Notes on Ynoa, bullpen, Armstrong and Davis (O’s lead 9-6)

DENVER - Gabriel Ynoa is getting another opportunity to start for the Orioles.

Manager Brandon Hyde has chosen Ynoa to pitch Monday afternoon against the Tigers at Camden Yards, the spot that opened with Dan Straily’s move to the bullpen.

ynoa-gabriel-delivers-white-sidebar.jpgYnoa hasn’t started in the majors since Sept. 27, 2017 in Pittsburgh. He missed the 2018 season due to shin and shoulder injuries and has made nine relief appearances this year.

Hyde isn’t going with the hot hand. He just needs someone who’s stretched out and capable on a good day of consuming some innings.

Ynoa has been scored upon in his last four appearances, though he surrendered only one run in 2 1/3 innings against the Yankees on Wednesday. In his three previous outings, he was charged with nine earned runs and 11 total, with 11 hits and five walks over four innings.

“He’s more stretched out than our other guys and has been in kind of a long relief role for us, and so we’re going to give him an opportunity to start Monday,” Hyde said.

The Orioles didn’t bring up a fresh arm for tonight’s game. The bullpen has been carrying a heavy burden and Hyde really wants to protect guys, which he’s vowing to do no matter the score and situation.

“We considered a lot of things, but we didn’t do it today,” he said. “Maybe in the next couple of days.”

Hyde won’t use Mychal Givens for a couple of days. He didn’t want to pitch left-hander Paul Fry last night and he’s trying to avoid using Branden Kline for more than one inning.

Kline struck out the side last night in the sixth inning and was removed for a pinch-hitter.

Miguel Castro and Josh Lucas are available tonight, and Hyde will keep fingers crossed that starter Andrew Cashner provides length.

Hyde watches for a slippage in command and velocity as possible signs of fatigue and overuse.

“In our situation, one, I need to keep these guys healthy and I need to think long-term,” he said. “We’ve been in so many close games these last couple weeks, and really for the majority of the year. I love the way our guys grind and I love the way we’re playing really hard every single night and we’re in games.

“Give our guys a ton of credit for being in games against really, really good clubs, and that presents an issue where you’re using your bullpen and your high-leverage guys a lot. I’ve just got to do a better job of making sure these guys get their rest.”

Hyde said he isn’t concerned about Givens, who’s taken the loss in three games this week, including last night’s walk-off.

“Mike’s been pitching in big spots and high-pressure situations, and his command hasn’t been what he would like the last few times out,” Hyde said. “I’ve got to take care of him and I give it to him, he’s a competitor. He tells me every day he wants to pitch. ‘I’m good, I’m good.’ But at the same time I’ve got to think what’s best for Mychal Givens, also, and I want to make sure we’re doing what’s right.”

Shawn Armstrong had a busy night and afternoon following his worst outing with the Orioles, when he allowed back-to-back home runs to Trevor Story and Nolan Arenado in the seventh inning to tie the game.

Story’s walk-off homer against Givens gave the Rockies an 8-6 win and extended the Orioles’ losing streak to seven games.

Armstrong watched video of his outing after the game, a reliever with only one run allowed in his previous 9 1/3 innings with the Orioles trying to figure out what he did wrong. Pitching coach Doug Brocail was away from the club last night to attend a graduation, but he’s back and aware of what transpired.

“I was talking with Broc earlier today about it and I was talking to other guys and everything,” Armstrong said. “Obviously, you could tell it was just the location of all my pitches. I was way out of my delivery. Just kind of leaking forward, kind of dipping with that front shoulder, just causing me to really fly open and work side to side versus more through my target. Obviously, whenever I do that, I know it changes the whole ball flight and plane. Especially the tunneling in my pitches.

“You could tell I wasn’t fooling them at all with anything I threw. And also I didn’t do a good enough job of just coming in and getting ahead, going right after guys. With guys like Story and Arenado, you’ve got to attack from pitch one. You go over the scouting reports day in and day out and I know the areas to throw to them, and I just didn’t do a good job of it last night.”

Relievers need a short memory. Learn from the mistakes and bury them. Carry them into the next game and you risk a repeat.

“Oh yeah,” he said. “That’s why I’m going out there in 15 minutes to do dry work and work on stuff to get ready for my bullpen this afternoon to be ready for tonight.

“This game is a game of failure. We know that. Obviously, we all strive to have success every single day, but at the end of the day it’s not going to happen, either, so I didn’t do a good job of working pitch to pitch last night. I’ve got to do a better job of that, especially in key situations like that, to keep us in the ballgame.”

The decision is hung on Givens, but Armstrong points the finger at himself.

“I take the fault for that loss last night because I didn’t do a good job, coming in and doing what I needed to do,” he said. “Hopefully I get the ball tonight and do that.”

Chris Davis won’t be in the lineup in this series, with Hyde confirming that the first baseman will be on the bench again Sunday as the Orioles complete their trip. The Orioles face three left-handed starters when the Tigers come to Baltimore, which could extend Davis’ absence.

“I’m day-to-day right now with him,” Hyde said. “I’m giving him a breather as of right now and we’re going to go from there. Not today, not tomorrow.

“I just want Chris to feel good. I care about Chris and so I just want to put him in positions to have success and I want to give him breaks when I feel like he needs it. We have an awesome, awesome relationship, so I just want to do what’s best for him.”

Davis is 5-for-41 with 25 strikeouts since May 10.

“I just think that he’s in a little bit of a rut,” Hyde said. “He had a few weeks there where he was taking good at-bats and swinging the bat well, and in the last two weeks or so he’s just fallen back a little bit into indecision, possibly in between pitches. Late on the heater, out front of off-speed, maybe pressing a little bit. And I just want him to relax and I want him to focus on taking good at-bats.

“Sometimes the best thing is to get away from it for a little while.”

Update: Run-scoring singles by Renato Núñez and Pedro Severino with two outs in the first inning gave the Orioles a 2-0 lead.

Update II: Story and Arenado doubled in the bottom of the first to cut the lead to 2-1.

Update III: Núñez has homered in four straight games and the Orioles lead 3-1 in the third inning.

Update IV: Arenado’s three-run shot in the bottom of the third gave Colorado a 4-3 lead.

Update V: More two-out scoring in the fourth with Hanser Alberto’s single tying the game and Jonathan Villar following with a three-run homer.

Update VI: Arenado had an RBI single off Cashner in the fifth and Chris Iannetta homered off Castro in the sixth to reduce the lead to 7-6. All of the scoring tonight has come with two outs.

Update VII: The Orioles scored twice in the seventh on RBI singles by Stevie Wilkerson and Dwight Smith Jr. to lead 9-6.

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