Full-strength lineup falters in O's loss
Baltimore records only four hits; O'Day, Showalter ejected in ninth
BALTIMORE -- Timothy Beckham. Chris Davis. Colby Rasmus. For the first time in a while, on Monday night, all the numbers on the backs of the jerseys matched the Orioles' expectations coming out of Spring Training.
But the full-strength lineup fell short of those expectations, and the Orioles' inconsistent bullpen let allowing late-game runs continue to be more of the rule than the exception as Baltimore suffered a series-opening 5-3 loss to the Mariners.
Fresh off the renewed optimism that comes from an extra-innings win (Friday) and a series win (Saturday) on the road, the Orioles offense couldn't carry over any momentum. Then tempers flared with the ejections of reliever Darren O'Day and manager Buck Showalter by home-plate umpire Stu Scheurwater in the top of the ninth.
"I've seen the video. Pretty clear stop. It's the same thing I've been doing for many years now," said O'Day, who has had two balk calls in his entire career, both by Scheurwater. "And just over a calendar year, I've gotten balked by the same guy in tight situations, and that's kind of why I have to apologize to my mom tonight for all those swear words I said."
Sparks aside, O'Day -- who was ejected with Nelson Cruz still at the plate -- and the O's were even more miffed that lefty Zach Britton was rushed to get ready to take the mound.
"I will talk to the league office about that," Showalter said. "That's totally unacceptable and unprofessional."
It was also the last straw in a night dominated by the Mariners. Orioles righty Miguel Castro allowed a pair of decisive seventh-inning runs, and a Baltimore lineup that entered the day with the second-fewest runs scored in all of baseball mustered just four hits in the loss.
"He's got too good of stuff to be picking around in the zone early in the count. He puts himself in bad situations that he shouldn't be in," Showalter said of Castro, who issued two walks and recorded just one out. "You look at the walk totals -- that's why there's a lot more to the picture. When he's good, he's been real good, and when he struggles, it's been with command."
The Orioles mounted their only rally when they loaded the bases on Mariners starter Felix Hernandez with no outs in the sixth. They tied the game on a pair of fielder's-choice outs that doubled as a defensive clinic by Mariners shortstop Jean Segura. Segura made a diving stop in the hole on Trey Mancini's ground ball and deftly barehanded Schoop's hard comebacker that deflected off of Hernandez to ensure the inning wouldn't get away from the righty.
"[Hernandez] made us swing at a lot of balls," Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph said. "He's a little bit different than what we've seen in the past. He's getting older and becoming a little more crafty with his pitches. He's able to make pitches look like strikes and end up being a ball.
Hernandez, who allowed a solo shot in the fifth to Jonathan Schoop, needed just 81 pitches (48 strikes) to navigate through six frames, working around three walks and a hit batter to collect the win.
Orioles starter Andrew Cashner struggled with his command, issuing three two-out walks in the second inning, which helped Dee Gordon drive in two runs. But the O's righty was able to match Hernandez and go six frames.
"I thought the second inning was kind of make or break for me," Cashner said. "I didn't really command the baseball or anything. I thought it was big to bounce back and stay in the game."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
O'Day, Showalter tossed: Furious about a one-out balk call that moved Mitch Haniger to second, O'Day stormed over to Scheurwater for a heated debate. After waving his arms at him and a few minutes of shouting, O'Day was given his first career ejection. Showalter, who came out to support O'Day, was also treated to an early exit.
"I have two balks, and this is my 11th season, and they are both in the last year when he's behind the plate focusing on balls and strikes. And he's balked me twice for an inside move that hasn't been a balk any other time in 10 years," O'Day said. "To be fair, I've been warned to stop before. That's usually how most umpires handle it. They say, 'Hey, O'Day, make sure you come to a stop.' Sure, no problem.
"[Umpires] have a hard job. They really do. But I don't know what's going on. I still don't even know for sure who called it, because nobody held their hands up or called time or yelled balk or anything. A fan could have yelled balk. I don't know. Or the other team. I don't really know because nobody explained it to me."
So what prompted O'Day to be tossed?
"Just his choice of words directed at me," Scheurwater said. "It's going to be in the report, though."
Orioles right-hander Chris Tillman, making his second rehab start, went 3 1/3 innings for Class A Delmarva, allowing two runs on four hits and a walk. He struck out three in the 62-pitch outing and will go to Triple-A Norfolk next.
HE SAID IT
"It's unfortunate. Hopefully, the league will get it corrected." -- Showalter, on Scheurwater ejecting him and O'Day
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The Orioles got a big strikeout of Gordon in the eighth inning for the second out. With runners on the corners, Gordon was originally ruled to have hit a foul tip by Scheurwater. But Showalter immediately came out to contest it. Gordon was then ruled to have missed the ball, awarding lefty Tanner Scott a big strikeout.
Kevin Gausman (3-6, 4.38 ERA) will get the ball as he takes on Seattle left-hander James Paxton (6-2, 3.72) in Tuesday night's 7:05 ET game at Camden Yards. Though Gausman has allowed three runs or fewer in his past three starts, his most recent win was on May 11 vs. Tampa Bay.