Orioles kept hitless through six innings in 11-0 loss (updated)

Orioles manager Brandon Hyde didn’t fear an emotional regression from his team after Sunday’s comeback win and the Tigers arriving with their anemic offense and one of the worst records in baseball. He wasn’t worried about the clubhouse losing its edge. Not with so much at stake.

Hyde remembered the three-game sweep in Detroit back in May, and the past struggles against the Tigers under his watch.

“You can’t let your guard down,” he said this afternoon.

Tyler Alexander wouldn’t let the Orioles get a hit until the seventh inning. Something that Hyde never saw coming.

Two walks were the only blemishes on Alexander’s line before Ryan Mountcastle lined a single into center field leading off the seventh in the Tigers’ 11-0 victory over the Orioles at Camden Yards.

Alexander retired the first 11 batters before Mountcastle walked. Austin Hays drew a two-out walk in the sixth. Nothing else for the Orioles until back-to-back singles by Mountcastle and Anthony Santander in the seventh, which were followed by a strikeout and double play.

The Mariners won earlier today in Anaheim, leaving the Orioles (76-70) five games behind for the last wild card with 16 remaining.

"I don't have a whole lot to say," Hyde said. "Nothing really went our way. We had two hits and gave up 11."

"The best way to put it is we might just be putting too much pressure on ourselves," said Tyler Wells, who lasted three-plus innings. "We're a young club, we've got a lot of really good guys. I think as we continue to go on, hopefully we'll continue to even each other out and really start to pick each other up. Just kind of get back on track."

Third baseman Ryan Kreidler made a sliding backhand stop and throw along the line to retire Adley Rutschman after Hays’ walk in the sixth. The only drama left in the night was building.

Alexander was 3-10 with a 5.35 ERA before tonight, and the Tigers had gone 1-12 in his starts. His seven innings against the Orioles tied his career high.

"I had fastball command for the first time in a while, which was good. It opened up a lot of the plate,” Alexander said.

“I wasn't too upset when the (Mountcastle) ball landed. At that point, I just wanted to get through seven clean. And then with the hit by the next guy, I'm glad I kept it together and put up another zero.”

The Orioles were shut out for the 10th time to match last year's total. They hadn't been shut out in back-to-back home games since Aug. 4-5, 2020.

They've been no-hit seven times in their history, most recently by Seattle’s Hisashi Iwakuma on Aug. 12, 2015. The only no-hitter at Camden Yards was authored by the Red Sox’s Hideo Nomo on April 4, 2001.

Tampa Bay’s Drew Rasmussen carried a perfect game into the ninth inning on Aug. 14 at Tropicana Field before Jorge Mateo doubled on the first pitch of the inning.

Gunnar Henderson flied to the center field fence in the second inning tonight, a 406-foot out with a 102.7 mph exit velocity that caused Riley Greene to bounce off the padding. Ramón Urías led off the third with a scorched line drive to Javier Báez.  

The Kreidler play against Rutschman was the third dousing of a potential hit. Everything else seemed non-threatening.

"We didn't square hardly any balls up," Hyde said. "Looked like he was pitching to both sides of the plate. We hit a lot of weak popups. Gunnar put a good swing on one early, (Urías) put a good swing on one early, but I thought we were a little bit passive early in the game and a lot of strike threes looking. Just didn't come out very aggressive, and got it handed to us."

Wells didn’t retire a batter in the fourth inning and left after walking Kreidler with the bases loaded and the count full. The Orioles were down 2-0 and trying to limit the damage against a team with the lowest run total in the majors.

DL Hall let all three inherited runners score on a wild pitch and Akil Baddoo’s two-run bloop single into left field.

Wells was charged with five runs and four hits, with three walks and three strikeouts, in his third start since leaving the injured list.

"Definitely felt better physically than what the results showed," Wells said. "With a soft tissue injury like an oblique, I feel like you're just going to go through ups and downs where it fatigues a little faster some days than others, and maybe that's happened tonight."

"I just thought he got tired there," Hyde said. "This guy's thrown a lot of innings this year. I know he had a bunch of time off just recently, but like we've talked about all along, that's why we were monitoring so closely the first half of the year, because of this transition to a starter is something that he hasn't done, and the amount of innings, and hopefully this will make him better for next year. We can build him up to be able to pitch for six months plus next year in the rotation. But it's a long season for these guys and some of these guys haven't been through something like this. It's not easy."

Wells might be applying an excessive amount of pressure on himself.

"Yes and no," he said. "It is a constant battle. With the results that I had tonight, I would definitely say that I'm pretty upset about it, and given our uncertain circumstances, yeah, you would say you put pressure on yourself. I feel like I let the team down tonight, and especially with what we're trying to chase, and it sucks. But at the same time, too, we're just going to keep moving forward and try to continue getting better."

Miguel Cabrera came off the injured list today and gave Detroit a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a two-out bloop single into left-center field that scored Báez from first base. Hays tried to make a diving catch after a late burst to the ball, perhaps thinking at first that Cedric Mullins would get to it.

Spencer Torkelson walked and former Oriole Jonathan Schoop lined out to Henderson, who made the catch without his glove flying down the left field line. An absolute missile.

Wells retired seven in a row, but Cabrera led off the fourth inning with a single, his 3,081th career hit to tie him with Cap Anson for 24th place on the all-time list. Torkelson singled and Schoop walked to load the bases with no outs

Kreidler walked, Hall entered the game and struck out Tucker Barnhart, but Torkelson raced home on a wild pitch. Baddoo followed with his two-run single, and he scored on Greene’s double to deep center field.

"I've seen Javy do that a million times, score from first on a ball like that," Hyde said, hearkening back to their Cubs days. "And then it looks like Tyler just ran out of gas there in the fourth. But we had two hits, so tip your hat to Alexander for throwing a heck of a game."

Hall was charged with only one run, but his ERA is 8.68 in 9 1/3 major league innings.

Greene stroked a two-run double into the right field corner in the sixth after Keegan Akin replaced Jake Reed, who hit Kreidler to begin the inning. Barnhart singled off Akin prior to Greene’s at-bat, which sucked more air out of the ballpark.

Fans held their collective breath until Mountcastle’s single in his first start since being hit above the left elbow Saturday in Toronto.

"I think he just located well, mixed his pitches well," Mountcastle said. "We hit a couple balls hard, but he just had his A stuff today and executed his game plan."

Mike Baumann allowed a run and three hits in the seventh. Outfielder Ryan McKenna surrendered two runs and three hits in the ninth in his second mound appearance in nine days, and his second in the last three games at Camden Yards.

Also something that Hyde didn’t see coming.

Rutschman greeted McKenna at the first base line after the last of three fly balls, the first two scoring runs. McKenna shrugged. 

That's what the Orioles must do with this loss. Shrug it off. And keep eyeing the wild card for as long as the math allows it.

"We've talked a lot as a team, as a group, and I just think tonight was just, nothing really went right for us, and hopefully we can rebound tomorrow," Hyde said. "I think we'll turn the page on this.

"We've just got to play better tomorrow."

"It's tough," Mountcastle said. "Obviously not how you want to start the homestand, but all you can do is get back up and try to keep pushing forward and finish the rest of this homestand good."

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