Another one got away: O’s blow 7-1 lead against Blue Jays

For the Orioles tonight, it was an epic late-inning meltdown. A 7-1 lead after four innings was not safe and neither was a 9-5 lead going to the ninth.

Last night’s loss was pretty brutal. This was worse.

The Orioles lost 11-10 to Toronto tonight at Camden Yards to fall to 49-103 with 10 games remaining in the season.

Castro-Delivers-Back-White-Sidebar.jpgCalled on to pitch with the O’s up 9-5 in the ninth, Miguel Castro got an out and then walked two around a bloop single. With Toronto later down to their last out, Cavan Biggio singled to make it 9-6. Then Randal Grichuk blasted a grand slam to left for the 10-9 lead. A Reese McGuire RBI double made it 11-9.

Game blown. Big time.

Grichuk’s homer was No. 30 on a 3-1 fastball. It was his second career grand slam.

The final indignity was when the Orioles rallied in the last of the ninth but came up short. DJ Stewart’s RBI double made it 11-10 and the O’s had the bases loaded with one out. But Jonathan Villar and Trey Mancini were retired to end the game.

Much earlier, the Orioles looked in control. They scored seven runs over the first four innings tonight to lead 7-1. In the those first four frames, the Orioles went 10-for-22 at-bat with five doubles and two home runs. They scored two in the first and second and three in the fourth to open a 7-1 lead off Blue Jays starter Clay Buchholz.

In the Baltimore first, three consecutive two-out doubles by Anthony Santander, Rio Ruiz and Austin Hays produced the 2-0 lead. It grew to 4-0 on Mancini’s two-run double, which gave him six RBIs in this series and 90 for the year.

Mancini went 2-for-4 tonight. Over his last six games he is 11-for-27 with two doubles, four homers and 13 RBIs.

The O’s used the longball to expand the lead in the fourth. Villar crushed a leadoff homer to right. He hit No. 23 on a 1-1 fastball and the ball went 412 feet with a 110 mph exit velocity. After Mancini singled, Santander blasted a two-run shot to right-center. He hit No. 19 off a changeup and launched it 418 feet for a 7-1 lead.

On the mound, right-hander Dylan Bundy left early as his pitch escalated. Bundy went five innings on five hits and one run with five walks - that tied his career high - and eight strikeouts. He threw 31 pitches in the first, 51 through two innings and 105 for his outing. He lowered his season ERA to 4.89 and his season ERA against Toronto over three starts to 2.12.

Down 7-1, the Blue Jays got one in sixth off Tanner Scott and three in the seventh off Shawn Armstrong as Teoscar Hern├índez hit a three-run shot to make it a 7-5 game. But the O’s added to that on a Stewart sac fly in the bottom of the inning.

They would lead 9-5 to the ninth, a lead that may have been safe on many nights, but not on this one. The Orioles are now 47-6 when leading after eight innings.

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