The Orioles didn’t get greedy.
The consecutive shutouts with 13 runs scored in both games, a major league first, had a shelf life. The streak wasn’t going to carry through an entire series.
Carlos Santana’s run-scoring single with two outs in the third ended the Orioles’ scoreless streak at 21 innings. The task at hand was finding a way to overcome a small deficit, to reignite an offense that had plowed through Indians pitching.
It didn’t happen.
Santana drove in another run in the seventh, Shane Bieber continued his mastery over the Orioles with eight shutout innings and the Indians avoided the sweep with a 2-0 victory before an announced crowd of 20,048 at Camden Yards.
A bases-loaded situation in the ninth produced nothing and the final home game before the All-Star break left the Orioles with a 24-59 overall record and an 11-31 mark at Camden Yards.
The Orioles haven’t posted shutouts in more than two straight games since closing the 1995 season with five in a row. Mike Mussina (twice), Scott Erickson, Kevin Brown and Ben McDonald did the honors.
Gabriel Ynoa wasn’t filling those spikes, but he was much better today than in previous turns.
Ynoa allowed only one run and scattered six hits in 5 1/3 innings, and his only walk prompted his removal.
Paul Fry walked the first batter he faced after replacing Ynoa and struck out the next two. Oscar Mercado doubled again in the seventh off Shawn Armstrong and scored on another Santana single, the duo accounting for both runs.
The Orioles didn’t serve up a home run in a three-game series for the first time since July 31-Aug. 2, 2017.
Bieber shut out the Orioles on five hits with no walks and 15 strikeouts in a May 19 start in Cleveland. He wasn’t much kinder in the rematch, blanking the Oriole on three hits with no walks and 11 strikeouts in eight innings.
Dwight Smith Jr. went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts against Bieber at Progressive Field, but he singled today with one out in the first inning - and was picked off first base.
According to STATS, the last time that the Orioles were shut out after blanking a team in back-to-back games was June 16-18, 2012. They defeated the Braves 5-0 and 2-0 and lost to the Mets 5-0 and 5-0.
Music didn’t play in the clubhouse today after the final out, but manager Brandon Hyde said he hadn’t noticed a big change in atmosphere following the 13-0 wins that gave the Orioles their first series triumph since April 22-24.
“I think it’s natural to always feel a little better after a win the next day, come in a little bit differently, but not really,” he said. “I think our guys have been pretty loose all season. Been really impressed with how we’ve dealt with tough time, which we’ve had a lot of them. We had a real bad couple of weeks. The road trip to Seattle and Oakland wasn’t fun and I felt like our guys did a nice job of being the same in the clubhouse.
“I think that speaks a lot to some of the veteran guy we have in our clubhouse. Andrew Cashner sets a great tone. It’s great having Mark Trumbo here right now. You see conversations going on around the clubhouse from veteran guys.
“Cash is the same guy every single day and he brings energy in the clubhouse. (Hanser) Alberto is the same guy. They both bring energy in our clubhouse. So I think it speaks well to them also and our young guys follow suit.”
Young and older will board a flight to Tampa later today, play three game against the Rays and head to Toronto, where they’ll close out the first half.
Note: The Orioles will announce that Tom Eshelman is starting Monday night against the Rays, which will require corresponding 25-man and 40-man roster moves.
Update: Hyde didn’t confirm a starter for Monday. Eshelman is joining the Orioles, according to a source, but the club hasn’t made any sort of announcement. On his arrival or the starter. So we wait.
“We are not ready to announce that yet. That’s going to be a TBA still,” Hyde said.
Hyde on Ynoa: “I thought that was his best start. I thought he threw the ball great. I thought his velo was ticking back up, threw some really good changeups to mainly a left-handed lineup. Did a really nice job pitching in and out, using his changeup. Lot of ground balls, threw strikes, did a great job.”
Hyde on Bieber: “Obviously, we have a real hard time with him. He’s really impressive. A couple of really good breaking balls we had a tough time staying off. A fastball that he locates that has a lot of hop to it. He knows how to pitch. We didn’t square many balls up in the two games that he pitched. Tip your hat to a guy who really threw the ball well.”
Ynoa (via Ramón Alarcón) on start: “I was aggressive going toward home plate and I was able to execute my pitches today.”
Ynoa on whether feels no margin for error because of Bieber: “You concentrate more definitely when you see the opposing pitcher having the performance that he was having. You try to do the best that you can and hopefully beat him also.”
Ynoa on starters allowing one run in series: “I think we’re going to keep improving and keep winning. I think it’s a good opportunity for everybody to continue to get better and hopefully have a good series in Tampa.”
Update II: Tanner Scott has been optioned to Triple-A Norfolk.