battle back and win those type of games.”
This loss, unlike the ones that have come before it, started well on the mound as rookie Spenser Watkins making a second good start this week. He was hurt only by a home run to Andrew Vaughn and allowed four hits and three walks in 4 ⅓ innings.
Paul Fry finished off the fifth inning for Watkins as the top of the White Sox order was coming up for a third time, but a hit batter and a walk in Fry’s sixth came around to score when Cole Sulser allowed another home run to Vaughn to turn what was a 2-1 lead into a 4-2 deficit.
Tanner Scott and Tyler Wells combined to keep it a two-run game into the ninth inning before Mancini’s heroics off the bench. Wells, with a runner on second automatically for the tenth, walked Yoan Moncada to put two on but then got two outs to bring manager Brandon Hyde out to the mound for a visit.
Hyde had reliever Dillon Tate ready, but left Wells in to face Adam Engel, who hit a 3-1 fastball out for a home run.
In the bottom of the 10th, the Orioles’ automatic runner, Pedro Severino, advanced on a single by Kelvin Gutiérrez and scored on a sacrifice fly by Mullins. DJ Stewart narrowly missed a home run for the game’s final out..
Mountcastle leaves with arm bruise
At the end of May, White Sox right-hander Dylan Cease hit Mancini on the elbow and caused him to miss a few games.
Cease chased another top Orioles hitter early Sunday when he hit first baseman Ryan Mountcastle with a fastball on the left arm. Mountcastle remained in the game to run the bases in the first inning, but left before the top of the second.
The Orioles said the injury was a left forearm bruise, and X-rays were negative.
Hyde is hopeful the All-Star break will allow Mountcastle to rest without missing too much time.
“I think he’s going to be sore the next couple days, so I’ll stay in touch with him,” Hyde said. “The training staff will as well, and hopefully he’s ready in Kansas City.”
McKenna on the dirt
McKenna’s ninth-inning single extended the game, but Mancini’s home run meant it went on too long for the Orioles to be able to align in any kind of familiar way defensively.
Having already used reserve infielder Pat Valaika in an effort to not use Mancini for essentially a full game before the Home Run Derby, the Orioles pinch-hit for Valaika earlier in the ninth and thus moved McKenna to third base, sliding Gutiérrez to second base.
McKenna has some infield experience as an amateur, and the team toyed with him playing second base in the fall instructional league years ago, but Sunday was his first professional appearance on the infield.
Hyde said entering the All-Star break that shortstop Freddy Galvis (quadriceps) will begin rehabbing in Sarasota, Florida, next week with an eye toward returning from the injured list by the end of the month. Right-hander Hunter Harvey (shoulder) could return by then as well, as Hyde said he’s feeling better and the injury wasn’t as severe as they initially thought.