Manager Brandon Hyde can laugh now about the play Wednesday night that began as a blown call on a missed catch by left fielder Ryan McKenna and resulted in a run scoring and no outs recorded rather than the triple play that the Orioles thought might be possible.
Catch a break? The Orioles are overdue, as Hyde noted.
Anthony Santander slid into second base with an apparent double tonight leading off the fourth inning and removed his shin guard, an umpire signaled home run after the ball bounced onto the field in right-center and Santander broke into his trot with a tie-breaking blast. Except the White Sox challenged the call and won, forcing Santander out of the dugout as Hyde sought an explanation.
Two ground balls and a liner ensued, of course, and Santander never made it to the plate when it counted. Hyde, meanwhile, had to be wondering again about that elusive break.
Jorge López came out for the fifth, surrendered three consecutive singles to give the White Sox a lead and was removed from the game. Two balls found grass by strokes of luck. The Orioles could only imagine how it must feel.
Dillon Tate inherited two runners from Cole Sulser in the sixth and they both scored on Tim Anderson’s double, the Orioles walked five batters in the inning and the White Sox pounded the opposing bullpen in a 12-1 win before an announced crowd of 12,077 at Camden Yards.
Sulser stranded two runners after replacing López, who was charged with two runs and eight hits in four-plus innings. López hasn’t made it through the fifth in five of his last six starts and he leads the majors with 12 losses in 14 decisions.
“For me, I’ve just got to keep working and get better,” he said. “I’ll take these four days and take a rest and clear my mind and just keep competing. ... I just need to keep improving.
“Physically, I don’t feel tired. Probably mentally to be over and over and over in the same spot, it kind of takes you down. But I’m a strong man. I have a family and that’s giving me strength.”
Back-to-back walks to begin the sixth brought a predictable result, as did five walks total - the last forcing in a run - and the Orioles fell to 28-59 overall and 0-5 versus the White Sox. Tate issued three free passes and Adam Engel had a sacrifice fly to increase the lead to 6-1.
Gilman’s Gavin Sheets, son of former Oriole Larry Sheets, struck out to strand two runners in the second inning after receiving a nice ovation in his return to Baltimore. Then he homered off César Valdez with the bases empty in the seventh, his father cheering from the front row in Cal Ripken Jr.’s seats.
Valdez issued the seventh walk of the game with two outs and José Abreu followed with a two-run double.
“I don’t know if fatigue is playing a factor in some of these guys,” Hyde said. “That would be understandable if it is.”
Shaun Anderson, the 47th player used by the Orioles, stranded two runners in the eighth inning and also issued the team’s eighth walk. Engel launched a three-run homer in the ninth after a Kelvin Gutierrez error and a hit batter, and infielder Pat Valaika replaced Anderson - his second pitching appearance - and coaxed the final out.
“Definitely affected the game, there’s no doubt about it,” Hyde said of the walks. “A 2-1 game there, we walk the seven- and eight-hole hitters, not a recipe to win. We get an out there on the bunt, Anderson takes a 97 mph fastball off the right field wall, good piece of hitting with runners in scoring position, then we walk three in a row. Tough to compete.”
Ramón Urías lined a Dallas Keuchel slider into the left field seats leading off the second inning for his fourth home run and a 1-0 lead. Urías was slashing .333/.405/.515 as Freddy Galvis’ replacement at shortstop and is 9-for-21 this month, including a single in the sixth.
“He’s playing well,” Hyde said. “Solid defensively at short, doing a nice job making the routine play, and taking some good at-bats. ... Taking competitive at-bats and making the routine play. All we can ask.”
“I think the time I spent in Norfolk was very valuable to me,” Urías said via translator Ramón Alarcón. “I believe that I had some good games over there and thankfully I’ve been able to carrry that over to here, and that’s really want I’m looking forward to, continuing doing that to help my team.”
Brian Goodwin tied the game in the third with a two-out double that scored Anderson, who extended his hitting streak to 10 games. A walk to Abreu preceded Goodwin’s double.
Trey Mancini doubled to right field with two outs in the first inning. He was 9-for-53 with two doubles, a home run and 20 strikeouts since homering twice on June 20.
Ryan Mountcastle walked to extend the rally, but Santander grounded into a force. Mountcastle has drawn four walks this month and 11 in his last 13 games.
Gutierrez singled in the second inning in his first start with the Orioles and his first official at-bat after walking Wednesday night. He singled again to lead off the fifth and Cedric Mullins walked, but Austin Hays bounced into a double play and Mancini flied out.
Notes: Left-hander John Means went three innings at Double-A Bowie tonight and allowed four runs (two earned) and five hits with no walks, three strikeouts and two home runs. Richmond hit two home runs against him. Means will move up to Triple-A Norfolk for a start before rejoining the Orioles.