Orioles lose to Red Sox, 9-8, after Adam Duvall homer-to-home finals drop – The Denver Post
Inside the compact and quiet Fenway Park Visitors Pavilion, Jorge Mateo paused on his way to the showers to pat Ryan McKenna on the back, part of a wave of support that had passed through the 26-year-old outfielder in the last 15 minutes. .
With two outs late in the ninth on Saturday, McKenna drifted under a lightly touched flyball to the left, ready to make a catch that would have finalized a 2-0 Orioles start to the 2023 season. But the ball hit the heel of his glove and then the grass, putting Masataka Yoshida on base as the tying run for the Boston Red Sox. Two pitches later, McKenna ran to his left, hoping Adam Duvall’s tee closer to Félix Bautista would latch on to the Green Monster. Instead, he narrowly breached the iconic wall, leaving the Orioles with a stunning 9-8 loss on the home run.
“It was an unfortunate moment,” McKenna said afterwards. “Bautista was throwing a hell of an inning there, and all of our guys were working really hard to give us a chance to win that game. Just difficult timing.
McKenna’s fall was the most damning example of an opening streak that featured several errors from the Orioles’ outfield, considered a defensive force at the start of the year. In Thursday’s opening day victory, Baltimore survived a triple that center fielder Cedric Mullins failed to catch on the wall, a double glove from right fielder Austin Hays and a single that fell past the fielder. left Anthony Santander. Errors caught up with them on Saturday, erasing what had been a 7-1 lead.
With two in the seventh, Duvall threw a flyball to the right, looking like he could wrap around Fenway’s Pesky Pole for a home run. Instead, a rough route from Hays allowed him to land in fair territory. The ball’s bounce in the stands prevented the tying run from scoring, but the Orioles wouldn’t have had the same luck on McKenna’s error in the ninth inning.
“We have areas to clean up,” Hays said. “It has been unusual so far. But it has to be better, just to put it simply. We have to be better there, and our pitchers are doing a good job. We just need to get these guys back.
Throughout the Orioles’ 2022 season, McKenna was regularly called upon as a late-inning defensive backup, earning praise for his handling of that role. He was the starting left fielder on Saturday, with manager Brandon Hyde wanting to stack his roster with right-handed hitters against Boston southpaw Chris Sale. Having McKenna in the outfield earlier than usual paid off in the fourth, when he swooped in for an impressive diving catch.
But that game, Hays’ 5-on-5 day and the Orioles’ record 10 interceptions in two games all took a back seat when McKenna dropped a ball. Hays said he caught “999 times out of 1,000”.
“It’s heartbreaking at the end,” Hays said. “I have great confidence in McKenna. I’ve seen him do amazing pieces. I know he’s a great outfielder, and if you play this game long enough, you’re bound to get one of these games.
“I just let him know that he’s a great outfielder, and every time the ball gets hit on him, I have 100% faith and confidence that he’s going to catch every ball, and just because this game went product, it does not change.”
Hays was among those who told McKenna the season was long and they would need him to fulfill their hopes of reaching the playoffs. Bautista and starting pitcher Dean Kremer both noted the Orioles have 160 games left after Saturday’s.
“Obviously it sucks,” McKenna said. “But we are moving forward.”
Had McKenna caught the ball, the focus would have belonged to another impressive day for Baltimore’s offense. After Adley Rutschman went 5-for-5 as the Orioles stole five bases in Game 1, Hays had five hits on five tries, adding the team’s fifth steal of the day. The Orioles became the first team since at least 1901 to steal 10 bases and have two players record five-hitters in the first two games of a season.
Hays’ first hit was the second of two homers in Baltimore’s first inning against Sale. Rutschman hit one out, making him the first player in team history to reach base safely in his first seven plate appearances of a season. Ryan Mountcastle then hit a home run from a backboard above the green monster, with a projected distance of 422 feet. Hays topped that two batters later, clearing the fence to the Monster’s right with a solo shot from 430 feet. He added two well-placed doubles and two singles.
After Mateo – who suffered cuts to his right hand stealing third base in the second inning but stayed in the game – scored a run in the third with a base-laden fielder pick, Cedric Mullins scored three goals with an explosion in the middle. Typically the Orioles’ leading hitter, Mullins was dropped to eighth in Hyde’s roster on Saturday against Sale after hitting .209 with a .570 OPS left-handed in 2022.
Given a six-run lead, Kremer walked first man late in the third, starting an inning in which he gave up a pair of two-run homers, one by Duvall.
“I just didn’t put any zeros after I scored,” Kremer said, “and that let them back into the game.”
The Orioles added a run on an RBI double from Santander, serving as the designated hitter, but were scoreless in the final five innings. Mike Baumann threw a scoreless fourth with help from McKenna before Danny Coulombe and Austin Voth worked their own shutout frames. Voth then gave up a home run to open the seventh.
The Red Sox made it 8-7 when Hays couldn’t find Duvall’s brace, a ball with an expected .140 batting average.
“We have very good defensive outfielders,” Hyde said. “Honestly, we just had a few tough games. Difficult conditions the other day, a little windy today. But yes, we will play better outfield defense.
“Mac has done a really good job in the outfield for us for a few years now. Mistakes happen, and unfortunately it was just a tough time, but we have a lot of faith in him and his defence. I feel bad for him right now. No one feels worse about this than Mac, so we have to side with him.
around the horn
- The Orioles have listed their starters for their upcoming road series against the Texas Rangers as right-handers Kyle Bradish, Tyler Wells and Kyle Gibson. That lines up Kremer to start Thursday’s home opener against the New York Yankees.
- Reliever Mychal Givens, who opened the season on the 15-day injured list with an inflamed left knee, is “improving daily,” Hyde said, and is expected to have a parallel session on a mound midweek next.
- Infielder/corner fielder Josh Lester, among the Orioles’ final spring training cuts, hit three home runs for Triple-A Norfolk on Saturday after hitting a home run in the team’s opener on Friday.
- The Orioles’ other three full-season minor league affiliates announced their spring break camp rosters on Saturday. Notably, 2020 second overall pick Heston Kjerstad is set to start the year at Double-A Bowie after finishing last season with High-A Aberdeen, and 2022 first overall pick Jackson Holliday will return to Low. -To Delmarva to start his first full season in the organization.
Orioles with the Red Sox
Sunday, 1:35 p.m.
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