The final game of the homestand was turning into a day of atonement for the Orioles. An improved level of play had to satisfy their manager, who fumed after yesterday’s defeat. And then Brandon Hyde boiled over and got tossed on Father’s Day.
Scolded by Hyde for their shoddy play the previous afternoon, mental and physical errors pushing him to the breaking point, the Orioles were offering a crisper version of themselves. But they couldn’t avoid another series of missteps and had another win ripped from their grasp.
Mychal Givens served up Marco Hernández’s game-tying homer with one out in the ninth and Rafael Devers cleared the center field fence leading off the 10th. The Red Sox tacked on four more runs and defeated the Orioles 8-6 before an announced crowd of 27,964 at Camden Yards.
Stevie Wilkerson came off the bench to triple and hit a two-run homer, his last at-bat narrowing the margin in the 10th. It shrank a little more with Trey Mancini’s shot to center field on an 0-2 pitch from Josh Smith, who eventually got around to recording the final out.
The Orioles scored twice in the bottom of the eighth to take the lead, but Givens suffered his fifth blown save - including one in the seventh inning.
Devers homered into the bullpen in the 10th, Xander Bogaerts and Michael Chavis singled, and both runners advanced after left fielder Anthony Santander held onto the ball and made a wide throw in a possible rundown situation.
David Hess replaced Givens, loaded the bases with a walk and gave up two-out, two-run singles to Mookie Betts and Christian Vázquez.
The Orioles optioned Hess to Triple-A Norfolk after the game, his move to the bullpen brief. A corresponding move will be announced Monday.
Givens (0-4) has surrendered eight home runs in 29 innings and his ERA is 5.28. He hasn’t pitched since Tuesday.
“He was going to pitch today regardless,” Hyde said. “He hadn’t pitched in four days, so he was going to pitch and he did.”
The Orioles lost the last five games of the homestand after winning the opener and are 21-50 as they board a flight to the West Coast for a trip that makes stops in Oakland and Seattle. Their 50th loss last season arrived on the exact same date.
Mancini called the poor home record “a coincidence.”
“We all love playing here,” he said. “I really do think it’s purely coincidence and I hope we can pick that up because we want to play well in front of our fans, of course, and have people come out to the games.”
Wilkerson’s first career triple with two outs in the eighth was followed by Hanser Alberto’s third single of the day to break a tie and provide a lead that didn’t last long.
Alberto pointed into the Orioles dugout as he ran up the line. Givens will point a finger at himself after failing to protect the lead.
Givens struck out Vázquez and J.D. Martinez after Betts’ one-out triple off the out-of-town scoreboard and the game moved past regulation, where the Orioles are 1-4.
“Very strange game, but in the end it’s a really tough loss,” Mancini said. “We competed, we played well, but at the end of the day, that’s a game we needed to win. Good clubs win those games and hopefully soon we’ll do a better job of finishing games off or building bigger leads earlier in the game. There’s a lot of things we can do to improve, but this one’s definitely tough.
“I think we’ve gotten away from some things that we did well early in the year, just making some routine plays. We’re making some careless mistakes. We’ve got to clean up a few things in that regard. We’re playing hard and everything, but there are some situations where we’re not doing a good job, whether mentally or physically of executing plays.”
After squandering chances in just about every inning, the Orioles tied the game in the eighth on Jonathan Villar’s leadoff walk, two stolen bases and a wild pitch by Marcus Walden. Wilkerson drove a Travis Lakins pitch into the right field corner while batting for Richie Martin and Alberto poked a single into center field.
Hyde didn’t have his usual view of the comeback.
Keon Broxton appeared to drive in the tying run in the fourth inning on a sacrifice bunt, but was called out for interference, his path to first base taking him onto the infield grass. Santander returned to third base, runners were stranded at the corners and the Red Sox carried a lead into the eighth.
Santander and Villar singled and Colten Brewer replaced left-hander Brian Johnson, making his first start. Chris Davis grounded into a force and Broxton pushed a bunt toward the mound. He was called out on a close play as Santander crossed the plate, which would have tied the game 2-2. Except it didn’t.
The umpires converged, ruled Broxton out as he refused to surrender the bag, and sent Davis back to first and Santander to third. Two umps spoke with Alex Cora and two with Hyde, who became furious after the run came off the board and earned his second ejection this season and fourth of his career.
Plate umpire Tripp Gibson did the honors today following a play that isn’t reviewable, most likely intensifying Hyde’s argument.
Hyde also was tossed on April 15 in Boston, one day after pitching coach Doug Brocail. Field coordinator Tim Cossins was ejected on April 17 in St. Petersburg, Fla.
“I knew I was going to be ejected. I knew what was going on,” Hyde said.
“Tripp, for me, should have called runner interference right away and he didn’t. He waited for the play to develop and that was what our discussion was about on the field. It’s just a really unfortunate play. Obviously, if Broxton’s out there, then the run scores, so they got extremely lucky with a poor throw. There’s no use for me to go into that rule. But it’s a really, really tough rule and it’s hard on the baserunner.
“There’s not much Keon can do. The guy makes a bad throw and you’re on the inside and you get penalized for it. When you have a runner on base they have to go back. So there’s nothing we really did wrong. It’s just the rule.”
Hyde said he wasn’t trying to fire up his team. It just seemed to work out that way.
“That wasn’t my intention,” he said. “My intention was I didn’t like the way it was handled to be honest with you. So I let those guys know and they understood. I’ve known those guys for a long time and I just thought Tripp should have called it right away.”
Left-hander John Means came back out for the fifth and stranded two runners, but the last two innings cost him 28 and 24 pitches to push his total to 103.
Means was charged with two runs and seven hits in five innings, with two walks, two strikeouts and two wild pitches. His ERA budged a little from 2.60 to 2.67.
“Today was really a grind,” he said. “I didn’t have anything today. And to get out of there with five innings and two runs is just, the whole game was just grinding, grinding, grinding. They had a good approach and I couldn’t get them off it.
“You come out, you’re mad, you don’t have your best stuff, at the end of the day as long as I give my team a chance to win I’m happy.”
Hyde stated beforehand that he was counting on Means to set the tone and the rookie did it through the third inning before the Red Sox scored twice to take a 2-1 lead. He allowed four consecutive hits with one out in the fourth, with Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr. producing RBI doubles.
The Orioles removed Bogaerts from the basepaths after his wide turn around third on Michael Chavis’ infield hit. Martin retrieved the ball after it deflected off Davis’ glove, took a few steps toward Bogaerts and fired to Alberto, who applied the tag near home plate.
Six relievers followed Means, the first four keeping the Red Sox scoreless. Hyde had to do some fancy maneuvering the past two games to keep them available.
“I mean, it is what it is,” Means said. “We were just in here and it ended up being a long game, but it was mostly my fault. A lot of 3-2 counts that I had. I’ve got to establish a better game than that.”
Villar practically tied the game by himself in the eighth. He walked, stole second and alertly took third while Davis disputed a called third strike. Walden bounced a pitch and Villar scurried home.
Broxton scored the game’s first run in the third inning after a leadoff double. Broxton moved to third base on Martin’s fly ball and came home on Alberto’s high chopper in the middle of the infield.
Alberto simply owns left-handers. He entered the game with a .424 average that led the majors.
Broxton struck out in all three plate appearances yesterday to raise his total to 28 in 58 at-bats and he was 5-for-33 this month before lining his double down the left field line. He also drew criticism yesterday for catching a fly ball and ignoring Andrew Benintendi, who tagged and hustled to second base.
A game-tying RBI today would have been a nice accompaniment.
Alberto had two hits yesterday, but committed a fielding error in the sixth that led to an unearned run. He, too, was trying to make amends.
The Orioles loaded the bases against University of Maryland alumnus Mike Shawaryn with two outs in the sixth, but Villar grounded into a force against Josh Taylor. They were 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10 heading into the eighth, a two-base error in the sixth and Mancini leadoff single and wild pitch in the seventh also going to waste.
The game turned in their favor and spun back. And Hyde, who began his Father’s Day with a game of catch and batting practice with his kids in the outfield, had to find another reason to smile.
“I don’t care about the ejection,” Hyde said. “We’ve had our fair share of tough losses this year. I’ve never seen a club go through so much in the first few months of the season. But I really liked the way we played today. We battled back twice. Johnny Villar made things happen, tied the game for us. A lot of good things happened in today’s game. It just didn’t end well.”
“I think we responded well and he’s right,” Mancini said. “Everything he said was spot on. Yesterday wasn’t a good performance top to bottom. Today, we did a better job. It wasn’t perfect still and that’s why we lost the game. We’ve just got to play a little better than that and maybe we win this one.”