Ty Blach’s career numbers against the Dodgers didn’t matter tonight.
The Orioles’ preference for not having a team spray champagne in the visiting clubhouse didn’t matter.
The contrast in the level of talent on the two teams was significant.
The Dodgers sent nine batters to the plate in the top of the first inning while working Blach for 44 pitches. They scored four runs. They continued the recent trend, or renewed it, of Orioles starters stumbling out of the gate.
Some take a harder fall than others.
Corey Seager homered twice in the first three innings and drove in five runs, Walker Buehler blanked the Orioles for seven frames and the Dodgers won 7-3 before an announced crowd of 12,356 at Camden Yards that included 233 dogs in the latest pet promotion.
The Dodgers clinched the National League West, making their magic number disappear in their first trip to Baltimore since 2013. The Orioles have lost six games in a row and nine of 10 and are 46-98.
They’re bound to exceed last year’s 47 wins, but it’s taking a while.
With the Orioles veering toward their ninth shutout, DJ Stewart homered off reliever Casey Sadler leading off the eighth inning - his first of the season - and Renato Núñez had an RBI single. Another run scored on left fielder A.J. Pollock’s throwing error.
Buehler held the Orioles to four hits with no walks and 11 strikeouts.
Blach had a career 2.82 ERA in 13 games against the Dodgers, giving him the edge when manager Brandon Hyde needed a starter for tonight. But Blach allowed six batters to reach in the first inning, with Cody Bellinger delivering an RBI single and Seager launching a three-run homer.
A single and double were added to Blach’s line as Evan Phillips warmed in the bullpen, but Gavin Lux took a called third strike to close the inning.
Blach threw only eight pitches in the second, though he allowed another single. And he was gone after 2 1/3 innings.
Seager followed Kiké Hernández’s leadoff single with an opposite-field shot. Joc Pederson singled with one out and Phillips entered the game.
Pederson was slashing .209/.227/.233 with one extra-base hit against left-handers before tonight. A stat that takes on a larger life when considering how he’s hit 32 homers.
In 23-career at-bats against Blach, Seager had managed only four hits until arriving at Camden Yards and registering the seventh multi-homer game of his career and first this season.
Lux, whose name surfaced in trade talks involving Manny Machado at last year’s deadline, hit his first career homer in the fifth, a two-out shot off left-hander Tanner Scott that expanded the lead to 7-0.
The 164 home runs allowed by the Orioles at home is the latest major league record set this year.
They’ve had a player hit multiple homers in a game 35 times this season. The Yankees’ Gleyber Torres is responsible for five.
Aaron Brooks allowed six runs in the first inning Saturday before recording an out and didn’t complete the third. Asher Wojciechowski lasted only two innings the following day. And Blach’s stay was brief tonight, with six runs and nine hits allowed in 2 1/3.
Hanser Alberto reached on an infield hit with two outs in the bottom of the second to raise his average to .322. He was retired in his next three at-bats.
Mason Williams followed with a single and the Orioles didn’t have another baserunner until Williams singled again with one out in the fifth.
Buehler retired the last six batters after Jonathan Villar’s leadoff single in the sixth. Sadler couldn’t live up to his standards.
The Orioles couldn’t get that elusive 47th win.
The cleaning crew will try to get champagne stains out of the carpet.
Hyde on Buehler: “That was just a clinic from first inning through the seventh for him. Four pitches for strikes, locating everything. I haven’t seen the video, but it didn’t seem like he missed a spot the whole night. He’s able to elevate when he wants to, he’s able to throw a two-seamer, cutter and a really good curveball. Seen it before. And he’s not going to walk you, so you’ve got to get hits off him. That was just a straight pitching clinic tonight.”
Hyde on Blach: “I thought they ran his pitch count up in the first inning where Bellinger, kind of a tough single there and (Chris) Taylor with, I don’t know how long that at-bat went, but multiple-pitch at-bat. They just grinded through the first inning and had a clean second and then kind of the opposite-field Camden Yards home run there to Seager. But I thought he battled. That’s just a really good club.”
Hyde on whether game and watching Dodgers celebrate a teaching moment: “I think I might have said in the third or fourth inning, I’m glad our guys are watching this because this is what it looks like in October. That’s what it looks like on the mound in October. Those are the types of guys you face on a nightly basis and then the bullpens are loaded up, also. So it just shows you how good you have to be.
“And you look at the athleticism on the field with those guys and (Max) Muncy and (Justin) Turner aren’t even in there. But they have so many moveable pieces, they put together a really good roster the last handful of years.”
Hyde on whether he liked how Dillon Tate competed: “Yeah. I like the way a lot of our bullpen guys competed. I thought they did a nice job. I thought (Branden) Kline through the ball well, I thought (Miguel) Castro threw the ball really well again. And Tate. So I thought we did some nice things out of the ‘pen. We just were down a lot early.”
Blach on first inning: “I felt like I was making a lot of good pitches. They just kept battling, kept fouling pitches off, got me deep in the counts. They didn’t chase anything out of the zone. They just leveraged a couple of pitches.”
Blach on having past success versus Dodgers: “It’s been one of those years. Just leaving a few pitches over the plate maybe. They’re just taking advantage of some pitches they can leverage. They’re a good hitting team. They always have been. They swing the bats. Every guy in the lineup can hurt you so you have to be on top of your game when you face them.”