Os fail to keep extra-innings magic alive
BALTIMORE – For more than a year, the Orioles won extra inning games. Seventeen in a row.
At some point, the magic was going to end. Wednesday was the day.
After watching Josh Stinson serve up four home runs to put them in a hole, the Orioles clawed their way back into the game with Toronto, but finally lost it 6-5 in 11 innings before 14,981 at Oriole Park.
Stinson was recalled before the game and sent to Norfolk afterward. The Orioles bullpen was chewed up, and the most dependable of all the relievers, Jim Johnson suffered a loss.
“That's the type of baseball we play. It's just one of those things. We play a lot of close games and I wouldn't expect anything to change in that department,” Johnson said.
The Orioles (12-9) closed out a most successful home stand by winning two of three from the Blue Jays, Dodgers and Rays. The 6-3 record gave them an acceptable 9-6 mark against American League East opponents.
“I thought we played pretty well for the most part. It would have been nice to close today, but they got us today, but I think it was a pretty decent homestand overall,” Nate McLouth said.
Now, the Orioles head west for a season-long 11-game road trip to Oakland, Seattle and Los Angeles.
They’ll be there without Stinson and with another reliever, perhaps Zach Clark, who’s been starting for Norfolk.
Three of the homers allowed by Stinson were solo shots to Rajai Davis, Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista. The first was a two-run shot by J.P. Arencibia in the second.
By the time Stinson left with two outs in the sixth, the Orioles trailed 5-2, but they scored three runs in the seventh to tie it.
“They came back and that's what I've been told about these guys. They never quit and they keep going. So they got us back to 5-5 and made it interesting for a couple innings. It was exciting,” Stinson said.
The Orioles had won 17 straight extra-inning games, their last 16 in 2012, and the first of this season. Only the 1959-60 Pittsburgh Pirates, who won 21 consecutive, won more.
“It's not something I dwell on. I know our guys don't. But I understand how it's noteworthy," manager Buck Showalter said.
In the 11th, Arencibia and Munenori Kawasaki singled with two outs off Johnson (1-2), who had won and saved the previous two games of the series..
Johnson hit Brett Lawrie with a pitch to load the bases and walked Macier Izturis on four pitches to score Arencibia with the go-ahead run for Toronto (9-13).
Esmil Rogers (1-1) pitched the 10th and got the win. Manny Machado tried to score on J.J. Hardy’s single in the bottom of the 10th, but was thrown out, and the game went to the 11th.
Casey Janssen pitched the 11th for his sixth save.
In 22 1/3 previous major league innings, Stinson allowed two home runs. He tripled that total on Wednesday.
Stinson retired the first three batters, and took a 1-0 lead into the second. Nate McLouth and Adam Jones doubled off Brandon Morrow in the second, and it was their last hit until the seventh.
Arencibia’s two-run shot to center, his eighth, came with one out in the second. Davis hit his first with one out in the second while Encarnacion and Bautista hit theirs leading off the fourth and sixth. It was Encarnacion’s fourth and Bautista’s fifth.
Stinson was hooked with two outs in the sixth. He allowed five runs on five hits in 5 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out three.
The Orioles scored a run without a hit in the third. McLouth walked with one out. Machado grounded to third and Lawrie threw it wildly to first. McLouth advanced to third. Nick Markakis grounded to short, but Machado slid hard enough into second baseman Emilio Bonifacio that he prevented any chance of a double play.
In the seventh, the Orioles finally showed some life. Nolan Reimold walked with one out. Ryan Flaherty doubled to right to score Reimold and Aaron Loup replaced Morrow.
McLouth singled to score Flaherty, and after McLouth stole his fifth base of the season, Machado tripled to right, and score was tied at 5.
“We didn’t play a bad game by any means. Their hits came with some damage. We weren’t quite able to push that last one across a couple of times,” McLouth said.
NOTES: The four home runs allowed by Stinson were the most by any Orioles pitcher making his debut.
-Machado’s triple was the first of the year for the Orioles.
-Brian Matusz has not allowed any of the 10 runners he inherited this season to score. He’s stranded all 24 he inherited since he became a reliever last August.