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Late gaffes lay waste to big night from bats

@JoeTrezz
May 21, 2019

BALTIMORE -- Standing at his locker after Monday night unraveled for the Orioles, closer Mychal Givens blamed himself. A simple scan of the box score may prove him right, as he technically was charged with a career-high five earned runs. History won’t see any errors, only a two-run lead turned

BALTIMORE -- Standing at his locker after Monday night unraveled for the Orioles, closer Mychal Givens blamed himself. A simple scan of the box score may prove him right, as he technically was charged with a career-high five earned runs. History won’t see any errors, only a two-run lead turned into a three-run loss, courtesy of another Gleyber Torres home run and Gary Sanchez’s three-run game-winning shot in the ninth.

“I put the game on me,” Givens said. “I’ve been in those situations. I just didn’t get the job done.”

Box score

But to put the onus solely on Givens would be to ignore the chain of events that led to the 10-7 loss to the Yankees, in many ways the most trying defeat of the season to date. From the postgame press conference podium, manager Brandon Hyde focused on the several misplays and the breakdown in fundamentals that preceded Sanchez’s homer and went on to spoil a game the Orioles once led by five runs.

“We played winning baseball for seven innings, and then we just didn’t,” Hyde said. “When you play a game like that, the game speeds up on you. With our lack of experience, things happen. What you hope for is that they’re going to learn from their mistakes. We made a lot of mistakes those last few innings.”

That’s qualified as a theme of Hyde’s first season at the helm, the rookie skipper often acknowledging how much on-the-fly teaching his rebuilding club requires. What was jarring about Monday was the nature of their mistakes, and the way they compounded so quickly.

Givens wouldn’t have even faced Sanchez had Pedro Severino not badly misplayed a foul pop a batter earlier to extend the ninth; the inning’s complexion would have looked a lot different had Joey Rickard and Dwight Smith Jr. not have allowed the tying and go-ahead runs to advance with throws to the wrong bases. Another errant throw from Smith allowed the Yankees to inch closer in the seventh.

“I’m seeing some things at the big league level that I haven’t seen in a while. But that’s why we’re here,” Hyde said. “That’s development. There is still a lot of that here, obviously. Tonight you see how long a way we still have to go.”

All told, the miscues combined to erase both another quality start from Andrew Cashner and the club’s season-high eight extra-base hits. Plugged into the leadoff spot for the first time, Hanser Alberto homered as part of a career-high four-hit night. Batting cleanup in the middle of a long slump because of his numbers against Yankees starter J.A. Happ, Renato Núñez homered off the lefty for the third time this season. The Orioles tagged Happ for six runs in 3 2/3 innings and received six more strong innings from Cashner, who has a 3.40 ERA over his last nine starts.

Throw in two RBIs from top-of-the-lineup anchor Trey Mancini, and it was nearly enough to snap New York’s winning streak at Camden Yards, now stretched to nine games. It also made what happened at the end so hard to swallow.

“To me, this was the toughest [loss] of the season,” Cashner said. “Them being in first place, us putting some runs on Happ. To get ahead early and lose this one, this one is tough.”

Joe Trezza covers the Orioles for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JoeTrezz.