Orioles allow three more home runs in 6-5 Game 1 loss

Orioles manager Brandon Hyde stated before Game 1 of today’s doubleheader that his club needs to play good defense because it’s not going to set any home run records.

He meant at the plate.

Dan Straily surrendered three homers today over five innings, including two by Eddie Rosario. The Orioles have allowed 49, one short of the 1996 Tigers for the major league mark through April. Opponents have homered in 20 of 21 games.

The Orioles hit three of their own this afternoon, but the Twins scored three runs in the sixth after Straily left a tie game and held on for a 6-5 victory at Camden Yards.

All three runs were charged to Jimmy Yacabonis, who let the first three batters reach base. An inherited runner scored against Miguel Castro on Nelson Cruz’s single, and the Orioles fell to 8-13 overall and 1-7 at home.

Tanner Scott struck out five of the six batters he faced. Hyde used three relievers, and had Mychal Givens, Paul Fry and Evan Phillips warming at various stages.

Pedro Severino hit a 406-foot homer off José Berríos in the bottom of the sixth, but the Orioles couldn’t reclaim the lead. They scored again in the eighth on Trey Mancini’s two-out double that plated Chris Davis, but Dwight Smith Jr. struck out against left-hander Taylor Rogers.

Rogers struck out the side in the ninth.

Smith and Renato Núñez homered in the bottom of the third inning, the first time this season that the Orioles went back-to-back.

Smith-Swings-Orange-HR-Sidebar.jpgSmith’s two-run shot tied the game after Mancini doubled. He had two career home runs before joining the Orioles, but hit five in spring training and delivered his fourth of the season today.

Núñez, returning to the designated hitter role after two starts at first base at Tropicana Field, deposited a curveball into the Orioles bullpen for a 3-2 lead.

The Twins had gone back-to-back in the second inning, getting consecutive home runs from Rosario and Willians Astudillo. Rosario struck again with one out in the fifth to tie the game, but Straily completed the inning at 98 pitches.

Thirty-one home runs against the Orioles have come in eight home games.

Jonathan Schoop came close to homering down the left field line in the second and settled for a bloop double to right in his first at-bat at Camden Yards in a different uniform. A video tribute played in his honor before he came to the plate, ending with “Thank You Jonathan,” and he acknowledged a standing ovation upon his introduction by stepping out of the box and doffing his helmet.

Yacabonis drilled Schoop after replacing Straily in the sixth. Welcome back, Jonathan. Now here’s a 93 mph fastball in the kidney.

Jason Castro doubled, both runners scored on Byron Buxton’s double and Cruz delivered his RBI single off Castro.

The Orioles stranded two in the seventh, but Mancini came through with two outs in the eighth to narrow the gap.

Straily had retired the side in order in the first inning on 12 pitches, but he threw 29 in the second, which also included a walk. He struck out Buxton and induced a fly ball from Jorge Polanco on changeups - the same pitch he used to strike out Marwin Gonzalez in the first and end a nine-pitch at-bat.

The changeup also got Straily out of the third inning, when he fielded a comebacker to strand a runner at third base, and he struck out Jake Cave with it leading off the fourth.

The pitch count really became an issue for Straily in the fourth, when he walked two batters after retiring the first two and Yacabonis began to warm. Polanco flied out on Straily’s 85 pitch and Yacabonis sat down.

Davis no longer is hitless at home. He doubled to left-center field with two outs in the third, the ball deflecting off Rosario’s glove, but Rio Ruiz was out at the plate.

Rosario leaped above the left field fence to rob Davis of a home run leading off the bottom of the sixth. Davis grounded a single up the middle leading off the eighth to raise his average to .140, went to third on Severino’s single and finally was able to score with two outs on Mancini’s double.

Cedric Mullins was 0-for-20 and 1-for-33 before lining a single into right field in the fourth.

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