SAN DIEGO - Orioles right-hander David Hess had a pretty good slider going, striking out an impressive seven batters in 4 2/3 innings. But it sure doesn’t offset the four homers and five runs he allowed last night.
The Orioles’ momentum that they started in Anaheim didn’t translate to San Diego last night. They got blasted 8-1 as San Diego hit five home runs. Four of them went 400 feet or more.
Fernando Tatis Jr. and Franmil Reyes homered on Hess’ first two pitches of the game, both 94 mph fastballs. The Padres had never done that before. Pitch tracking counts on home runs only dates to 1988, and, at least that far back, the Orioles had never given up two homers on the game’s first two pitches.
Hess can tease the Orioles at times with solid stuff, thus his seven strikeouts, but far too often the ball goes out of the yard and the strikeouts don’t carry much weight at that point. For the year he’s allowed 25 homers in 72 2/3.
It confounds skipper Brandon Hyde also.
“Yeah, yeah, I thought he flashed some really good sliders, got a lot of punchouts on good sliders that had nice depth to them and were sharp that we didn’t see before he left last time. We’re taking that as a positive, and he showed some plus sliders tonight.
“He gave us length, which was huge, and he kind of let us reset our bullpen. If he goes out there and goes an inning and 2/3, then we’ve got issues for (today). So now we’re able to be a little fresher in the pen and have some more options. So that was a real positive.”
Will Hess start again on turn?
“We’ll talk about it because we’re not real deep in our rotation,” said Hyde. “With Johnny (Means) on the IL for a little while longer, we’re still looking, we have a fifth starter spot open, so I’m not sure where we’re going with that yet.”
O’s pitchers have now allowed 13 homers over their past four games. Baltimore pitchers have allowed 205 home runs on the year. The major league record is 258, allowed by the 2016 Cincinnati Reds. At the current O’s pace, this staff will shatter that mark and yield 313 home runs.
Last night marked the 13th time they have given up five in one game. That extended the O’s MLB record for allowing five homers in a game in one season.
San Diego is 3-0 against the Orioles this season, scoring 26 runs and hitting 14 homers. Manny Machado is 6-for-12 with a triple, homer and two RBIs against his former club.
Catcher Chance Sisco and the O’s have been on the wrong end of blowout losses this year and got right back to play well and/or win the next game. They’ll try to do that again this afternoon.
“Just come to the field with a good attitude really,” said Sisco. “Every day, they say attitude is a choice and it really is. In our situation, we’ll just come ready to play. Play with our hair on fire and try to have fun with it and whatever happens happens.”
O’s outfielder Dwight Smith Jr., who left Saturday’s game in Anaheim with a left calf injury, re-aggravated that injury and left Monday night’s game. He entered as a pinch-hitter in the seventh, singled to right but limped down the first-base line. Richie Martin ran for him.
“He just tweaked the calf on the swing, I guess, so we’ll see,” Hyde said. “I don’t think it looks great for a while.”
With a day game today following a West Coast night game it seems pretty unlikely the Orioles could get a position player here in time to replace Smith on the roster today if he needs to go on the injured list.
Trade talk: When questioned during his pregame media session Monday about the likelihood that the Orioles make trades before tomorrow’s trade deadline, Hyde didn’t offer a firm opinion. Probably because he can’t for one and for two, he and executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias probably don’t know for sure how the final hours will play out.
“Maybe. Possible. I have no idea honestly,” Hyde said. “We might have five guys move. We might have nobody move. From what I have heard, it is very up in the air.”
The O’s don’t have untouchables but surely they have players they would only part with under certain circumstances.
“Well, I think he’s (Elias) not going to just give away players,” said Hyde. “He’s not going to move people to move people. There has got to be the right partner, the right fit and the right return. But I think, yeah, in our situation, it’s open for anybody if the return is there. So we’ll see if it is.”