Manager Brandon Hyde threw his team some props for playing well and keeping the result in doubt to the final pitch last night against Houston in a 3-2 loss.
The result was no longer in doubt tonight in about the second inning. Houston scored eight runs over the first two innings on its way to crushing the Orioles 23-2 tonight at Camden Yards.
The Orioles allowed more runs tonight than in any game since their 30-3 loss to the Texas Rangers on Aug. 22, 2007.
It was the most lopsided loss of the year for the Orioles, and topped their previous high for runs allowed, which was 17 against the Red Sox on July 20. Their previous biggest loss this season was 16-2 at Oakland on June 18.
Orioles right-hander Aaron Brooks was hit hard early and often, and allowed nine runs and nine hits over three innings. He gave up four homers and is now 2-6 with a 6.35 ERA overall. In six games with the Orioles, he is 0-3 with a 9.41 ERA. Over his past four games with Baltimore he’s allowed 23 runs (22 earned) in 16 2/3 innings.
It got so bad that Stevie Wilkerson was called on to pitch again, marking his fourth appearance on the mound. It was the seventh time this year the Orioles used a position player to pitch and the 16th time in club history.
He got the last out of the eighth, but could not put up a zero in the ninth, allowing an RBI single to Aledmys Díaz and a two-run homer to Yordan Alvarez. That was Alvarez’s third homer of the night. He hit a solo shot in the first, a grand slam in the seventh and the two-run blast in the ninth. The rookie went 3-for-5 with four runs and seven RBIs.
The Astros (77-40) produced their 11th grand slam on the year. After leading 8-1 in the second, they scored one in the third, four in the fifth, one in the sixth and six runs in the seventh. They had 25 hits, also an O’s opponent season high. Houston has won eight in a row and 11 of 12 games.
The Orioles (38-78) have lost five in a row, all to the Yankees and Houston. They are 2-7 on this homestand, which ends tomorrow, and 0-5 in a 10-game stretch against first-place clubs in New York and Houston.
Last night the O’s ended a 14-game run of allowing a homer and a major league record run of 12 consecutive games allowing two or more. Tonight they yielded back-to-back homers in the first to Alex Bregman and Alvarez. They gave up four homers over the first innings and six for the game.
O’s pitchers have allowed five or more homers 18 times this season and four times in the last five games.
Manager Brandon Hyde on Brooks: “He was up in the zone, and they were on everything that he threw. I thought the first two batters of the game, he had a really good sinker. He had a good sinker going to the ‘pen before the game and just got a lot of pitches up in the zone. They were not missing them. We have to face these guys again tomorrow, doubleheader on Monday. Third inning, probably, I was planning how was I going to finish this game, and somehow we finished it.”
Hyde on losses to New York and Houston: “We’re in a really tough stretch, facing these guys tomorrow, so we need a really nice start out of Wojo. We need Wojo to step up and give us a really good start, and then a doubleheader on Monday, so not the easiest few days.”
Hyde said he pinch-hit for Renato Núñez because he suffered a left ankle contusion fouling a ball off in the fifth inning, and said Núñez is day-to-day.
Trey Mancini, on how losses like this make it tough to stay positive: “It can be tough. It’s been a tough homestand, but that’s our job. You’ve got to come the next day, and no matter what happened the day before, you never know what could happen the next day. For example, we had a good game yesterday, almost won. Today, we obviously had an embarrassing loss, and tomorrow’s a new day, and you never know what can happen. Hopefully, we play a little more like we did yesterday than we did today. Hopefully, that’s got to be your mindset or else you’re going to keep getting pounded.”