The switching back to the east coast tonight did not do a thing to help Orioles pitching. After the hurlers struggled, giving up 59 runs during a 1-6 west coast trip, the O’s fell behind big early tonight.
They were down 5-2 at the end of three and 7-2 at the end of the fourth in the opener of the two-game series with San Diego. They lost 8-3 in the first of a five-game homestand.
The Orioles (22-57) have lost 12 of 13, 16 of 19 and 28 of their last 35 games. They are 9-29 at Oriole Park, 7-19 in series-opening games and 2-5 versus National League teams.
Former Oriole Manny Machado was back on this field for the first time since he was traded by the club last July. He hit a 455-foot solo homer off Jimmy Yacabonis in the third and went 2-for-4 with a walk and two RBIs.
Yacabonis began the game as an opener and pitched a scoreless first and got the first two outs of the second. Then four straight hits followed and the Orioles were behind 4-1. No. 9 hitter Manuel Margot produced a two-run single and Fernando Tatis Jr. blasted a two-run homer to center.
Over 2 2/3 Yacabonis allowed five hits and five runs as his ERA jumped from 4.70 to 5.96. Lefty Josh Rogers followed him on the mound and gave up five hits and three runs over 2 1/3 innings.
O’s pitchers allowed seven or more runs for the 10th time in 13 games. This year when either Dylan Bundy, Andrew Cashner or John Means start a game, the O’s have gone 17-25 (.405). When anyone else starts the club is 5-32 (.135).
The Orioles began the game gaining a 1-0 lead two batters in. Hanser Alberto doubled and scored on Trey Mancini’s single. Mancini began the night batting .426 in the first inning. Dwight Smith Jr.’s RBI double in the third scored a run, he advanced to third on an error but was caught rounding the bag too far for an out. Richie Martin’s solo homer (No. 4) in the seventh completed the Baltimore scoring.
Alberto went 4-for-5, is batting .318 and should now have just enough plate appearances to qualify for the AL leaders. His average would have ranked fourth today at gametime.
This afternoon, the Orioles held a press conference to announce the signing of first-round pick, catcher Adley Rutschman. During the game the O’s announced the signing of second-round pick, prep shortstop Gunnar Henderson. They’ll introduce him to the press and fans at Oriole Park on Wednesday.
Henderson was named the Alabama Sports Writers Association Mr. Baseball for 2019, as well as Alabama Gatorade State Player of the Year, after hitting .559/.641/1.225 (57-for-102) with 17 doubles, nine triples, 11 home runs, 69 runs, 75 RBIs and 28 stolen bases in 32 games for John T. Morgan Academy in Selma, Ala. The O’s have signed 31 of their 41 draft picks.