No sweep: Colorado scores in the ninth to beat the Orioles

The Orioles have not been swept in their past 81 series dating to last year. But today their bid to record their ninth sweep of 2023 came up short.

The Colorado Rockies pushed an unearned run across the plate in the top of the ninth to beat the Orioles 4-3 in front of 30,773 at Oriole Park.

Baltimore's four-game win streak came to an end, and the Orioles are now 81-49 after their 12th one-run loss in 36 such games.

Righty Yennier Cano, who got a save last night, came on for the ninth today, but this time in a 3-3 tie.

Hunter Goodman's grounder went for an infield single and he reached second on a throwing error charged to shortstop Gunnar Henderson. He moved to third with one out and the infield came in. But on pinch-hitter Elias Díaz's hi-chop grounder to third, there was no play at home. The out produced the go-ahead run and what turned out to be winning run. Cano took the loss. 

As they had done in the first two games of this series, the Orioles fell behind but came back late. This time they hit another big homer in the eighth inning.

Down 3-1 to the eighth, the Orioles tied it up on Ryan O’Hearn’s pinch-hit two-run homer to right off reliever Jake Bird. Cedric Mullins walked with one out and then O’Hearn hit a first-pitch cutter for the game-tying homer. It was No. 11 for O’Hearn, went 406 feet and got the Orioles even.

The Orioles spent much of today struggling against a 2019 Oriole in lefty Ty Blach.

Blach, Denver-born, pitched Colorado to a 3-1 lead through seven innings. Blach had an 11.32 ERA for the ’19 Orioles and had an ERA of 18.47 in two starts at Camden Yards. But he has been pitching well for the Rockies, with a 3.25 ERA in six starts since July 23, and that continued today.

He allowed just three hits and one run with seven strikeouts on 86 pitches.

Pitching for the first time since Aug. 15, O's right-hander Jack Flaherty put up a zero in the top of the first. The O’s pushed his start back to today as Flaherty said he didn’t quite “bounce back” from his last start in the proper manner.

Today he gave up a leadoff single but then got a double play ball and a lineout to end an 11-pitch first inning. That was the beginning of a good start to his day. He threw scoreless ball through the third, facing the minimum nine batters on 35 pitches.

But Colorado took the lead in fourth and began a run of scoring once in each of the next three innings.

Shortstop Ezequiel Tovar singled with one out and stole second base with two outs. He then scored on a flared single to right by Brendan Rodgers on an 0-1 slider to break the 0-0 tie.

Michael Toglia’s solo homer to right in the fifth made it a 2-0 game. The lefty hitter hit a fly ball to right that carried out at 373 feet for his fourth home run.

The Orioles finally scored on Mullins’ solo homer down the right field line in the last of the fifth. Mullins hit a first-pitch two-seam sinker 341 feet and saw the ball stay just fair out near the foul pole. It was No. 12 for Mullins and the O’s were trailing 2-1.

But the lead was back to two runs at 3-1 in the Rockies half of the sixth. Ryan McMahon doubled with one out and scored on Goodman’s single to center. He had his contract selected from Triple-A this morning, was added to the roster today and notched his first MLB hit.

With one out in the last of the first today, the game was delayed by five minutes due to bees. There was a swarm of honey bees out in left field near the bullpen area. It took a few minutes to get the bees calmed down and then play resumed. The delay, officials said, would not count in the time of game.

The Orioles fall to 40-25 at home and 40-19 in games decided by two runs or less. They host the Chicago White Sox as the homestand continues Monday night. 

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