Falling behind by four runs today wasn’t the only pain inflicted on the Orioles.
They watched shortstop Freddy Galvis leave the game in the top of the second inning with an injury to his right leg, which likely is going to force him onto the injured list and bring more roster moves.
Galvis reached on a bunt single and limped off the field, grabbing the front of his leg to indicate a possible quadriceps injury. The club announced only that he had right quad discomfort.
Galvis was making his 71st start at shortstop, and he headed to the bench with a .249 average, .720 OPS, 12 doubles, a triple, nine home runs and 26 RBIs in 274 plate appearances. A cart was needed to transport him to the auxiliary tent beyond right field, which Galvis rode while almost in tears and with a towel held to his face. Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. rushed over to offer encouragement.
A clubhouse leader also was lost, with Galvis one of the more vocal veterans on the team. He controlled the music last night as the Orioles celebrated the end of a 20-game road losing streak - “DJ Galvis,” as manager Brandon Hyde called him.
The Orioles have a few choices as replacements for Galvis, including Ramón Urías and Domingo Leyba, who are playing with Triple-A Norfolk and capable of handling shortstop. Jahmai Jones also is on the 40-man roster, and he’s primarily a second baseman, but Pat Valaika can shift to short, as he did today after Stevie Wilkerson pinch-ran for Galvis.
The club would need a backup, however, which makes it seem more likely that Urías or Leyba get the call. But first there must be an examination and testing to reveal the extent of the injury.
Galvis also was sidelined earlier this season with a strained right groin muscle. He signed a one-year deal in January for $1.5 million with a $250,000 bonus if he’s traded.
The Orioles might have lost a chip, as well as a shortstop.
Keegan Akin came within an out of posting three scoreless innings in Buffalo, but Marcus Semien and Bo Bichette doubled and Guerrero homered for a 3-0 lead.
It can happen that fast.
A changeup and 93 mph fastball turned into home runs for Guerrero and Teoscar Hernández, respectively. Hernández’s ball traveled 430 feet, per Statcast. Guerrero’s was a mere 403.
Note: Rule 5 pick Mac Sceroler cleared waivers and was returned to the Reds.
Update: The Orioles lost 12-4 and are 24-53.
The Orioles are waiting for the MRI results on Galvis’ leg and making arrangements to bring an infielder to Buffalo.
“I’m concerned,” Hyde said on his Zoom call. “Just kind of the way it happened and how he felt following. MRI results are pending and we’ll find out here shortly, but definitely concerned.”
Urías isn’t in Norfolk’s lineup tonight. Jones is playing second base and Leyba is starting at third.
“It’s pretty upsetting,” Akin said on his Zoom call. “Very good defender and a veteran guy like that. You don’t want to see him go down like that. Hopefully he’s all right, and we should know more tomorrow.”
Akin was charged with six runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings. Two inherited runners scored off Konner Wade in the fifth.
The second time through the order presented another steep obstacle for Akin.
“I feel like I’m staying on one spot too much,” he said in his Zoom call. “Just kind of got to mix it up, back and forth, up and down. I just made a couple bad pitches and paid for it today. Just got to get better and get through that third inning. It seems to be a common theme lately, so got to get through that third inning.”
Said Hyde: “The couple innings I felt there were a lot of opposite-side plate misses. He’s just got to be able to maintain that command throughout his outing.”
Wade became the ninth Oriole to make his major league debut and the 42nd player used this season. He retired Hernández on a fly ball, but George Springer followed with an RBI single on a fly ball down the left field line that Valaika failed to corral with a sliding attempt, and Randal Grichuk turned an 88 mph cutter into a three-run homer and an 8-0 lead.
Grichuk has 20 career homers and 51 RBIs versus the Orioles.
Wade also allowed six runs and seven hits today, but in 1 2/3 innings. Four runs scored with two outs in the sixth. Hernández had a two-run single, and Springer and Grichuk each drove in a run with singles.
All 12 runs scored with two outs.
Alexander Wells also made his major league debut, the 10th Oriole to do so this season and the 43rd player used. He’s the third native of Australia to pitch for the Orioles, joining right-hander John Stephens in 2002 and left-hander Damian Moss in 2003.
The control artist walked his second batter after Austin Hays made a diving catch in left field, but he retired Guerrero to strand two runners. He tossed two scoreless innings with two walks.
The last time before today that two Orioles made their major league debuts in the same game was April 5 with Sceroler and outfielder Ryan McKenna. Per STATS, the last time two pitchers did it was June 29, 2018 with Paul Fry and Ryan Meisinger.
Hyun Jin Ryu allowed four runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings. Galvis’ bunt single in the second was the last Orioles hit until Anthony Santander doubled with one out in the seventh.
Hays followed with an infield single, Maikel Franco walked with two outs and Pedro Severino singled to reduce the lead to 12-2. Cedric Mullins followed with a two-run double to force Ryu out of the game.
Again, all the scoring done with two outs.
Meanwhile, Trey Mancini has been invited to participate in the Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game in Denver, per sources, which confirms a report from The Athletic.
“That would be a great experience for Trey,” Hyde said. “That’s news to me, but if he does have that opportunity, it’s a really cool moment.”
Update II: Leyba has been scratched from Norfolk’s lineup, which likely indicates that he’s headed to Buffalo. It wasn’t injury related.