With first base occupied and no outs, Amed Rosario stepped into the batter's box. He was hit by the sixth pitch of the at-bat, but Orioles manager Brandon Hyde had something to say about it.
Hyde jumped out of the dugout, arguing with home-plate umpire Jim Wolf that Rosario swung and that the call should be a strike and not a free pass to first base. After a quick review, it was confirmed that Rosario was hit by the pitch, and the shortstop took his spot on first. The skipper continued to argue, eventually leading to his second ejection this season by first-base ump Nestor Ceja.
“I was arguing a check swing,” said Hyde -- visibly still upset over the call -- postgame. “So I understand that the ball hit him in the finger, but wanted to see if they would ask for help. The first-base umpire didn't go on the swing and threw me out for telling him he missed it.”
“[It felt] really good, actually,” said Kremer of his skipper’s passion. “He shows that he cares a lot and he wants us to get out of the stretch as much as we do. He shows he is standing back behind our team.”
The next domino to fall in the O’s unlucky loss followed quickly: Hernandez and Rosario advanced to third and second, respectively, on a wild pitch. This lined up Indians slugger José Ramírez to knock in the first run of the game on a single. A subsequent sac fly and another single put the Orioles into an early 3-0 hole.
“I loved the way Dean threw the ball,” said Hyde. “We just misplayed the ball in the first and then didn't help him out there in the first inning. But being able to settle down after all that stuff happened to him there in the first inning and then go four scoreless into the sixth inning… [he] gave us an opportunity to win.”
Though Kremer pitched well after the first, allowing just one additional hit without walking a batter, an unearned run would score in the bottom of the sixth inning; Hernandez reached again, this time due to a fielding error by first baseman Ryan Mountcastle.
“Our pitching was fantastic tonight,” said Hyde, calling out Kremer as well as relievers Tanner Scott and Tyler Wells. “We've definitely pitched well enough to win. I was encouraged by how [our offense] battled back. It’s just … our defense let us down today.”
Despite putting three runs on the board, the O’s offense was unable to put together big rallies when needed, going just 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. Baltimore’s last road victory was on May 5, when John Means tossed his no-hitter. Since then, on the road, the Orioles have averaged just 2.8 runs per game, owning a minus-43 run differential.
“The bottom line is, we just didn't play defense tonight,” said Hyde. “Which, you have to play defense in the big leagues to win. We made numerous plays that hurt us, or I guess, didn’t [make the plays].”