On a night when the Orioles continued to not capitalize on bases-loaded situations, the Seattle Mariners did in a big way with one of their own.
And that led Seattle to a 5-2 win over the Orioles on Tuesday night in the second game of the series.
Right-hander Travis Lakins Sr. started the last of the eighth in a 1-1 tie and gave up a flared single to right by Sam Haggerty. Then he walked the next two hitters before manager Brandon Hyde called for Tanner Scott to try and pull off a miracle with no outs.
He could not.
Kyle Seager’s sac fly scored the go-ahead run for a 2-1 lead. Then center fielder Kyle Lewis threw down the hammer. His three-run homer to right on a first-pitch 99 mph fastball made it 5-1 and that was going to be enough on this night for a Seattle victory. Lewis hit No. 3.
The Orioles piled up some early offensive frustrations tonight. And those would continue over the rest of the game as they stranded 12.
Cedric Mullins led off the game with a four-pitch walk and stole second with one out. But he was stranded there to end the inning. The O’s left the bases loaded in the top of the second. A single and two walks loaded them with one out, but Rio Ruiz struck out swinging on a 94 mph fastball and Mullins grounded out. In the O’s third, Trey Mancini was robbed of at least extra bases and maybe a homer when right fielder Dylan Moore reached up at the top of the wall to make a catch.
Through the first three frames, Seattle starter Justin Dunn needed 54 pitches and walked three, but the Orioles went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position in a 0-0 game.
When Seager turned around a Jorge López fastball for a solo homer to right, Seattle took a 1-0 lead in the fourth. Seager hit No. 5 on a 3-2 pitch, lining a 96 mph fastball over the fence for the lead.
Ruiz, who could not deliver in the second, matched that with a solo homer in the Baltimore fifth for a 1-1 tie. It was No. 3 for Ruiz, driven 104 mph off the bat and it went 401 feet to even the score.
López ran into two-out trouble in the fifth and reliever Adam Plutko came on to get a big out. With two outs, a walk and single ended the night for López at 76 pitches. Plutko was summoned to face leadoff batter Mitch Haniger, the Mariners’ leader with 23 RBIs. And Plutko got him on a 2-2 cutter that he hit back near the mound for the out.
López had a game where he only allowed one run on three hits, which was solid enough, but again he failed to pitch through the fifth, going 4 2/3 innings to lower his ERA to 6.49. López has thrown 4 2/3 or less in five of his six starts.
Dunn was replaced by Kendall Graveman with two on and one out in the sixth in a 1-1 tie. Graveman walked Freddy Galvis with two outs but got Chance Sisco on a grounder as the Orioles left the bases loaded for the second time tonight. At that point, the Orioles were 0-for-15 with runners in scoring position this series.
And two innings after the Orioles left the bases loaded for the second time, they did it for the third. Sisco again made the last out in the Baltimore eighth to keep it 1-1. And the Orioles were 0-for-16 in this series with RISP.
That run finally ended on Mancini’s RBI single with two outs in the ninth that accounted for the final margin and gave him his 22nd RBI.
The Orioles fall to 14-16 and missed a chance to get to the .500 mark for the first time since April 10. This was their sixth crack to get to .500 since that date. They lost for the second time in six games and the fourth in the last 10.
They can win still win this series and have a winning road trip if they take the series finale on Wednesday afternoon.
Hyde on what hurt most, the bullpen in the eighth or the lack of clutch hits?: “Probably both. We had so many opportunities to score and didn’t get the big hit. We had traffic on the bases multiple times. Just couldn’t drive them in. That led to a tight game and a 1-1 game into the eighth inning. Travis Lakins, who his last couple times had been - tonight and a couple of days ago - been a hiccup. But been really good to that point. Tanner Scott came in and threw strikes, we just got beat tonight. But we beat ourselves by not being able to push runs across earlier in the game.”
López on not getting deeper into the game again: “It is something I have to work on. Last couple of outings been the same and same and same. I just go through, pitch by pitch again. When you try to do too much and or be better than last time, it doesn’t have to be like that. Sometimes it’s frustrating. I know everybody wants to get me, as a starter, seven innings. When are winning when we get to six or seven innings.”