Matt Harvey’s right knee appears to be fine. His survival tactics were in pretty good shape tonight until the fifth inning.
Harvey steered out of a couple jams but hung a curveball to Miguel Cabrera, whose 499th career home run broke a scoreless tie in the fifth inning. Niko Goodrum added a two-run double and exited with a left groin strain, the Orioles were quiet offensively until Anthony Santander homered again in the eighth and the losing streak reached seven games.
The Orioles kept their opponent below nine runs to avoid tying a major league record but were beaten 5-2 before an announced crowd of 8,990 at Camden Yards.
Harvey was removed after five innings and 82 pitches, allowing three runs and eight hits with three walks and five strikeouts. His 21 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings have been followed by five runs over six innings and a few ice packs on the knee.
“I thought Matt threw the ball extremely well,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “Four scoreless innings, pitched out of a bases-loaded , one-out jam there and kept us right there. Hung a breaking ball to Miggy for a homer and then a two-out ground ball in the right spot down the line for a couple runs. But kept us in the ballgame, thought he looked good on a hot night and I was impressed with how he threw.”
Cabrera singled twice before batting again in the fifth and clearing the fence in left-center field. He received a loud ovation from Tigers fans who traveled in hopes of witnessing history. The team returns home after Wednesday afternoon’s series finale and he might be held out of the lineup.
Batting again in the sixth with first base open against rookie Dusten Knight, Cabrera lined the first pitch to deep right field to score Robbie Grossman, and Jonathan Schoop raced home on a wild pitch for a 5-0 lead.
Cabrera had one more shot in the ninth against Dillon Tate and grounded out.
Cedric Mullins extended his hitting streak to 18 games with an infield single in the third inning. Cabrera fielded the ball, saw that pitcher Tarik Skubal broke late to the bag and had no chance to win a footrace.
It’s the longest hitting streak in the majors and longest for the Orioles since Santander in August 2020.
The Orioles are 38-74 but didn’t allow nine or more runs for the first time in seven games. They’ve homered in 11 straight at home.
Skubal shut them out on five hits in six innings. Santander hit a 413-foot, two-run shot off reliever Erasmo Ramírez for his fourth home run in three games.
“It’s part of baseball,” Harvey said. “I think everyone’s learning, everyone’s growing and you never try to settle for a couple good games here and there. You want to keep pushing and unfortunately we have a tough stretch right now. I feel like we’ve gotten a lot of hits but our pitching has given up a couple runs here and there. It happens. You go into slumps hitting, you go into slumps pitching. It’s part of the game.
“We realize there’s a lot of baseball left and we have to keep our heads down and keep pushing and try to put it all together and finish up strong.”
Santander’s ball landed on Eutaw Street again, his third this season and sixth of his career to tie Luke Scott for second place. Chris Davis is the leader with 11.
The start of the game was delayed 1 hour, 11 minutes because of two storms, the second causing Harvey to walk back to the clubhouse from the bullpen before warming. The tarp was unrolled again and the teams waited for the rain to subside.
The Tigers loaded the bases in the first inning on singles by Grossman and Cabrera and a two-out walk to Eric Haase after Harvey thought he struck out the rookie with a 2-2 fastball. Harold Castro swung at the first pitch and grounded out.
Austin Hays raced into left-center field to run down Jeimer Candelario’s fly ball and save at least one run before Haase walked. Harvey threw 22 pitches in the inning.
Harvey retired the side in order on 12 pitches in the second, striking out two, but Schoop and Cabrera singled with one out in the third and Candelario walked. Haase broke his bat on a bouncer to Trey Mancini, who threw home for the force, and Castro struck out on a 94 mph sinker.
Victor Reyes singled with two outs in the fourth, but Harvey needed only 11 pitches to get through the inning and keep the game scoreless.
Candelario followed Cabrera’s home run with a double and took third on Pedro Severino’s 10th passed ball of the season. Haase walked and Mancini fielded Castro’s roller and again fired home for the out.
Goodrum’s ground ball down the right field line increased the lead to 3-0.
Mancini had quite a night in the field. He also retrieved Hays’ wild throw in the eighth and cut down Reyes at second base.
Harvey said he didn’t experience any discomfort in the knee tonight.
“It’s not a serious issue,” he said. “It’s just something that’s kind of crept up on me a little bit. But it definitely wasn’t an issue at all.”
Santander singled in the second and sixth innings, and his homer on Eutaw Street - the 112th in the ballpark’s history - made him 15-for-32 with two doubles, four homers and six runs scored in eight games this month. Mancini was 4-for-30 with 10 strikeouts in August before a two-out single in the sixth.
Hays represented the tying run against Gregory Soto with two outs in the ninth and bounced out.
Jorge Mateo singled in the fifth and was thrown out trying to steal for the first time in nine attempts in the majors.
“He came out of the game there with some upper-leg/groin soreness, something he’s been managing and dealing with here for a little while,” Hyde said. “On the comebacker when he grounded out he kind of felt it coming out of the box.”
Notes: Adley Rutschman was 1-for-4 with two RBIs tonight in his second game at Triple-A Norfolk. He grounded into a double play, struck out looking, grounded to first and had a two-run single that give Norfolk a 6-5 lead in the seventh inning. Rutschman also stole second base.
Dean Kremer allowed one run and six hits with no walks, three strikeouts and a hit batter over four innings. Kevin Smith didn’t do well out of the bullpen, allowing four runs and four hits with two walks in the fifth. Fernando Abad retired the side in order with two strikeouts in the ninth to record his third save.
TT Bowens had a triple and three RBIs for Single-A Delmarva in the second game of a doubleheader. Carlos Del Rosario didn’t allow a hit in 1 1/3 innings but walked five batters and was charged with three runs.