How would the Orioles respond to last night’s crushing defeat?
By reliving it in a different form this afternoon.
By getting a solid start from Austin Voth and practically no offense for seven innings. By carrying the game past regulation with some late dramatics.
And it rained.
The game was halted after the bottom of the sixth inning with Astros starter Cristian Javier facing the minimum number of batters and permitting just one baserunner. Javier, at 76 pitches, didn’t return after a 46-minute delay.
The bats finally did, with the Orioles collecting three hits off Ryne Stanek in the eighth and tying the game on Rougned Odor’s single. But Keegan Akin was charged with four runs in the 11th and the Astros won 6-3 to gain a split of the series before an announced crowd of 24,449 at Camden Yards.
The Blue Jays defeated the Rays again. The Mariners blew an 11-2 lead in Kansas City and lost 13-12, keeping the Orioles four games out of the last wild card with 10 to play as they head to Boston.
"We're not disappointed," Odor said. "We know we're facing a really good team and we tried to come here and win the series, but it is what it is. I think we played really good games and we're just going to keep going."
"Anything can happen," Voth said. "We're right there. We've just got to come out tomorrow and keep fighting. This team has a lot of fight. I'm excited for this next series."
Akin faced a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the 11th, and Jeremy Peña scored on Yordan Álvarez’s fly ball to left-center. Alex Bregman was hit by a pitch and Kyle Tucker walked to force in a run, and Christian Vazquez lined a two-out, two-run single into center field off Joey Krehbiel.
Dillon Tate's two-out wild pitch scored automatic runner Yuli Gurriel in the top of the 10th, right before pinch-hitter Trey Mancini doubled high off the left field wall. Automatic runner Ryan McKenna misread Austin Hays' shallow fly ball with one out in the bottom of the 10th that fell into right-center field, retreating to second base, but Héctor Neris' wild pitch moved up the runners and Odor lined a game-tying single into right field.
Kyle Stowers struck out and Jorge Mateo grounded out to push the game into the 11th, where it fell apart for the Orioles.
"That's baseball," Voth said. "It's got ups and downs, and you've got to show up the next day and continue to play. This team, time and time again, late in innings is always fighting to try to get that W, so I have a lot of faith in us."
Ryan Mountcastle singled in the fifth and doubled with one out in the eighth as the only baserunner for the Orioles at that point. Hays flied out against Stanek, but Mountcastle scored on Odor’s ball that hit near the top of the out-of-town scoreboard in right.
Odor paused and took a couple of steps before running out of the box, appearing to think the ball would carry onto the flag court. Stowers followed with a single that moved Odor to second, the Orioles loaded the bases on Mateo’s infield hit against Bryan Abreu, and Cedric Mullins struck out - slamming his bat and helmet to the ground.
Mullins had a run-scoring single off Rafael Montero in the 11th.
Asked whether he thought he had a home run instead of a single, Odor replied, "No, I knew it was not going out. I hit it on the end of the bat. I was just trying to see if it was going to stay in the park or not."
Manager Brandon Hyde didn't know whether Odor misread the ball.
"I haven't talked to him about it," Hyde said.
Odor won't impress with his slash line, but he's delivered some key hits.
"I like those situations," he said. "I think those situations are what everybody wants when we're hitting. Just stay calm and trying to stay in a good part of the field."
Javier retired the first 13 batters, the streak broken by Mountcastle’s line drive single into center field in the fifth inning. He struck out seven of the first 12 Orioles as dark clouds rolled in, and he finished with eight.
The Orioles need them to part over what’s left of their season.
"I didn't know if he was going to come back out or now, just because it wasn't that long of a delay," Hyde said. "We definitely had problems with Javier. One hit going into the seventh. Nice for us to get a run in the eighth, but just wasted opportunities again in the ninth and the 10th inning for us to be able to win the game."
Voth allowed only one run over five innings and came out after 83 pitches. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out six.
Two of the four hits came in the third inning, when Vazquez led off with a double and Chas McCormick followed with a single. Vazquez scored on Mauricio Dubón’s fly ball.
"I thought Voth was great," Hyde said. "Kept us in the game. Good curveball again, good slider. Only giving up one run. Did a great job."
Bregman led off the second inning with a single, and left fielder Terrin Vavra threw him out at second base. Voth got called third strikes on the next two batters.
An infield single by Aledmys Díaz in the fourth again put the leadoff hitter on base, but Voth retired the last six batters he faced.
"I think I built off my last start of attacking the zone," Voth said. "I think just in the third inning I had some issues falling behind a little bit, but overall I liked the way that I pitched and commanded the zone."
Voth made two starts against the Astros this season and allowed two runs in 11 innings. Hyde said earlier today that the right-hander has “put himself on the map for us for sure.”
Jake Reed was removed with two outs in the sixth after Díaz doubled. Álvarez reached on an infield hit against DL Hall and Bregman walked to load the bases, but Tucker struck out with the count full.
Bryan Baker tossed a scoreless seventh inning, walking one and striking out one. He pounded his glove with his fist multiple times after Dubón flied out, and he did the same to Adley Rutschman’s back – this time with an open hand - as the rookie catcher met him along the first base line.
Baker got the first two outs in the eighth, his glove taking another beating, and Cionel Pérez retired Álvarez on a long fly ball to left.
Pérez retired Bregman and Tucker, the latter on a hard comebacker, and Tate induced a ground ball from Gurriel.
A bullpen that surrendered nine runs last night tossed four scoreless innings today in regulation.
If only the Orioles could have stopped the game before it went any further.
"We had a tough time out of the bullpen," Hyde said. "We were OK early, but the 11th we struggled. Just made some mistakes. I felt like we made young team mistakes the last couple games late in the game.
"It's very disappointing. We should have won the game last night and we had opportunities to win the game today."