PHOENIX - An Orioles starter carried a no-hitter through six innings yesterday afternoon. Tonight’s starter faced nine batters in the first and allowed three runs.
Manager Brandon Hyde’s satisfaction with the rotation tends to fluctuate.
Adam Jones’ ability to get the last word is consistent.
Brooks was charged with five earned runs and six total in 3 2/3 innings and the Orioles fell to 31-68. The last run scored after Gabriel Ynoa replaced him.
Though he didn’t hint at wanting revenge on his former team, Jones got it anyway with two singles, a double, an RBI and a run scored in the first four innings. He finished 3-for-4.
Jones said earlier that it was all about Ws, but he had a few LOL moments at the Orioles’ expense.
Jones, who hadn’t faced the Orioles since 2007, singled in the first for one of the five hits off Brooks in the inning.
Catcher Pedro Severino tried to pick off Jones at second base, which led to some playful banter and gesturing. Severino faked another throw, Jones began his retreat to second and stopped a few steps short of the bag - inviting him to try again.
Eduardo Escobar had an RBI triple to center field earlier in the inning and he scored on a single by former Orioles prospect Christian Walker. Jones singled, Jake Lamb struck out and Nick Ahmed delivered a run-scoring single.
Brooks didn’t get out of the inning until he threw 26 pitches.
The Orioles countered with a run in the second, but Jones flashed some leather by running down Stevie Wilkerson’s drive in right-center field with two men on base and no outs. Anthony Santander, who led off with a single, raced to third base on the play and scored on Richie Martin’s bloop single into left field.
Jarrod Dyson made a diving attempt and the ball glanced off his glove after hanging in the air for an eternity.
The defense let down Brooks in the third as the Diamondbacks extended their lead to 5-1.
Jones was credited with a leadoff double after Núñez, starting at first base, failed to catch a popup along the line with his back to the infield. Lamb followed with a double on a ball that sliced away from Santander.
Alberto was charged with an error after Lamb’s knee slammed into his glove and jarred the ball loose as he tried to apply the tag. An unearned run followed after Martin made a diving stop and throw to deny Carson Kelly.
Alberto lost the ball and Wilkerson lost an outfield assist.
Santander raced in and made a diving catch to rob Dyson in the fourth.
Escobar’s second triple with two outs in the fourth inning came on the 73rd and final pitch from Brooks, who allowed nine hits and walked a batter. Ynoa complicated the situation by walking Walker and Jones poked an RBI single into center field for a 6-1 lead.
Alberto and Núñez homered in the fifth, the latter ball traveling 431 feet per Statcast.
Martin, who made another diving stop in the sixth on a Walker ground ball up the middle, flipping to Jonathan Villar for the force at second base, has three multi-hit games in his last three starts.
Ray struck out 10 batters in six innings.
The Orioles won nine of their last 18 games before arriving in Arizona. The formula isn’t complicated. It’s just hard to replicate.
“The games we’ve won, it’s been pretty easy to figure out,” Hyde said. “We’ve gotten a pretty good start and scored a few runs and (Richard) Bleier and (Paul) Fry and (Mychal) Givens have pitched well out of the ‘pen.
“That’s something we’d love to continue is games that we’re winning, we’re getting a really good start where our guy gives us innings, gives us a chance, be able to pitch with a lead and then our bullpen comes in and does a nice job. So hopefully we can continue to do that.”
The starting pitching wasn’t there tonight.
Adam Jones was pretty much everywhere.
Update: The Orioles optioned Branden Kline to Triple-A Norfolk after he threw 2 1/3 scoreless innings - Miguel Castro stranded a runner on third base in the eighth - and another roster move is coming on Tuesday.
Hyde on game: “I thought we swung the bat really well. I thought we hit a lot of balls hard. I thought they played great defense. Nick Ahmed’s one of the premiere shortstops in the league. And they just made a bunch of really nice ... I thought we drove the ball pretty well against Robbie Ray and only came up with three runs, but I thought that was because of their defense.”
Hyde on stretching out Brooks in the moment: “It’s a lot harder in the National League, too, because he comes up to hit. But yeah, he was up over 70 and that’s good for us going forward. I just didn’t think he was as sharp tonight and they came out really aggressive on him.”
Hyde on Jones: “Obviously he swung the bat well against us tonight. You look at his career numbers, obviously he’s had a really productive career. He’s a tough out and hurt us tonight bigtime.”
Hyde on Ray: “We left some guys on base early against him, also. I mean, Robbie Ray’s one of the best left-handers in the National League and I was really happy with how we swung the bat. We drove some balls. Santander drove on, Wilkerson drove one to right-center field. I thought we did some good things offensively against him. We just didn’t get the big hits to knock him out a little bit earlier.”
Mancini on Jones being on other side: “It was a little strange. I feel like lately we’ve been playing against a lot of our old teammates, Manny, Cashner, and Jonesy and a few other guys. But you know that that’s going to happen in this business. Guys go to different teams, so it’s always a little strange when you play your teammates and see them on the other side of the field after playing with them for a long time.”
Mancini on Jones getting three hits: “I mean, he was very instrumental in their win tonight. I’ve seen him do that a lot when we played together. So it wasn’t as fun to be on the other side of it.”
Brooks on this start compared to others: “Balls were catching a little bit more of the zone than previous ones. It’s just a matter of being too long in my delivery and needing to shorten up and get on top a little bit and get that sinking action down.”
Brooks on Jones: “Yeah he’s good. Obviously he’s a really good player. He does a good job of staying on pitches, and obviously, trying to do damage. He had a good night.
Brooks on trying to stretch out for longer outings: “It’s really good. I’m super blessed and thankful that Hyder and everybody are giving me a chance to stretch back out, looking more long-term than just throwing out in the fire and possibly - hopefully not - getting hurt. It’s good that they’re giving me the opportunity, and this build-up process has been good for me. I’m ready to get back out there.”