Orioles return home needing improved play and roster replacement

The Orioles concluded a road trip yesterday that didn’t cooperate in any fashion.

The weather worked against them. The opponents worked against them. Pitching, hitting and defense broke down at various stages, leading to five losses in the six games and a 15-31 record heading into a four-game series against the Yankees that begins tonight at Camden Yards.

The Yankees swept a doubleheader Wednesday that followed back-to-back postponements due to unplayable field conditions and the threat of rain. The Indians won three of four at Progressive Field, with a lone highlight being Dylan Bundy’s start on Friday that eased any lingering concerns about his health and fastball velocity.

He didn’t drop another .1. Life was good.

Bundy-Finish-White-sidebar.jpgBundy allowed an unearned run and three hits with seven strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings in a 5-1 win and manager Brandon Hyde pushed him to 118 pitches. His four-seamer averaged 91.09 mph per brooksbaseball.net.

Hyde didn’t hold the same concerns about Bundy’s command that prompted the right-hander’s removal against the Angels after five innings and 80 pitches.

The rotation posted a 5.88 ERA on the road trip. The bullpen, which seemed to be taking shape as Hyde hoped, registered a 6.87 ERA.

Bleeding couldn’t be stopped.

The bats produced one run and one hit Saturday afternoon, with Trey Mancini’s home run providing both, and Shane Bieber went the distance yesterday while blanking the Orioles on five hits and striking out a career-high 15 batters. Five singles and no walks.

The fundamental breakdowns are more likely to turn Hyde’s hair gray, or what we can see of it. The two runs scoring Thursday night on a ground ball to second became the poster play.

No one said rebuilds are pretty, but Hyde and the front office certainly expect the basics to be handled properly. Mistakes are addressed and pages are turned.

Yefry Ramirez was returned to Triple-A Norfolk yesterday after allowing four earned runs and five total in 3 1/3 innings. He walked four batters and threw only 36 of 73 pitches for strikes.

Optioning Ramirez made sense considering that he wouldn’t be available for at least a few days and the Orioles need someone to provide length out of the bullpen.

Gabriel Ynoa threw 62 pitches yesterday, including 34 strikes, while surrendering two earned runs and four total with three walks in 1 2/3 innings and leaving his ERA at 5.87.

A corresponding roster move is coming later today. Left-hander Josh Rogers was held back while the Tides were in Toledo in case the Orioles needed him in Cleveland, but he started Saturday and threw 76 pitches in 3 1/3 innings.

Left-hander Tanner Scott isn’t a long reliever, but he hasn’t appeared in a game since Wednesday, when he tossed two scoreless and hitless innings with no walks and four strikeouts.

Luis Ortiz started Friday and allowed five earned runs in four innings to leave his ERA at 6.98 and WHIP at 1.89. Opponents are batting .303 against him.

Left-hander Sean Gilmartin isn’t on the 40-man roster. He hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last five appearances over 10 1/3 innings, with only three hits surrendered, and is carrying a 2.49 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in 21 2/3 innings. Opponents are batting .210.

Hyde wants to get back to a four-man bench at some point, but it’s hard to do while the team is in a stretch of 20 consecutive games and starters aren’t consistently working into the later innings.

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