Andrew Cashner pounded a fist into his glove tonight and stormed off the mound after striking out Mitch Moreland on a changeup to close the first inning and strand a runner at third base. He threw another changeup with two outs in the third, Mookie Betts launched it into the left field seats to break a scoreless tie and the veteran right-hander took a few shots at himself.
Cashner turned back toward the plate and yelled, knowing that poor location led to a bad result. He’d find out later that it was the only run he’d surrender over six innings and that he’d still trail until the Orioles finally got a hit off Chris Sale and tied the game in the bottom of the sixth.
And that the outcome wouldn’t be determined until after regulation.
After both teams left runners standing on third base.
After Jackie Bradley Jr. robbed Trey Mancini of a walk-off home run.
After Andrew Benintendi deposited a four-seamer where no one in uniform could catch it.
Benintendi homered off Yefry Ramirez with two outs in the 12th inning and the Orioles ran out of chances in a 2-1 loss to the Red Sox before an announced crowd of 12,451 at Camden Yards.
The Orioles dropped the series and are 13-24 overall and 5-13 at home. Their batters struck out 22 times tonight and didn’t draw a walk.
Ramirez retired the first two batters he faced, but Benintendi reached the seats in right field after the Orioles’ fourth reliever of the night went fastball, slider, changeup and fastball.
Mancini appeared to end the game against Ryan Brazier in the 11th, but Bradley leaped chest-high above the fence in front of the bullpen to make a spectacular catch. Mancini saluted Bradley after the 401-foot out by raising his helmet. Remaining fans on both sides cheered him after the inning.
Shawn Armstrong retired the side in order in the 10th and stranded a runner at third base in the 11th.
Mychal Givens tossed two scoreless innings despite allowing two hits and walking two batters, used again to get big outs whether or not there’s a save on the line. He was aided in the ninth by catcher Pedro Severino, who threw out Rafael Devers trying to steal as Eduardo Núñez struck out.
The Orioles had a chance to win the game in regulation after Mancini led off the ninth with a double off reliever Matt Barnes and took third with one out on pinch-hitter Rio Ruiz’s infield hit. But Dwight Smith Jr. tapped to the mound and Stevie Wilkerson struck out.
Sale struck out 14 batters and walked none over eight innings and he threw 80 of 108 pitches for strikes. Jonathan Villar went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and is 2-for-16 with 12 strikeouts lifetime.
The only two baserunners against Sale in 5 2/3 innings came when he hit Wilkerson leading off the third and Joey Rickard leading off the fourth. He struck out two batters in the fifth to raise his total to nine. The only close call was Mancini’s fly ball into the right field corner in the fourth that Betts ran down.
Sale retired the first two batters in the sixth on only three pitches, but Rickard lined a clean single into center field and scored on Mancini’s double into left-center for a 1-1 tie. Rickard was 2-for-17 lifetime against Sale before the at-bat.
Statcast had the exit velocity on Mancini’s double at 105.9 mph, easily the hardest-hit ball off Sale.
Manager Alex Cora was off the hook. He had a tough decision pending as Sale kept flirting with a no-hitter. And Cashner was off the hook for a loss that would have been most unfortunate given how he pitched.
A two-base error on Smith, who ran down Benintendi’s fly ball near the left field line in the first inning and watched it pop out of his glove, put Cashner in an immediate jam, but he retired the next three batters and kept the runner at third.
The home run from Betts, on a ball that traveled 400 feet per Statcast, came after Cashner offered him a 93 mph heater. The changeup hung over the inner half of the plate and Betts went deep for the 14th time in 42 games at Camden Yards.
There was some traffic, but only the one run. A walk and single put two runners on base against Cashner in the fourth, but Núñez lined softly to shortstop Richie Martin and Bradley swung through an 96 mph fastball. Sandy León singled up the middle leading off the fifth and was stranded, with Cashner striking out Benintendi and Betts.
Paul Fry warmed in the sixth as Cashner retired the side in order and ran his pitch count to a season-high 104. He began the inning at 92.
Cashner had his third quality start of the season. He’s allowed two runs or fewer in three of his last four outings and tonight lowered his ERA to 4.25.
Fry tossed a scoreless seventh and Givens escaped a jam in the eighth after a leadoff walk to Betts. Hanser Alberto knocked down Xander Bogaerts’ scorching grounder with two outs, almost falling backward on the play, and accidentally booted the ball toward second base. Betts tried to advance to third and was tagged out after Villar ran down the ball and flipped it to Alberto.
Severino led off the bottom of the eighth with the third hit off Sale and Martin bunted into a force. Martin stole second base, taking an elbow to the side of his face, and Sale struck out the next two batters.
The Orioles had a few more opportunities. Bradley had one more great catch in him and Benintendi had one big swing.