David Hess tossed a nine-inning no-hitter against the Blue Jays.
He just did it over two starts separated by two months.
Hess attached 2 2/3 hitless innings tonight to 6 1/3 back on April 1 that sparked fan outrage over his removal, which was done based on pitch count and the early portion of the schedule. He served up Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s single with two outs in the third to block another flirtation with history.
Scoring against Hess remained an issue for the Jays until the fifth.
When they bust out, they really bust out.
Hess loaded the bases with no outs and was charged with four runs, double the total he surrendered in his career against the Jays, who held on for an 8-6 victory over the Orioles before an announced crowd of 11,153 at Camden Yards.
Rowdy Tellez hit a grand slam off Miguel Castro with two outs in the fifth and the Orioles fell to 21-46 overall and 9-24 at home. They’ll try again Thursday to claim their first series since April 22-24.
The Orioles put runners on second and third with no outs in the ninth and didn’t score.
A bullpen on the upswing had another hiccup tonight. Evan Phillips replaced Castro in the sixth and allowed two runs on Guerrero’s RBI double and Lourdes Gurriel Jr.’s single. Guerrero produced his fourth career three-hit game but remains the second-best hitter in his family.
The Orioles rallied in the eighth with Chance Sisco’s bases-loaded, two-run double off Joe Biagini reducing the lead to 8-4 as rain continued to fall. Trey Mancini scored on Renato Núñez’s grounder and Rio Ruiz lined an RBI single to center field off left-hander Tim Mayza - the third of four Toronto relievers used in the inning.
Nine batters came to the plate, with Hanser Alberto striking out to end the conga line. Chris Davis pinch-hit in the ninth and drew a leadoff walk against Daniel Hudson and Jonathan Villar was hit on the foot. Both runners moved up on a wild pitch and were stranded.
Anthony Santander popped up and Mancini and Sisco struck out.
Hess threw 82 pitches in his April 1 start, which produced his only win of the season. He walked off the mound tonight after 96, with Gurriel’s infield hit with the bases loaded tying the game 1-1 and bringing Castro into it.
Castro threw a wild pitch to give Toronto the lead and Tellez launched a 98 mph fastball onto the flag court with two outs. The four runs charged to Hess raised his ERA to 7.20.
Hess allowed two earned runs in 25 1/3 career innings against the Jays before tonight and he carried a shutout into the fifth, but Luke Maile reached on a ball that deflected off Villar’s chest, Cavan Biggio walked and Guerrero singled to load the bases.
Villar slowed Gurriel’s grounder up the middle but couldn’t make a play as the tying run scored. Manager Brandon Hyde turned to Castro, who allowed a run in the eighth inning last night after five straight scoreless appearances.
It didn’t work out.
Mancini tripled and homered in his first two at-bats while barreling toward his first All-Star selection. He wouldn’t hit for the cycle after taking care of the two hardest components.
Anointed the opener earlier this afternoon, Derek Law tossed a scoreless first inning on 18 pitches in his first start at any level. Mancini tripled with two outs and Sisco walked, but shortstop Freddy Galvis ranged up the middle to make a sliding stop of Núñez’s grounder.
Alberto reached on a bunt single with two outs in the second and was thrown out trying to advance on a pitch in the dirt. Keon Broxton snapped an 0-for-18 streak with a leadoff single in the third and was caught stealing after breaking early.
Mancini led off the fourth with a 423-foot shot to center field off Edwin Jackson for his 14th home run of the season, two behind Núñez for the team lead. Jackson, who replaced Law, also surrendered a run in the fifth on two walks and a wild pitch.
Jackson held the Orioles to two runs over five innings after carrying an 11.90 ERA and 2.237 WHIP into the game.
The game lasted 4 hours, 5 minutes.
Hyde on tough ending: “It’s the guys you’d want coming up in that situation. It just didn’t happen tonight. But I thought we did a great job battling back from down 8-2 and making it interesting there at the end. Unfortunately, Hudson kind of turned it up there against those three guys, throwing waist-high heaters. We just didn’t get it done.”
Hyde on Hess’ issue: “Didn’t command the ball as well. I thought he threw the ball pretty well the first couple innings, but the pitch count just gets up there. A lot of deep counts, just had a tough time navigating through that fifth. I brought Miggy in a big spot, bases loaded, a tough spot I’m putting him in against the middle of their order. He was doing a pretty nice job, the wild pitch, but gets the two right-handers out, does a nice job with Smoak making him have to chase with a base open and just made a bad pitch to Tellez.”
Hyde on overall pitching issues: “To me, it’s more inexperience and not a whole lot of innings under their belts in the major leagues and (not being) able to command the baseball.”
Hyde on when the switch is flipped: “It’s up to them at some point where they have to figure it out. I feel like tonight wasn’t our best night and there’s a couple pitches they’d like to have back obviously, but I think we are getting better and I think we showed that in the last week when two tough places to pitch in Texas and Houston and we did a pretty nice job, and did a nice job yesterday. So I think we are improving. Tonight we gave up eight.”
Hess on fifth inning: “I think they put up some good at-bats that inning and I just didn’t make pitches when I needed to really. The walks were really killer tonight, and so I think, especially in that fifth inning, that created a big inning for them and that’s something that needs to be limited.”
Hess on whether felt like he was getting on a roll: “Yeah, every time I go out there I want to have confidence. I want to act on that and pitch according to that, but really I think again they put up good at-bats tonight. They really weren’t swinging at my slider off the plate and so that kind of got eliminated. I didn’t throw it for strikes enough and that kind of changed the game a little bit just for them to be able to eliminate a pitch. And then just have better at-bats with that in mind.”
Hess on what he takes away from outing: “I want to take away the first four innings. Especially the first. Attacking guys and the things we’ve been working on are starting to come together. There’s glimpses of that. Just not the consistency we want right now, but that’s part of the growing process and that’s something we’re trying to expedite as much as we can and make that happen sooner rather than later.”
Alberto on comeback: “We fought our way back. We tried to come back, everything we can. We can’t get the win today, but we’re fighting.”
Alberto on infield not making plays in fifth: “That kind of plays, sometimes you think you can make it, but the ball goes to the right spot and we don’t make (the play). We’ve got to keep our heads up and be ready for the next one. They got some lucky hits and the game is just like that.”