Under the surface of one of their best offensive performances of the season, the Orioles ended Tuesday night quietly. Adam Frazier’s RBI single in the sixth inning marked their season-high 17th hit. They did not record another.
That streak extended late into Wednesday night’s 3-1 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays. Adley Rutschman’s single to open the seventh inning marked Baltimore’s first hit against right-hander José Berríos, who largely cruised over 7 2/3 scoreless frames to end the Orioles’ five-game winning streak.
Baltimore (42-25) threatened in the ninth, with three straight two-out singles off Blue Jays closer Jordan Romano doubling their hit total and plating their first run. But the late effort wasn’t enough for Baltimore right-hander Kyle Bradish to avoid being a hard-luck loser opposite Berríos. Despite allowing only one run in seven innings, Bradish fell to 0-9 in 17 career starts against American League East opponents.
Berríos, meanwhile, improved to 10-0 against Baltimore in his career, tied for the third-best undefeated record of any pitcher over the past 80 years behind Randy Johnson’s 13 wins against the Chicago Cubs and Clayton Kershaw’s 11 against the New York Mets, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
“I thought he was absolutely excellent,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “We were making quick outs, and he was filling up the strike zone with all his pitches and moving the ball in and out. The fastball had a ton of life. He was tough to hit. We gave ourselves a chance there in the eighth and ninth, just came up a little short.”
The lone run off Bradish came in the sixth, when George Springer hammered a middle-middle changeup at 107.8 mph over Camden Yards’ deep left field wall for a solo home run. It was the second and last changeup Bradish threw among his 98 pitches Wednesday night; the first was also hit hard, a 105 mph lineout to first base by Daulton Varsho to end the first inning.
Bradish noted that offering is his best ground ball pitch; entering Wednesday, over 70% of the balls in play against it in his two seasons have been ground balls, more than 15% above any of his other pitches, according to Baseball Savant. His best strikeout pitch is his slider, but Bradish said he didn’t have good feel for it Wednesday.
“That situation, if my slider was better tonight, I go there,” Bradish said. “But I think throwing that [changeup] in that situation where I’ve been feeding him two-seams kind of did him a favor. He got the head out, and [I] just kind of threw it down the middle.
“Definitely very pleased without having my best pitch, but it was a grind. … Every outing, try to go out there and show growth. I think without having my slider last year, maybe it’s a different line than it was tonight.”
The Blue Jays (38-31) went 1-for-8 in at-bats Bradish ended with his sinker, a pitch he added late last season to keep right-handed hitters from sitting on the outer half against his slider and his four-seamer, which has natural cut. He held the Blue Jays hitless through three innings before Bo Bichette began the fourth with the first of four hits Bradish allowed. He managed only one strikeout but also walked none in his longest outing of the year.
“Kyle just made one bad pitch,” Hyde said.
Berríos likewise pitched to contact. He retired the first 12 Orioles without striking any of them out, then sat down Ryan O’Hearn to open the fifth. Austin Hays walked to become Baltimore’s first base runner, only to be caught stealing second as Berríos faced the minimum through five.
Ramón Urías was hit with a pitch with two outs in the sixth, bringing up reigning AL Player of the Week Gunnar Henderson, whose grand slam in Tuesday’s victory was one of the Orioles’ four home runs and his fifth long ball of June. A full-count slurve from Berríos caught enough of the strike zone to be deemed strike three, giving him six scoreless innings on 66 pitches.
“He just had a really good rhythm going,” Hyde said. “It was pretty obvious, had everything going, a ton of strikes.”
Rutschman smacked another slurve into center for a clean single to open the seventh, but Berríos retired the next three Orioles. With Bradish out of the game, the Blue Jays added two runs in the eighth against Baltimore’s bullpen. Danny Coulombe, making his first appearance since June 6, retired none of the three batters he faced, with Mike Baumann inheriting two and allowing one to score on a double by Bichette after forcing a double play. Hyde acknowledged Coulombe, whose ERA rose from 2.01 to 2.86, was “maybe a little bit rusty.”
“Nice to see him get back out there,” Hyde said. “Danny’s been incredible for us this season.”
Frazier and Urías singled off Berríos in the eighth, prompting Toronto manager John Schneider to bring in left-hander Tim Mayza to face Henderson. An eight-pitch battle ended with Henderson grounding out to short, coming just shy of beating Bichette’s throw and loading the bases for Rutschman. He slammed his helmet in frustration.
Added to the roster before the game, Reed Garrett pitched a scoreless top of the ninth in his Orioles debut. After retiring the first two Orioles he faced in the ninth, Romano allowed three straight singles — the last by Aaron Hicks drove in a run and extended his on-base streak as an Oriole to 12 games — but Frazier struck out to end the game.
“Berríos threw the ball really well,” Bradish said. “It’s a tough one, but just gotta keep it close. You saw in the eighth and ninth innings, we put runners on. That’s what we’ve been doing all year. Unfortunately, it didn’t go our way tonight.”
Blue Jays at Orioles
Thursday, 1:05 p.m.
TV: MASN, MLB Network
Radio: 97.9 FM, 101.5 FM, 1090 AM
Source: Berkshire mont