Baltimore Orioles: Sloppy defense grants the lead, and takes it back

The Baltimore Orioles couldn’t hold on last night against Toronto. They had the game in essence won behind starter Dylan Bundy, but the bottom fell out and it turned into a loss. And a record-setting loss at that; no other Orioles’ team has lost 108 games. Bundy’s line: 6.2 IP, 7 H, 5 R (2 earned), 1 BB, 6 K.

The O’s led early, as Cedric Mullins led off the game with a solo homer. In the fourth Mancini appeared out at home plate on a Valera sac fly attempt. However the play was overturned on replay, as the Toronto catcher blocked the plate and Mancini never had a shot at crossing. That gave the O’s a 2-0 victory.

Later in that fourth inning DJ Stewart got his first big league hit on a single to right field. It’ll go down as one of the most bizarre first hits in Orioles’ history, and one about which Stewart will probably jokingly tell his grandchildren one day. Two errors on the play later, not only had Chris Davis scored, but Stewart scored as well. Due to Toronto’s shoddy defense, the Orioles held a 4-0 lead.

But Toronto chipped away. Smith’s RBI-double in the fifth cut the lead to 4-1. One inning later Smoak’s RBI-groundout cut the lead to 4-2. Bundy started to tire in the seventh, almost out of nowhere. Unfortunately however, the Orioles couldn’t get him out of the game early enough. He loaded the bases, and was lifted.

However the base runners were still his responsibility. And a Steve Wilkerson throwing error allowed two runs to score, tying the game at four. Shoddy defense gave the Orioles part of their lead, and it also took it back. Gurriel’s subsequent two-RBI single gave Toronto a 6-4 lead, which turned into a 6-4 victory.

As I said above, this sets a record of the wrong kind for the Orioles. It was only a matter of time I suppose, however no Oriole team has ever lost 108 games plus. Now if there’s a silver lining anywhere, it probably forced their hand in rebuilding the way that they are. Had they ended up a run-of-the-mill 70-loss team, would they have been forced to do a total rebuild of this nature?

The O’s will try to salvage one game in this series this evening at Camden Yards. Jimmy Yacabonis gets the call for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Toronto’s Marco Estrada. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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