Ellis leaves early with shoulder discomfort in 7-6 loss (updated)

Orioles manager Brandon Hyde praised his bullpen before today’s game in Anaheim. He noted how the staff stepped up collectively as the club lost ace John Means and bulk reliever Dean Kremer to injuries. Miss your teammates, but not a beat.

Hyde didn’t intend to grab the phone so early this afternoon, or to talk about another physical issue that struck his rotation.

Chris Ellis faced five Angels batters, retired none and left the mound with head athletic trainer Brian Ebel. The team announced later that Ellis had right shoulder discomfort.

Ellis walked three batters, hit one and surrendered a two-run single to Jared Walsh – leaving after only 21 pitches, six for strikes.

Travis Lakins Sr. inherited a bases-loaded jam and served up a grand slam to Jo Adell for a six-run deficit, the Orioles battled back to tie the game in the seventh, and fell behind again in a 7-6 loss after Félix Bautista walked Taylor Ward with the bases full in the bottom half of the inning.

Austin Hays’ first home run was a two-run shot off reliever Austin Warren in the seventh after Ryan Mountcastle’s RBI single, allowing the Orioles to come all the way back. They brought the potential tying run to the plate in three consecutive innings and finally cashed in.

Mike Baumann retired the side in order in the sixth, but the Angels rallied against him in the seventh. Baumann hit Walsh after appearing to strike him out on the previous pitch and not getting the call, loading the bases with one out. Hyde brought in Bautista, and Ward kept fouling off 99-100 mph fastballs before walking on the ninth pitch.

Bautista retired the next two batters without another inherited runner scoring, but the Orioles failed to record their first three-game sweep in Anaheim since 2010. They went 3-4 on the West Coast and are 6-10 overall.

Cionel Pérez left the bases loaded in the eighth and Trey Mancini led off the ninth with a single, but the Orioles ran out of rallies.

Ellis was charged with five runs after tossing 4 1/3 scoreless innings in his first start in Oakland. Orioles starters hadn’t allowed more than two earned runs in 12 consecutive games, but the Angels sent 10 batters to the plate in the first inning.

Shohei Ohtani made the final out after drawing a leadoff walk. Ellis hit Trout, walked Anthony Rendon, gave up Walsh’s two-run single on a line drive into left field and walked Ward.

This was more than just poor command.

Ellis went on the injured list in September with right shoulder inflammation.

“Early on, you kind of saw there were a lot of arm-side up misses,” Hyde said tonight. “Something didn’t seem right. Holty (Chris Holt) went out there, he said he felt fine. He probably tried to gut through it. … For his sake and his long-term health, we felt the best thing to do was get him out of the game at that point.”

Hyde also said he didn’t want to use relievers Dillon Tate, Jorge López, Joey Krehbiel, Paul Fry or Bryan Baker today.

Asked how he was feeling, Ellis said, “Frustrated, I guess. OK. My arm wasn’t feeling great out there. I just wanted to go out there and compete and I felt like I wasn’t doing myself or the team any justice being out there, and I guess Hyde kind of felt the same way. Obviously frustrating, but we’ll see what happens in a couple days.”

Ellis said he noticed the discomfort while warming in the bullpen.

“I was like, ‘It’s just a day game, I’ll get it out, it’ll be OK.' And then the game started and it just didn’t feel right, wasn’t going right. It was just frustrating," Ellis said.

“I think (Holt) knew something was wrong, but the game just started, I wanted to compete. It was the first inning, right? So I was like, ‘No, I’m good, I’ve got it, it’s going to be OK,’ and it just wasn’t.”

The medical staff takes over from here.

“We’ll see what it is the next couple days,” Ellis said, “but nothing I haven’t dealt with before.”

Speculation on Ellis’ replacement, if one is needed, is bound to carry to Triple-A Norfolk starter Kyle Bradish, who’s allowed two earned runs with 17 strikeouts in 15 innings in his three starts. The Orioles weren’t reacting to Means’ elbow reconstructive surgery by rushing a pitching prospect to the majors and could take the same stance this week with Ellis.

Or they could decide that Bradish will be ready after the team returns home next weekend. They’re off Monday and play three games in the Bronx.

Lakins covered three innings, with one run charged to him, and one hit. Keegan Akin followed with two scoreless innings to lower his ERA to 1.54.

Mancini hit a three-run homer off José Suarez in the third inning, his first since Sept. 3, to slice the deficit in half. The ball traveled 404 feet with an exit velocity of 107.3 mph.

Chris Owings singled and Cedric Mullins walked before Mancini came to the plate.

Mullins led off the first inning with a double to right field, giving him a hit in six of the last seven games and seven of nine.

“Cedric gets on base,” Hyde said earlier today, “we have a really good chance of scoring.”

That would be proven correct, but it didn’t happen in the first. Mancini lined out to left field for his daily scorched out – over half the balls he’s hit have an exit velo of 95 mph or higher - Anthony Santander lined to center and Mountcastle flied to right.

Mullins reached on a bunt single in the fifth after Kelvin Gutiérrez’s walk, bringing Mancini to the plate as the potential tying run and reliever Oliver Ortega into the game. Mancini drew a four-pitch walk to load the bases with one out, but Santander struck out after getting ahead 2-0 and Mountcastle flied out with the count full.

The tying run came up again in the sixth on Jorge Mateo’s double and Gutiérrez’s walk with two outs. The Orioles executed a double steal, but Aaron Loup struck out pinch-hitter Rougned Odor, who was 3-for-5 lifetime against the left-hander.

Odor got ahead 3-0 and took a called third strike on the ninth pitch of the at-bat.

Mullins led off the seventh with a walk and Santander was hit by a pitch with one out. Santander has reached in all 16 games. Warren replaced Loup, Mountcastle grounded an RBI single into right field to cut the lead to 6-4, and Santander ran into an out after rounding second base and changing his mind.

Hays followed with his homer, settling for a two-run shot.

The Orioles hadn’t hit multiple home runs in a game this season. They hadn’t gone deep in the last seven before today.

Akin didn’t walk a batter this month until issuing two in the fifth inning and loading the bases with one out. This time, Adell grounded into a double play.

Robinson Chirinos missed a game on the road trip after being hit on the left side of the face on a ball that deflected off his shoulder. He stayed in today’s game after Ellis hit Trout in the first and the ball ricocheted to Chirinos, who was nailed below the left armpit.

In an area the chest protector doesn’t cover.

An area that brought enough pain to make Chirinos reach under his arm and rise out of his crouch.

He took a short stroll and got back behind the plate, then was hit on the mask in the seventh by Ward’s foul ball on a 100 mph fastball from Bautista.

At least the Orioles dodged those potential injuries.

Down on the farm, Norfolk’s Tyler Nevin became the only player in the International League with three consecutive three-hit games. Richie Martin and Robert Neustrom homered in a 14-5 loss to Durham.

Adam Hall and Jordan Westburg each collected two hits in Double-A Bowie’s 3-2, 10-inning loss to Akron. Westburg had an RBI double.

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