Orioles bullpen falters in 11-10 loss to Astros, squandering outstanding offensive performance – The Denver Post

Orioles bullpen falters in 11-10 loss to Astros, squandering outstanding offensive performance - The Denver Post
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There will be no doubt about height selection. Only the location. Felix Bautista, who has been a big closer to the Orioles this season, was one shot away from sealing a fourth victory for Baltimore. With Kyle Tucker at the plate, Bautista pitched his splitter — a pitch that ranks among the best in baseball.

But Bautista, throwing his season-high 33rd pitch, left that splitter too high in the strike zone, and Tucker hit it into right field to end Bautista’s night with a punch in an eventual 11-10 defeat.

With the way the Orioles starting pitchers had played the past three games, the bullpen was well rested. Bautista was the only reliever to record a strikeout during Baltimore’s three-game winning streak, which included full games from Jordan Lyles and Dean Kremer and 8 2/3 innings from Kyle Bradish. Yet when Bautista and the rest of the bullpen appeared, they caved in big moments, rendering one of the best offensive performances of the season moot and pushing the Orioles (79-72) four games behind. the Seattle Mariners for the wild American League final. map square.

Anthony Santander hit two home runs. Cedric Mullins hit one. Rougned Odor opened the ninth inning with a solo shot, giving the Orioles a lifeline. But all of those fireworks-inducing moments were abandoned by a bullpen that allowed nine runs behind a four-inning start from right-hander Mike Baumann.

Baumann started in place of Tyler Wells, who is likely out for the season after landing on the 15-day injured list with an inflamed right shoulder. His four innings were solid, although he allowed a two-run homer to José Altuve on a 3-0 count. But after mostly featuring out of the bullpen this season, it was Baumann’s leash, as he handed the reins to a relief corps that has seen little use of late.

They weakened immediately, and again late.

The Orioles scored five runs in one inning for the second straight game against the Astros, capitalizing on an error by shortstop Jeremy Peña to charge the bases. Odor’s second hit against Houston this series led to the same result: a two-run single. Mullins’ two-run homer and Santander’s first solo shot were enough to tie the game at six.

Then Ryan Mountcastle shoved an RBI through the right side for a momentary lead, knocking Framber Valdez out of the game and breaking the Astros southpaw’s streak of 25 quality starts. Baltimore failed to capitalize in the seventh with bases loaded and no outs, only adding pressure to a bullpen that has been loose lately.

The bullpen hadn’t been asked to register more than one out in the previous three games, but with his first major responsibility since Lyles’ full game against the Detroit Tigers, he got it right away. weakened. Right-hander Joey Krehbiel came on for Baumann for the fifth inning, then charged with one out. In one fell swoop, Peña unloaded them, sinking two runners with a brace into the left center gap.

And in his first action in four days, left-hander Cionel Pérez immediately gave away a single to Yordan Álvarez. Pérez has been rarely used lately, with Baltimore only needing a high-leverage late-inning arm twice since Sept. 14.

Even Bautista, the only reliever to appear in the previous three games, hesitated. He inherited a runner from right-hander Dillon Tate in the eighth, setting himself up for a five-out stoppage. But Yuli Gurriel fired a brace down the left field line to tie the game, leading to Santander’s spectacular two-point shot that looked to be the game winner.

But Bautista then charged in the ninth inning, allowed a run to score on a groundout, then gave away a tying brace to Kyle Tucker for his second missed save this season. And right-hander Jake Reed, relieving Bautista, allowed the legacy runners to score to condemn Baltimore to a loss.

“Thanks, Brooks Day”

Forty-five years ago, Brooks Robinson rode the Memorial Stadium warning track in an open-top Cadillac, waving to Orioles fans celebrating his illustrious career – a career that included 16 Gold Glove Awards, two the World Series and a place in the Hall of Fame.

Saturday, there was still Robinson. This time the 85-year-old was seated rather than standing as he drove a Ford convertible around Camden Yards. But the sentiments, on his part and expressed by those watching, remained the same. Robinson stopped to speak with Astros manager Dusty Baker and third baseman Alex Bregman, then left the vehicle to join the Orioles around the pitcher’s mound.

They presented Robinson with a signed base, then Robinson threw the ceremonial first pitch to Gunnar Henderson. The ball lacked the Robinson zip once displayed when shooting through the diamond, but it hit the 21-year-old in a couple of jumps to the delight of those watching.

Robinson’s name transcends Baltimore and carries weight in MLB, but he’s a distinctly Baltimore character. When Brandon Hyde was hired, Robinson was in the manager’s office to greet him. Then he sat in the front row of the introductory press conference with Hyde’s family, immediately proving that no matter how many years away from Robinson, he will always be an Oriole.

“He was so nice to me and my family,” Hyde said. “That legend, how open, friendly and welcoming he was, I will always remember.”

This story will be updated.

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