The ‘pen struggles again as O’s are swept by Blue Jays

There was no late lead that got away tonight. But there was a close game to be won and the Orioles bullpen once again came up short in trying to make that happen.

After throwing a strong game and leaving with a man on second and one out in the seventh, Orioles right-hander Gabriel Ynoa saw the ‘pen give it up again.

Toronto scored six runs on four hits and three walks in the seventh to snap a 2-2 tie and beat the Orioles 8-4 tonight at Camden Yards. They sweep the three-game series as the O’s got swept for the 13th time in 2019.

The Orioles (49-104) have nine games left, three on this homestand. They have lost four in a row and fall to 23-55 at home and to 4-14 in September.

Ynoa-Pitching-White-sidebar.jpgIn an outing that matched his longest 2019 start, Ynoa pitched out a jam in the sixth and got the first out of the seventh. Randal Grichuk doubled and on came Tanner Scott in a 2-2 game. Scott faced two lefty batters, walked both and turned over a bases-loaded mess to right-hander Dillon Tate.

Tate walked No. 9 hitter Derek Fisher to force in a run and the Blue Jays had a 3-2 lead. Following a strikeout, Toronto got a two-run single by Cavan Biggio, RBI single by Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and a two-run double by Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

A 3-2 lead quickly grew to 8-2 and that would about do it for the Orioles. In the seventh inning and later in this series, the Orioles were outscored 20-7.

Biggio went 8-for-15 in this series with a double, triple, two homers and eight RBIs. Toronto scored 27 runs in completing the sweep.

Much earlier, the Orioles took a 1-0 lead in the third. Austin Wynns led off and singled to center. He moved up on a groundout and scored on a two-out double to right-center by Trey Mancini.

But in the top of the fourth, the Blue Jays took the lead off Ynoa. They hit back-to-back homers that - and would have had three straight save for an exceptional catch.

First Biggio homered to center. He hit No. 15 for a 1-1 tie. Batting next, Gurriel hit No. 20 on an 0-1 slider for a 2-1 lead. Then Guerrero drove one deep to center and Austin Hays was on the move. He made a leaping catch at the wall and brought a sure homer back into the park with a spectacular catch. It led to Hays pounding his chest a few times and Guerrero tipping his cap. It was a remarkable play.

When Toronto failed to turn an inning-ending double play in the Baltimore fifth, Anthony Santander had an RBI grounder to produce a 2-2 game. A tie that would blow up in smoke on the Orioles in the Toronto seventh.

Mancini doubled in the third O’s run in the seventh. He went 4-for-4 tonight to match a career-high for hits. He was 8-for-13 in this series with three doubles, a homer and nine RBIs. Mancini has 15 RBIs over his last seven games and 93 for the year. Hays hit his first 2019 homer, a solo shot in the eighth to cut Toronto’s lead to 8-4.

Ynoa produced his third quality start in 12 games. Over 6 1/3 innings, he gave up six hits and three runs. He falls to 1-9 with an ERA of 5.65 after a 77-pitch outing. But in the series, the O’s bullpen allowed 22 hits and 20 runs (18 earned) over 11 2/3 innings.

The Orioles are 0-3 on the last homestand of the year. They host Seattle for three games starting Friday night to wrap up the home portion of the 2019 season.

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