Just as in Sunday’s game, the Orioles fell behind early last night in the series opener with the Yankees. They didn’t give up 16 runs early on, but they were behind 5-0 in the third inning in what would turn into a 7-2 loss.
The Orioles (46-98) have allowed 51 runs and 18 homers in losing the past four games.
They didn’t homer last night, but the Orioles have hit eight over the last four games and 11 in the past five. The Orioles have homered at least three times in three of their last five games. They have gone 9-11 when homering at least three times and are 27-27 when homering at least two times.
Ryan Mountcastle did not hit his 29th homer last night. He remains tied with Cal Ripken Jr. at 28 homers but his next one will give him the single-season O’s rookie homer record. He did hit a 99.5 mph pitch into left field for a double off Gerrit Cole in the O’s fifth that left his bat at 103.2 mph and produced his 80th RBI.
Mountcastle also has a chance to move up the list of single-season rookie RBI leaders in club history:
98 - Jim Gentile, 1960
93 - Cal Ripken Jr., 1982
88 - Eddie Murray, 1977
86 - Ron Hansen, 1960
80 - Ryan Mountcastle, 2021
Still, Mountcastle played in his 161st career game last night, and he is the only player in O’s history to record at least 100 RBIs through his first 161 games. He is now at 103 RBIs. And his 68 extra-base hits through his first 161 games are the second-most by an Oriole in that span, trailing only Manny Machado (69).
By the way, there have been four 30-plus homer seasons by a rookie in the American League since 2000. By Aaron Judge of the Yankees with 52 in 2017. By José Abreu of the Chicago White Sox with 36 in 2014, By Eloy Jiménez of the White Sox with 31 in 2019 and by Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels, who hit 30 in 2012.
The Orioles are now 4-4 in their past eight games this season against the Yankees and 7-10 for the season. The last time they won eight or more games in a season versus New York was when they went 10-9 in 2016.
Mancini’s honor: To say the least, Trey Mancini was honored to be the Orioles’ 2021 nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award. The award is the most prominent individual player award bestowed by Major League Baseball. The Clemente Award is the annual recognition of a player from each club who best represents the game of baseball through extraordinary character, sportsmanship, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.
“It’s one of the greatest honors that I’ve received in my entire career,” he said. “I don’t even know where to begin with Roberto Clemente. Obviously, I wasn’t alive to watch him play, but I learned a lot about him growing up, and he’s one of my favorite players, so to be the Orioles’ nominee for this award is a dream come true. It really is.”
Mancini took time yesterday to tell reporters about his balancing act this year of trying to inspire others dealing with cancer while also handling the rigors of a long major league season, coming off a year when he didn’t play.
“It’s been pretty tough at times,” he said. “There is usually a reminder at some point every day, either somebody in the stands will get your attention either with a sign, something like that, that they had cancer or someone that they know is going through it. But at the same time, I love to hear that I gave people inspiration that way. Yeah, you know when there are constant reminders it definitely reminds you of things you went through. Again, I’m just coming up on a year (on Sept. 21) of finishing chemotherapy. The first year after you’re done is kind of like the toughest year, that is what everyone said. Everybody told me it would be tough, and they were right.
“There are a lot of worries. Especially when you are coming up on time to get scans and doing your blood tests. There is a lot of anxiety that goes into it. You want to make sure you are healthy and you never want to go through anything like that again. You never want it come back.
“So, you know, balancing that with also playing baseball, trying to be myself and compete at the highest level, it can be tough sometimes. I’ve learned a lot this year. Especially lately, I feel like I’ve learned how to deal with it. But it took quite a few months for me to do that. So it’s definitely been a year unlike any other in that regard.”
Pretty deserving nominee for such a prestigious award. Unfortunately, Mancini left last night’s game in the fourth inning due to right abdominal soreness and is day-to-day.
But not before drawing a walk in the first inning. That extends his career-high walk streak to eight straight games. He is the first Oriole to walk in eight consecutive games since Brian Roberts in 2009. The club record is 10 straight games.
Big night for the Baysox: Double-A Bowie won a doubleheader to move into position to claim a playoff berth in the Northeast with five games to play. Bowie now has the second-best record in the league at 70-45 after beating Altoona 3-2 in the opener and 6-4 in the nightcap. The Baysox have won nine in a row.
Patrick Dorrian hit a two-run homer in the opener (No. 20) and added a three-run double in the second game. He became the fourth O’s minor leaguer to reach 20 homers. Kyle Stowers, now with Triple-A Norfolk, leads with 26 and Norfolk’s Adley Rutschman has 21. Dorrian and his Bowie teammate Zach Watson have 20 each. Watson is also a 20-20 player, adding 24 steals.
Right-hander Grayson Rodriguez (9-1, 2.39 ERA) is set to make his final regular season start tonight at 6:35 p.m. as Bowie hosts Altoona. The Baysox will try to get closer to a playoff berth, and if they make it, Rodriguez is expected to get one final start in his 2021 season next week.
Rutschman had two hits and two RBIs in Norfolk’s win and is batting .330 with a .933 OPS for the Tides.
Right-hander Brandon Young threw five perfect innings with nine strikeouts in high Single-A Aberdeen’s 3-1 win over Greensville. Aberdeen pitchers Young, Jake Lyons and Garrett Farmer combined for a two-hitter with 17 strikeouts. They had a combined perfect game going until after there was one out in the eighth inning.