The Orioles received their biggest hit today a few hours before the game started, learning that baseball’s top pitching prospect, Grayson Rodriguez, might miss a significant portion of the season with a strained lat muscle.
A delayed debut stung worse than a fastball to the ribs, but the Orioles had the major league side of business to occupy them. Players on the 26-man roster trying to win a home series against the Mariners. Manager Brandon Hyde tasked with guiding them through it.
Process the news and move on from it.
The Orioles led twice through the midpoint of the game and rallied for three runs in the sixth to create another tie, their ability to bounce back from adversity not limited to past losses, but the Mariners scored against Jorge López in the 10th and won 7-6 at Camden Yards.
López retired the first five batters he faced, but the automatic runner came home in the 10th on Abraham Toro’s one-out triple to center field, the ball deflecting off Cedric Mullins’ glove near the fence. López had two runners in scoring position with two outs and stranded them, and his ERA tumbled to 1.05 after he worked 2 1/3 innings.
Diego Castillo didn’t let Ryan McKenna score in the bottom of the 10th, and the Orioles lost for the 31st time against 22 victories. They’re 4-2 in extras.
The Mariners ran into three outs in the first five innings, but walks and soft singles led to a four-run sixth and a 6-3 lead. A marathon inning swung back to the Orioles, who received an RBI double from Ramón Urías and two-run double from Mullins.
Joey Krehbiel faced two batters in the sixth, allowing a two-run single and issuing a walk, and exited with right shoulder discomfort. Bryan Baker entered with the bases loaded and one out and stranded the runners.
Krehbiel will undergo tests on Friday.
"Just could tell pretty quickly that something wasn't right, just because his fastball velocity wasn't there," Hyde said. "Just didn't look the same, so that's why we went out. I had Holty (Chris Holt) go out first to check on him. Krehbiel's a bulldog. He wants the ball, wants to pitch, and said he was fine. We could still tell. He was trying to talk me out of it. Credit to him, he wants to stay in the game, but you could tell something wasn't right."
Appearing in his 300th career game, Jordan Lyles was removed in the sixth inning at 83 pitches with two runners on base, no outs and the game tied 3-3. The Mariners had strung together three consecutive singles, including Eugenio Suárez’s blooper into right field that scored Julio Rodriguez.
"I got a great pitch on Suárez in the sixth that I wouldn't take back for a second," Lyles said. "I made the right pitch. ... It was a lot of ups and downs today. Emotions and results-wise, it was all over the place."
"Jordan kept us in the game," Hyde said. "He gave up some hard contact early, also had some unlucky breaks there and some unlucky hits, but we made some nice throws in the outfield, some really nice plays in the outfield to help him out."
Adam Frazier’s fly ball to left field off Cionel Pérez produced a close play at the plate and the tie-breaking run. Pérez loaded the bases with two walks, Krehbiel replaced him and Luis Torrens’s ground ball into center field delivered two more runs.
Hyde used four pitchers in the inning, when the Mariners batted around. Pérez allowed only his second earned run this season.
"The sixth inning was like two hours long," Lyles said. "I was freaking already sitting in this chair and we were still going. It was a baseball game. Hopefully fans enjoyed it. They had an extra inning out of it. It was a baseball game."
Lyles was charged with four earned runs and five total in five-plus innings, with nine hits, two walks, three strikeouts and a wild pitch.
"All over the place," Lyles said when asked how he was throwing. "Not individual pitches or anything like that, but, just overall it was baseball 101. Things even out over time. I was getting hit hard early on and somehow it resulted in outs, and then that sixth inning, soft contact after soft contact after soft contact didn't lead to outs and results. Just overall, you chalk it up and you get back into the film. It was one of those nights."
Austin Hays had RBI singles in the first and third innings, the latter breaking a 2-2 tie, and extended his hitting streak to 13 games. Neither ball hit hard, but only the results mattered.
The first three batters stung the ball against Lyles, but he received two outs.
Jesse Winker doubled off the base of the left field wall, and Hays threw him out at third base. Anthony Santander made a leaping catch at the right field fence to deny Ty France, but Rodriguez followed with a ground rule double on a ball that hopped the new portion of the bullpen fence.
J.P. Crawford struck out. Nothing to see here.
Statcast clocked Hays’ throw at 95 mph, resulting in his fourth outfield assist. He chased down the ball after Mullins slipped and fell, ramping up the degree of difficulty in the play.
"It's a special arm and one of the best arms in the game," Hyde said.
The Orioles responded with two runs in the bottom of the first. Trey Mancini doubled off the out-of-town scoreboard and scored on Hays’ single, and Ryan Mountcastle followed with a double.
Lyles retired the side in order in the second, but Taylor Trammell led off the third with a double on a fly ball that shortstop Chris Owings tried to run down in shallow center, Torren’s moved him to third with a single and Winkler singled into right field.
Rodriguez reached with two outs on a fielder’s choice, stole second base and drew a throwing error from Adley Rutschman that allowed Torrens to score the tying run. Owings wasn’t able to play the bounce."
The first two attempts of Rutschman’s major league career resulted in errors, but he threw out Trammell to end the fourth. The ball bounced to Rougned Odor, who made the tag.
"It was good to work with him," Lyles said. "I know he has a bright future. It was fun."
Mullins had an assist in the fifth inning when Torrens tried stretching a single into a double. He led off the bottom of the third with a double, advanced on Santander’s single and scored when Hays poked a ground ball into right-center against the shift.
Matthew Festa replaced starter Chris Flexen to begin the sixth and hit Rutschman with one out, surrendered Urías run-scoring double and hit Odor. Paul Sewald entered, as the game’s pace slowed to a crawl, and Mullins dumped a ball down the left field line for a 6-6 tie.
"Awesome job of clawing back once again from our guys to tie it there in the sixth," Hyde said.
Dillon Tate had 1 2/3 scoreless innings, leaving with two outs in the eighth after Winker’s double.
The game began with the Orioles honoring former reliever Jim Poole on the second annual “Lou Gehrig Day.” Poole, who pitched for the Orioles from 1991-94, was diagnosed with ALS last year and is confined to a wheelchair.
“I’m going to say downhill spiral, but not in the negative sense,” Poole told reporters on the field when asked about this past year. “I’m not sad or ‘woe is me.’ It’s just the way it is. When I got it, when I was diagnosed, I could still walk. My left arm still worked. I could speak well. You know, in a matter of 11 months, I’m in a wheelchair and I adapt. That’s the main word that it’s been about, adapting and appreciating whatever I can accomplish in a given day.”
All uniformed personnel in the majors wore special jersey decals, and the 4-ALS logo was displayed throughout ballparks. The Orioles provided T-shirts for their players and staff.
Hayden Poole, the middle child of Jim and Kim, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Maryland native Matt Kurkjian, brother of former Baltimore Sun sportswriter and current ESPN personality Tim Kurkjian, delivered the lineup card to home plate.
Kurkjian, also an ALS patient, kept his right hand on Hyde’s shoulder as they met with umpires. Hyde put his left arm around Kurkjian’s waste.
The disease brings out emotions in Hyde that date back to his playing days.
Hyde told the media today that he lost a friend to it last week – Sam Gomes, 60, the Santa Rosa Junior College assistant baseball coach and catching instructor who worked with Hyde and Orioles major league field coordinator Tim Cossins.
“It does hit home,” Hyde said.
* Here are the starters for the home series against the Guardians:
Friday: Bruce Zimmermann vs. Shane Bieber
Saturday: Tyler Wells vs. Triston McKenzie
Sunday: TBA vs. Zach Plesac