Tampa Bay Rays pinch-hitter Harold Ramírez launched a ball to left discipline, then flipped his bat. Like the Orioles, each got here falling again to earth.
The three-run house run broke open what grew to become a 7-1 victory for Tampa Bay, erasing Baltimore’s lead within the American League East and leaving the groups tied atop the division with two video games left of their weekend collection and about two weeks left within the common season.
In one other bereft night time for the offense, the Orioles recorded solely two hits. The first didn’t come till the sixth inning, when rookie Heston Kjerstad launched a house run for his first profession hit.
It’s the primary time the Orioles (91-56) haven’t stood alone atop the AL East since July 21, once they suffered their lone loss in a four-game collection at Tampa Bay. They entered Sunday with a four-game lead on the Rays, however Baltimore has since tied a season excessive with 4 straight losses, together with dropping the primary two on this four-game house collection with Tampa Bay.
“Nobody said this was going to be easy,” supervisor Brandon Hyde mentioned. “These things happen, and you’ve got to just stay positive. Tomorrow’s a new day, and still got a lot of baseball left.”
Friday’s loss got here in entrance of an introduced attendance of 43,359, with franchise icon Adam Jones’ retirement ceremony and the important matchup drawing the third-largest crowd at Camden Yards this season. Orioles starter Jack Flaherty appeared to feed off the group early, dominating by way of three innings. But Brandon Lowe, a University of Maryland product, opened the fourth with a house run. It sparked a stretch through which six of 9 Rays (92-57) reached base in opposition to Flaherty.
With right-hander Jacob Webb permitting one of many two runners he inherited from Flaherty with no outs within the fifth to attain, Flaherty gave up three runs over 4 innings. Acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals ultimately month’s commerce deadline for 3 gamers Baseball America ranked amongst Baltimore’s high 20 prospects, Flaherty has gone fewer than 5 innings in three straight begins. He has a 7.11 ERA in seven outings with Baltimore.
Both he and his group at the moment are attempting to shake out of slumps.
“Just remember who you are,” Flaherty mentioned. “They’ve been good all year for a reason. I’ve only been here for a month and some change, but they’ve been good all year for a reason, and every team’s going to go through it at some point, but just remember who you are, remember how you got to this point.”
DL Hall allowed the primary three batters to succeed in within the sixth, and Bryan Baker let two of them rating when Ramirez walloped his first pitch. Only Kjerstad’s house run, approaching a 1-1 cutter from Zach Eflin to open the underside of the sixth, prevented a shutout. Eflin was in any other case dominant, placing out eight whereas going seven innings on 84 pitches.
“I don’t think he threw a ball where he didn’t want to the entire night,” Hyde mentioned.
After ending with 15 strikeouts in Thursday’s opener, the Orioles struck out 13 instances Friday. They have scored six runs throughout their four-game shedding streak after scoring 10 or extra in 4 of the previous 5 video games. The first two video games of the shedding streak got here in opposition to starters who had struggled immensely in St. Louis’ Adam Wainwright and Drew Rom, the latter of whom was one of many prospects traded for Flaherty. But every picked up the win in opposition to Baltimore, marking Wainwright’s 199th and Rom’s first within the majors.
Across the 4 video games, the Orioles have gone 18-for-122 (.148) with 43 strikeouts and 12 walks. That contains going 2-for-24 with runners in scoring place, conditions through which they led the majors in OPS coming into the shedding streak. It’s solely the third time this season they’ve scored three or fewer runs in 4 consecutive video games, with the newest case overlapping with their solely different four-game shedding streak in early July.
Both the Orioles and Rays are probably sure for the playoffs, however Baltimore’s focus stays on profitable the AL East, which might permit it to skip the wild-card spherical and supply home-field benefit within the postseason. Still, Cleveland’s victory over the Texas Rangers dropped the Orioles’ magic quantity for a playoff spot to 3, although that end result does little to ease the sting of Friday’s consequence at Camden Yards.
“Every team goes through ups and downs,” mentioned catcher Adley Rutschman, who’s 1-for-15 in the course of the skid. “Tomorrow’s a new day, and we’re going to try and bounce back.”
Around the horn
- Three weeks after struggling a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his proper elbow, Orioles nearer Félix Bautista performed catch for a fifth time, throwing from about 120 toes. “Making great progress,” Hyde mentioned. “All signs have been that he’s feeling good during and after, so that’s good. We’ll see what happens.”
- First baseman Ryan Mountcastle (left shoulder discomfort) was out of the lineup for a second straight recreation, however Hyde mentioned he was feeling “a lot better.”
- Outfielder Kyle Stowers, the Orioles’ No. 12 prospect in response to Baseball America, rejoined Triple-A Norfolk a bit of greater than two weeks after struggling a damaged nostril on a pitch to the face.
- Norfolk scratched right-hander Chayce McDermott, Baltimore’s No. 13 prospect, from his begin Friday with low again discomfort.
- Triple-A right-hander Noah Denoyer underwent Tommy John elbow reconstruction this week; Dr. Neal ElAttrache carried out the surgical procedure in Los Angeles. The Orioles’ No. 22 prospect, Denoyer was a member of their 40-man roster earlier than being designated for project in June.
Rays at Orioles
Saturday, 7:05 p.m.
TV: MASN, MLB Network (out of market solely)
Radio: 97.9 FM, 101.5 FM, 1090 AM