The Orioles lost to the Reds, 8-2, after a surprising outfield performance and a rough night for Dean Kramer – Reading Eagle

It started with a wall jump and then all hell broke loose.

The ball screeched off the bat of Cincinnati Reds outfielder Nick Senzel, sailing toward the left field fence in the fifth inning Saturday night. On a diving catch, Orioles left fielder Austin Hayes reached for the ball and missed. But when the ball ricocheted off the wall and landed in his glove, it appeared to be a hook. That led Reds shortstop Kyle Farmer to believe Hayes had made a good catch, and he turned and ran back to first base.

And that’s just the beginning of the wildest moment in the Reds’ 8-2 win over the Orioles.

After Hayes’ throw reached first baseman Trey Mancini, Senzel was on top of Farmer. Mancini ran in to single out Farmer, and the Orioles initially believed the fiasco was an inning-ending double play. But after a conference between the umpires, Baltimore returned to the field and Farmer remained at first.

The official ruling stated that because Senzel passed Farmer – even though it was Farmer who backed off Senzel – the runner (Senzel) was out. According to Rule 9.05, a runner in the position of force must advance to give the batter a hit. That didn’t happen, nullifying Senzel’s hit, leaving beat writers and fans baffled, and the Orioles needing one more out in the fifth.


In a fitting end to one of the strangest moments of the Orioles’ season, Reds outfielder Jake Fraley stepped to the plate and promptly hit a two-run home run, adding to the craziness of the moment. That bomb by right-hander Bo Sulser put the game out of reach and continued the Reds’ rally that began in the fourth inning against right-hander Dean Kramer.

Baltimore has had a few games like these lately, with the score out of reach and little chance of a comeback. The Orioles picked up their 23rd win in the series opener on Friday night to move above the .500 mark at the 100-game mark for the first time since 2016. Saturday’s loss does little to affect Baltimore’s (51-50) late form, but it does show the shaky nature of the starting rotation.

Kramer allowed six runs on 10 hits over 4 1/3 innings, striking out three and walking one. He watched two long balls leave Great American Ball Park. He allowed three runs in the fourth, including a two-run double off second baseman Jonathan India, before Joey Votto added his second homer of the series to start the fifth.

An Orioles starter hasn’t gone six innings since right-hander Jordan Lyles did so on July 12 against the Chicago Cubs. And while the bullpen has mostly been solid — giving up one earned run over the last 16 2/3 innings dating back to Saturday — the offense has struggled of late.

Aside from two runs scored by Baltimore in the first inning — an RBI single by Anthony Santander and a bunt by right-hander Tyler Mel — 19 straight Orioles were shut out after a two-out single by Tyler Nevin in the second inning before an infield single by rookie catcher Audley Rutschman started ninth.

A wild pitch — and a walk-off homer — in the fifth were stunningly painful for Baltimore, but so were the lack of hitting and poor pitching.

Around the horns

>> Teryn Vavra made his first major league start as a pinch hitter, batting eighth. Vavra, the Orioles’ No. 12 prospect according to Baseball America, went 0-3. He made his major league debut Friday night, serving as a pinch runner in the bottom of the Orioles’ 6-2 victory.

>> Right-hander Tyler Wells suffered a Grade 1 oblique strain, an MRI showed, according to manager Brandon Hyde. The starting pitcher went on the injured list Thursday after leaving Wednesday’s performance with lower left side discomfort. Hyde said the timeline for Wells is unclear, but with Wells already on the innings limit, it remains to be seen when — or in what capacity — he will return this season.

>> The Orioles signed 11th-round pick Zach Showalter for $440,000, a source with direct knowledge of the situation told The Baltimore Sun, with $315,000 going toward the slot. Showalter, no relation to former Orioles manager and current New York Mets captain Buck Showalter, is a high school pitcher from Florida. That leaves about $1.2 million in Baltimore’s bonus pool to spend without penalty.

This story will be updated.


Sunday, 1:40 p.m


radio: 97.9 FM, 101.5 FM, 1090 AM


Back to top button