Nice way to risk leaving a bad impression with the new guy.
Tim Beckham smashed a double through third baseman Josh Donaldson’s legs tonight leading off the bottom of the eighth after the Blue Jays had taken a 1-0 lead in the top half with an unearned run off reliever Miguel Castro. The Orioles avoided being on the wrong side of history - again.
The score was another matter.
Anthony Santander, whose throwing error allowed Toronto to break the scoreless tie, singled into right field to put runners on the corners and Chance Sisco produced an RBI double. But the Orioles wasted multiple chances to go ahead and Curtis Granderson homered off Darren O’Day with two outs in the ninth, a towering fly ball landing on the flag court, to give Toronto a 2-1 win before an announced crowd of 8,640 at Camden Yards.
O’Day retired the first two batters in routine groundball fashion before Granderson connected for his first home run of the season. He’s 2-for-5 with a triple and homer against O’Day.
Roberto Osuna retired the side in order in the bottom of the ninth and became the youngest player in major league history at 23 years and 62 days old to record 100 saves.
In Cashner’s other home start on March 31, the Orioles didn’t get a hit off Twins starter Kyle Gibson through six innings and finally broke through with Jonathan Schoop’s two-out single off reliever Ryan Pressly in the eighth.
Schoop bounced into a 6-4-3 double play tonight with the bases loaded and one out in the eighth and the Blue Jays capitalized in the ninth. Schoop is 10-for-53 (.189) with one RBI.
“Jon is a guy that he wants something so much, he wants to be there,” said manager Buck Showalter after his team fell to 4-8. “He’s got as good of a mentality as you want to see in a player. And believe me, while he may not wear it on his sleeve, that’s really a frustrating at-bat for him tonight. And nobody is frustrated with him, they kind of feel for him because you know how much he takes it personally
“There’s some things, but it’s mostly because he’s pushing, pushing, pushing instead of kind of letting things travel to him. He’s wanting to make it happen sometimes too quickly. And Sanchez made a really good pitch.”
“Personally, I’m struggling a little bit,” Schoop said, “but I’m coming here early to work and it’s going to get better. I hope it’s pretty soon. I hope it’s tomorrow. But right now, I’ll come here show up and work hard and try to compete and try to win.”
Trey Mancini had three shots at Sanchez tonight through the sixth and was denied at every turn. Steve Pearce raced back and made a leaping grab in right field to rob him leading off the first, Kevin Pillar made a running, leaping catch in right-center field before slamming into the fence in the fourth and Mancini lined to the center field track in the sixth.
Beckham came close to a single with one out in the fifth, but second baseman Devon Travis sprinted into shallow right field and made a sliding catch while avoiding Pearce, who would have flattened him.
The Orioles have scored only seven runs in five home games.
“Sanchez is a good pitcher. He’s really good. But we need to be better offensively. I think everybody knows that,” Showalter said.
“You see guys as much as we see guys like Sanchez, I notice how much different he pitched a couple guys who had some success off him, a lot of changeups. You have to look out for those things when you’re facing a guy that you’ve kind of done well again. Obviously, not all of them, but a couple. Guys learn and they get knowledge. He was good, but I’m not going to say anything really that’s going to take away from the credit that he deserves, but we’re better than that.”
Sanchez hit Schoop with two outs in the first and caught him leaning - not into the plate, but toward second base. The ensuing rundown and tag went into the books as a caught stealing.
The breakthrough came in the eighth. Just not at the suitable proportion.
Mancini flied to shallow left field with runners on second and third, no outs and the score tied 1-1. Machado was walked intentionally and Schoop bounced into the double play.
There was redemption in the inning. Beckham led off with a double after committing a fielding error in the top of the inning. Santander singled to right field and Sisco, who let the Rule 5 pick’s throw scoot past him, worked the count full and lined his double to right.
“I don’t know what it is, but sometimes games like that when somebody finally scores, the other team, that next inning ... it was for us,” Showalter said. “We had (second and third), nobody out. I was going to give Brad (Brach) one more day today. You’d just like to take advantage of that type of pitching after what we got from our starting pitcher again tonight.”
Santander corralled Yangervis Solarte’s single after a one-out walk to Smoak and sailed his throw over the cutoff man, through Sisco and all the way to the visiting dugout.
“We got it quick enough where if we catch it ...” Showalter said. “It’s a ball you’ve obviously got to get down. He knows that. Drilled, he’s heard it 100 times with Kirb (Wayne Kirby). You’ve got to get that ball down. But we had a chance to get away with it if we can just catch it. But when you have a young player like that and throwing to a rookie catcher and basically a rookie pitcher - not really, Castro has been around a while - you see those things you hope that memory enforces it or whatever.
“I don’t know, I wasn’t out there. The ball is slick. There’s a lot of things going on with the baseball. “
Cashner shut out the Jays on four hits over seven innings, with three walks, six strikeouts and a hit batter. He threw 104 pitches, 61 for strikes. Cashner has allowed one run over 13 innings in his last two starts.
“Good, really good,” Showalter said. “What did they have, 11 or 12, maybe more than that left on base? There were some situations there that he bowed up and got it done. He was good. That was another good outing back-to-back, something we needed with our bullpen kind of beat up from as much use as we’ve had. He was good. Gave us a great chance to win, much like Dylan (Bundy) last night.”
Sanchez was much more economical than Cashner, or the Orioles were more impatient at the plate. He threw 25 pitches in three innings and 66 through the sixth.
“He’s in the strike zone a lot with movement, late life,” Showalter said. “Guys in the big leagues, nobody really pitches in the strike zone anymore. Let’s face it, he’s throwing a 3-1 changeup to a rookie No. 9-hole hitter and that’s all you need to know. With that type of command and that type of ... they make presentations that make pitches appear as strikes and become a ball, and that’s why you get a lot of weak contact.
“Game’s not fair. Trey squared up three balls and with nothing to show for it. They were playing guys right. Adam (Jones) hit a ball real well. I don’t think the ball was carrying real well. It carried good enough on Granderson’s home run, but ... The balls we did square up they caught, obviously, and Trey did most of that damage.”
The game time temperature of 49 degrees was five more than last night, but still brutally cold for baseball. Maybe the Orioles will heat up when the conditions do.
“That’s an excuse that our guys won’t use,” Showalter said. “You look up on the scoreboard and somebody’s scoring a bunch of runs in cold weather. It’s the conditions we play in and in the past we’ve got some guys with a track record that that hasn’t affected. I don’t think that’s going to come into it. I know the people who came out for the game tonight really don’t want to hear it.”