Orioles struggle again with runners in scoring position, can’t back Jordan Lyles in 4-2 loss to Tigers – The Mercury News

Just in case, the Orioles were presented with another golden opportunity. Left-hander Gregory Soto came out of the bullpen in the ninth inning and quickly hit the first two batters he faced, then walked the bases loaded with one out.

And yet, once Soto was replaced by right-hander Will Vest, Baltimore did what Baltimore had done all night: blow the opportunity.

The Orioles loaded the bases in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings, a self-destructive trend that resulted in a 4-2 loss in the series opener against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.

Opportunities were never lacking for the Orioles (14-19), just a lack of follow-through. Baltimore stranded 14 baserunners, the second-most this season behind the 15 stranded on April 15, and went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position, with Ramon Urias and Rylan Bannon striking out. as the ultimate culprits. Before that, there was a Cedric Mullins fly ball in the eighth and Jorge Mateo’s strikeout in the seventh. They also left two runners on base in the first and second innings.

“They have good arms in the bullpen,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “I just didn’t get the big hit tonight.”

The anemic offensive display didn’t help right-hander Jordan Lyles, who pitched well into the sixth inning barring damage from designated hitter Miguel Cabrera.

If Cabrera’s production on Friday night wasn’t evidence enough, the numbers beyond the fence in left-center field should provide the necessary context for what kind of hitter the 39-year-old remains.

They started the night against the Orioles with 503 and 3,014, the number of home runs and hits Cabrera has hit during his career. At the end of the night, the Tigers star changed those numbers to 504 and 3,016, continuing his climb up the Major League record books.

Lyles had pitched well for Baltimore for much of his 5 2/3 innings, but since Cabrera has done it so often in his career, as those numbers prove, two swings helped derail Lyles’ night.

The Orioles needed an extension on Lyles, following a bullpen game against St. Louis in which six relievers combined to cover a 3-2 victory. It’s a role Lyles is also proud of: He didn’t want to leave the game last week, Hyde said, even after pitching into the eighth inning. He sees himself as a ticket eater, coming off a 180-frame season in 2021.

“It would have been nice to have another inning or two,” Lyles said.

Last week, when Lyles opened the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader, Lyles delivered the length Hyde had hoped to relieve potential tension in the bullpen before a road trip, allowing two earned runs in 7 1/3 innings.

And in the series opener on Friday, Lyles looked well on his way to another deep performance as he sailed through five innings on a career-high 70 pitches. In the previous six starts, Orioles starters had walked three combined hitters. But Lyles walked a batter in each of Friday’s first three innings, and while he worked the first two, Cabrera’s right-center fielder doubled off Javier Baez’s plate in the third.

Lyles calmed down until the sixth inning, when Cabrera hit again. Lyles missed with a slider, and Cabrera threw him into left field, near the numbers that track his Hall of Fame career in real time. They changed when Cabrera put the Tigers up 2-0 to start Lyles’ faltering sixth.

“Ideally, down and away [with the slider]Lyles said. “He just hung in the middle, in the middle and hats off to one of the best hitters we’ve ever seen on the right side.”

Lyles rebounded with a strikeout, then allowed a single, double and single to bring home two more runs for Detroit. With two outs in the sixth, Hyde got Lyles out on 91 pitches, his offense facing an uphill climb.

Even with home runs on back-to-back pitches in the eighth inning from designated hitter Trey Mancini and right fielder Anthony Santander, the Orioles blew excellent opportunities every time, a frustrating finish that lacked the big hit.

“We’re throwing good,” Hyde said. “Tonight, we didn’t get the right punch, or a couple of them.”

Deny’s debut

The road to the mound Friday at Comerica Park was way behind Denyi Reyes. It took him seven seasons in the minor leagues, first with the Boston Red Sox organization and then with Baltimore.

But the right-hander got the call from the bullpen on Friday, pitching two scoreless innings and striking out two batters. His favorite part, he said, was recovering from a long foul ball to strike out Baez.

As a child growing up in the Dominican Republic, I dreamed of moments like these. And if Reyes could have gone back in time and said something to his younger self after his debut, it would be that those dreams were attainable.

“You did it,” he said. “You did it.”

Without Hays and Mountcastle

When Mullins and Mateo got to second and third with one out in the first inning, first baseman Ryan Mountcastle and outfielder Austin Hays could have been next at the plate. Instead, with both dealing with injuries that kept them out Friday and potentially longer, it was Mancini, Santander and Tyler Nevin.

Those three couldn’t power those riders, a theme of much of Friday’s outing.

Mountcastle (.258) and Hays (.235) are two of the Orioles’ best hitters in those situations, ranking third and fourth on the team with runners in scoring position. That has been a weak point for the Orioles this season, as they began Friday batting .202 in those situations, the third-lowest average in baseball.

With Mountcastle on the disabled list and Hays recovering from stitches on his left hand, the Orioles will have to find a way to overcome their major absences. Mancini and Santander, who squared off back-to-back in the eighth, showed power potential, but it was little and far between.

around the horn

>> Mountcastle was added to the 10-day disabled list with a left forearm strain, retroactive to Wednesday. Mountcastle said he is dealing with shooting pain from his thumb to his forearm when he swings and catches a ball.

>> Hays missed Friday’s game after receiving stitches on a cleat Thursday. Hays said the stitches require at least 48 hours to heal and will return once the pain subsides.

>> Triple-A Norfolk infielder Jahmai Jones was placed on the disabled list with inflammation in his right elbow. He was cut from the lineup on Tuesday and hasn’t played since. Jones is hitting .212 this season for the Tides.


Saturday, 4:10 p.m.


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