So, when Trey Mancini launched a long home run to center field in the first inning, it looked as if they just might be on their way to ending another dubious streak — 42 days without winning back-to-back games.
The Mariners would have none of that, erupting in an interminable third inning for eight runs and trouncing the O’s, 13-3, to send them home with only one victory in a discouraging seven-game West Coast road trip.
“We’re doing a really nice job in the first inning,” Manager Brandon Hyde said. “That’s what’s so disappointing. You put up runs early and not be able to shut down innings. That’s just . . . can’t do that. You have to be able to put a zero up after a team sparks you. We’ve had a tough time all year doing that.”
It was just another example of the club’s tissue-thin pitching depth. Starter Gabriel Ynoa allowed seven earned runs over 2 ⅓ innings and had to minimize a big jam in the second inning to stay out of double figures.
Rookie Matt Wotherspoon, the latest minor league pitcher to fly coast-to-coast to bridge a gaping innings gap in the bullpen, took over with one out and two runs across in the third and allowed five straight batters to reach base. When the inning ended, the Orioles were down 10-2.
Wotherspoon also allowed a two-run home run in the fifth and pitched through the sixth to preserve an arm or two for Tuesday night’s likely bullpen game against the San Diego Padres.
Hyde keeps getting asked about possible pitching help and he keeps giving the same answer. Wotherspoon got some experience coming up from minor league camp during spring training to give the big league club some innings in spring training, but he was not projected to make the 25-man roster this year and probably won’t be on it long.
“We just don’t have a whole lot of arms in the upper levels that can pitch here,” Hyde said. “So it’s, we’re able to throw out there what we have right now.”
It was the second time on the trip that the O’s suffered a truly embarrassing defeat, nearly matching the 16-2 offensive avalanche that swept over them in Oakland on Tuesday night.
It was the third double-digit offensive performance by the opposition during a trip on which the Orioles gave up 59 runs, or an average of 8.4 per game.
“Not a great trip obviously,” Mancini said.