OAKLAND - Well, the Orioles lost another game and got swept in a series today for the seventh time. But they very likely didn’t lose their best player to the injured list, and while Trey Mancini could miss a game or two, it shouldn’t be much more than that.
Mancini - batting .304/.359/.558 with 18 doubles, two triples, 16 homers and 35 RBIs - left today’s game in the top of the first. A 3-1 pitch by Oakland right-hander Chris Bassitt came up and in on him and plunked him in the left elbow. He suffered a contusion, but nothing worse. That was a big relief to the Orioles after today’s 8-3 loss to the A’s, their season-high eighth in a row.
“I was expecting the worst,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said, noting that Mancini’s X-rays were negative. “It didn’t look good when I went out there. He was in some serious pain, and so you’re hopeful. And we got lucky. It’s too soon to know (if Mancini can play tomorrow). I’m sure he’s going to be really sore, so I would say ‘doubtful,’ but he’s a tough guy and we’ll see, but day-to-day for right now.”
At a time when the Orioles are not scoring much - they produced just seven runs and 13 hits in this series - they certainly can’t afford to be without Mancini, who is among the top 10 in the American League in several offensive categories.
“Luckily, there is nothing fractured or broken,” Mancini said. “Just going to be some swelling, so I’m not really sure of the timetable. Whenever that subsides and it feels better, then I’ll be back out there. But it is always good to know that for a fact and get the X-rays just to make sure. But yeah, it’s a tough spot. Elbows are very important in multiple facets of baseball. So a tough spot to get hit.”
Mancini might have had a flashback to April 27 in Minnesota. In was also the first inning there when he got hit on the right index finger, stayed in the game to hit a single and then came out of that contest.
“It was kind of similar to when (José) Berríos threw the pitch that I swung at and it hit me on the finger,” Mancini said. “Kind of a similar pain level. Little numb at first and, after about 20 seconds, it kind of hits you. Right when it happened I knew I was going to have to come out. Couldn’t really move my arm for a little while, and then after while got a little movement back. But still some swelling, unfortunately, and hopefully, that goes away and soon we try to take care of it as best we can.”
As for the game, the Orioles used an opener today and right-hander Jimmy Yacabonis threw two scoreless innings, providing Hyde with what he desired from the strategy.
“We got into the sixth inning with our high-leverage guys ready to pitch out of the ‘pen in a one-run game,” said Hyde. “Yak did a nice job. Worked out of trouble in the first and got two good innings out of him. Josh (Rogers) threw two good innings and just hung a slider 0-2, which we have done a lot. But, we gave the ball to our bullpen guys with a chance to win and didn’t do it.”
Rogers’ 0-2 slider went for a three-run homer off the bat of No. 9 hitter Josh Phegley in the fifth. That had the Orioles playing catch-up all day, and they got within a run twice before Oakland pulled away, scoring four off the bullpen in the seventh. The O’s were no-hit until Jonathan Villar’s single to left in the sixth, when they scored twice.
The A’s went 6-1 against the Orioles for the season series, scoring 62 runs and hitting 21 homers. The Orioles were outscored 27-7 in this series, and they’ve lost 12 of 14, 16 of 20 and 24 of their last 30. Their last series win was April 22-24 versus the White Sox, and their last road series win was April 1-3 at Toronto. They have lost nine straight road series and are 0-15-1 since the White Sox series.
“Tomorrow is a new day,” Yacabonis said after throwing 31 pitches. “Just move forward and keep a positive attitude every day.”
Added Mancini after the sweep: “We’ve got to turn the page. That was just not a great showing by us at all. And, we’ve got to find a way to come out and play a little crisper, a little better. We’ve got to play like we did earlier in the season. Even some of the games we lost almost felt like we were in them a lot more. Been a little sloppy lately, and just need to clean it up as far as defense and things like that go, and baserunning. Hopefully, we go out there (to Seattle next) and put our best foot forward this series.”
The Orioles expect to get outfielder Dwight Smith Jr. back tomorrow night off the seven-day concussion injured list. There are also expected to be some changes coming on the pitching staff.
“Possible,” said Hyde. “I think there’s going to be changes all year long. It could be like that every day.”