Mark it on the Matt Harvey bingo card.
Umpires ruled that left fielder Ryan McKenna made a diving catch of Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s sinking liner after the first two batters reached. Marcus Semien was tagged after rounding third base, the call requiring him to go back to second, and two runners stood on first.
A double play? A triple play?
The Orioles didn’t get a single out.
Semien was awarded home plate after the review, runners were placed on first and second, manager Brandon Hyde came out to discuss it and the Blue Jays scored three runs in the inning in a 10-2 victory before an announced crowd of 7,457 at Camden Yards.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Bo Bichette had run-scoring singles in the fourth, raising Toronto’s hit total to nine in 3 2/3 innings and sending Harvey to the bench. He hasn’t won since May 1, going 0-9 with three no-decisions.
Harvey was charged with six runs, the last on Guerrero’s single off Adam Plutko, to leave his ERA at 7.70. The nine hits equaled his season high. He’s completed the fifth inning only once in his last 12 starts.
“They just kind of singled me to death,” Harvey said. “I think it’s one of those starts where I left the ball over the middle a little bit and good teams are going to put the ball in play and it just happened to be where we weren’t playing. Obviously frustrated, it’s been a rough first half, but you’ve just got to kind of hit the reset button. I think the break is going to help. I think a lot of us are kind of banged up and tired and definitely need the rest, and the time off and hit the rest button and get back after it after the break.
“It’s been good at times and it’s been really bad at times. I think just really finding out what’s causing those bad times, those bad innings. It’s like I go out and have two or three good innings, four good innings, and then things pretty much all year have kind of imploded.
“With that time off you can really nit-pick at what’s causing those last few things, whether it’s being a little tired, you’re getting off your gameplan a little bit. It’s been a struggle, but you’ve just got to keep pushing through and figure out how to minimize the damage in those bad innings.”
Semien began the game with a walk and Bo Bichette singled. McKenna appeared to rob Guerrero, but replays showed the ball hitting the ground. McKenna threw to Domingo Leyba, who made the tag and fired to second. One umpire signaled safe, though which runner was unclear.
Teoscar Hernández singled with one out to load the bases, a run scored on a force play and Cavan Biggio followed with an RBI double on a ball that hopped the fence in left-center field.
“I didn’t really know what to expect,” Harvey said. “I didn’t know they had called him out initially. I was assuming that they were going to put the bases loaded, but I haven’t really gone over the rule book a ton lately, so I didn’t know what they were going to do.”
The replay officials in New York use a high camera to place the runners where they would be if the call hadn’t been incorrect. Semien broke right away and would have scored.
“It’s tough to argue that,” Hyde said.
The failure to turn a double play cost the Orioles two runs.
“I think if we turn that double play ball it could have changed some things,” Hyde said. “We don’t play our best defense behind him and it tends to hurt.”
McKenna did make a diving catch to deny Danny Jansen in the second and Guerrero was doubled off first base after a leadoff single in the third when Pat Valaika made a lunging grab of George Springer’s popup.
Biggio doubled with one out in the fourth and scored on Gurriel’s single. Hyde gave Harvey one more batter and Bichette lined a single to right.
“Baseball’s tough,” said Harvey, whose streak of nine losing decisions is a career high. “You have to stay mentally focused. I understand I haven’t in the last two years really pitched a lot, and I knew there were going to be some struggles. I think the fact that there’s some really good innings mixed in there that obviously show the stuff’s still there and keeps the mind in a positive place.
“If I was going out there every single inning and just getting it handed to me, then that would be one thing, but really looking back at mostly all my starts, it’s really been one bad inning per start. Obviously, a couple mixed in there that have been good, a couple that have been bad the entire time. For the most part staying positive with those good innings and just trying to minimize in the second half and put together a lot more better starts than I was able to do in the first half.”
“I think it was a tough night,” Hyde said. “That was a long first inning and I thought we gave away a couple outs there to get him out of that first inning to allow only one run. Listen, Matt’s grinding right now and he didn’t pitch much last year at all, we’re at the break. He’s going to get some time off to kind of recharge a little bit. I think it’s important that he gets some time to rest. He’s really toed the rubber for us in his spot this entire first half. There’s probably some fatigue in there, as well.”
Asked how Harvey has handled the struggles, Hyde said, “Like a pro.”
“He’s going to continue to grind,” Hyde said, “and like I said, I think he needs a little breather.”
The lead grew to 7-0 in the fifth on Biggio’s sacrifice fly off Plutko that scored Hernández, who doubled to lead off the inning.
Hyun Jin Ryu held the Orioles to one run and struck out seven batters in five innings. His last three wins have come against them.
Austin Hays doubled in the first, but Ryu struck out three batters. McKenna walked with one out in the second and Valaika singled, but a force play and strikeout ended the rally. Trey Mancini walked with two outs in the third and Ryan Mountcastle struck out.
The Orioles settled for one run in the fifth after loading the bases with no outs on singles by Leyba, Austin Wynns and Cedric Mullins. Leyba scored on Hays’ fly ball to the edge of the center field track. Mancini flied to right and Hernández cut down Wynns at the plate.
Bichette hit a two-run homer in the sixth off César Valdez, making his first appearance since being reinstated from the injured list.
Left-hander Zac Lowther loaded the bases in the seventh on a walk and two hit batters, but he struck out Semien. Hernández had a run-scoring double with two outs in the eighth for a 10-1 lead.
Anthony Kay allowed a run in the bottom of the eighth on Mountcastle’s single after Hays led off with a single and Mancini doubled. The next three Orioles struck out.
Kelvin Gutierrez made his Orioles debut as a defensive replacement at third base in the ninth inning, the 46th player they’ve used this season. He walked with two outs in the ninth.
Paul Fry retired the side in order in the top of the ninth.
Notes: The Orioles are starting Jorge López, Thomas Eshelman and Spenser Watkins in the three-game series against the White Sox to close out the first half. Chicago is starting Dallas Keuchel, Lucas Giolito and Dylan Cease.
Drew Rom tossed five scoreless innings for Single-A Aberdeen, allowing three hits and striking out six.