Orioles reliever Richard Bleier just came out of today’s game in the top of the eighth inning after retiring Red Sox second baseman Eduardo Núñez on a ground ball, dropping his glove and reaching for his left elbow area in obvious pain.
Bleier grimaced and shook his head as he walked toward the dugout with assistant athletic trainer Mark Shires. There was no hesitation in his removal as manager Buck Showalter and pitching coach Roger McDowell rushed to the mound.
Brad Brach replaced Bleier, who entered the game with two outs in the seventh and induced a ground ball from Rafael Devers. Núñez led off the eighth.
Bleier bent at the waist until Shires arrived and rubbed his forehead as he straightened. He had hopped off the mound after throwing the pitch, only his fifth of the game and the first of the inning. It was an 89 mph sinker and the Orioles hope it didn’t end his season.
At times the only left-handed reliever in the bullpen, Bleier has gone 3-0 with a 1.93 ERA in 31 appearances and positioned himself as a trade candidate at the non-waiver deadline. He’s allowed seven runs and 36 hits in 32 2/3 innings, with four walks and 15 strikeouts.
In three major league seasons, the first with the Yankees, Bleier has posted ERAs of 1.96, 1.99 and 1.93 over 111 games.
Bleier was making his sixth appearance in June. He most recently threw eight pitches in the ninth inning of Monday night’s game against the Red Sox. He was used on three consecutive days from June 5-7, totaling 2 2/3 innings and 33 pitches.
Bleier’s 31 appearances lead the club. Mychal Givens made his 29th today. Bleier ranks third in innings.
The Orioles will provide an update following the game. They trail 5-1 in the top of the ninth.
Update: The Orioles lose to the Red Sox 5-1 for their seventh defeat in a row to lower their record to 19-48.
The Orioles have dropped 14 of their last 16 - a pair of seven-game streaks. They were held to one run or fewer for the 20th time this season.