Orioles’ bullpen again suffers sixth-inning setback in 7-2 loss to Twins – The Mercury News

For a second straight night at Camden Yards, the Orioles made it through five innings against a first-place Twins team with a tie intact, only for Minnesota to break it with Baltimore’s starter out of the game.

After left-hander Bruce Zimmermann allowed two runs over five frames to continue his impressive start to the season, Joey Krehbiel surrendered a three-run home run to Ryan Jeffers, the biggest blow in the Orioles’ 7-2 loss Tuesday in front of an announced crowd of 6,678, a second straight season-low.

After posting a 3.46 ERA in April, the Orioles’ bullpen has an 8.18 ERA through three May games.

Zimmermann exited after a reasonable 81 pitches, but the Twins had given him the most trouble in the fourth and fifth innings, scoring a single run in each. His 1.48 ERA through five starts is the second best by an Oriole in the past 20 years. Dylan Bundy — who will start for Minnesota on Wednesday opposite Kyle Bradish, one of the four pitchers Baltimore acquired from the Los Angeles Angels for him in December 2019 — started 2018 with a 1.42 mark.

Keegan Akin took over in the seventh and worked two scoreless innings before giving up three straight doubles to open the ninth. On the last of those, center fielder Cedric Mullins prevented a home run, nearly catching a drive from Twins shortstop Carlos Correa at the wall, only for the ball to pop out of his glove and onto the warning track when he slammed into the fence.

The Orioles (8-16) were again quiet offensively, scoring two or fewer runs for the fourth time in five games on this homestand.

Nevin exits with groin injury

Orioles third baseman Tyler Nevin, playing his fifth major league game of the year after putting up a .980 OPS for Triple-A Norfolk, exited after the fifth inning with what the team said was right groin soreness.

Nevin produced Baltimore’s first run in the bottom of the fourth, hitting a ground ball with runners on second and third that Correa didn’t field cleanly for an error. Anthony Bemboom followed with a deep fly ball to center, where Byron Buxton made the catch on the warning track. Both Nevin and lead runner Rougned Odor, who stayed at second on the error, tagged up, with a relay from Buxton to Correa to second baseman Jorge Polanco getting Nevin out at second. The Orioles challenged the call, with Nevin’s left hand seemingly reaching the base before Polanco’s tag, but the umpires’ video replay upheld the ruling.

Nevin remained in the game at third for the top of the fifth, when the Twins plated another run off Zimmermann. Mullins led off the bottom half with a double and scored when Trey Mancini, in the lineup at designated hitter after missing three games with bruised ribs, blooped a single to left.

The Orioles continued to threaten in the frame, bringing Nevin’s spot to the on-deck circle, but Ramón Urías came out to pinch-hit. Although the inning ended before Urías officially batted, he then replaced Nevin in the field for the sixth.

Baltimore has an opening on its 40-man roster, should it need to add a player to it as a replacement for Nevin.

Around the horn

  • Right-hander Chris Ellis, on the 10-day injured list with right shoulder inflammation, has left the team to have the shoulder examined in Texas, manager Brandon Hyde said before the game.
  • Yusniel Diaz rejoined Triple-A Norfolk’s active roster Tuesday after exiting the Tides’ April 12 game with a strained right hamstring. Once ranked as Baltimore’s No. 1 prospect after joining the organization in the July 2018 trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers for Manny Machado, Diaz, 25, had a 1.270 OPS at the time of the injury and went 1-for-3 in his return.
  • Top prospect Adley Rutschman reported to Double-A Bowie on Tuesday to continue his progression from a right tricep strain suffered on the cusp of major league spring training. He went 1-for-4 with a double and caught nine innings. “It’s felt great so far,” Rutschman said before the game in Bowie. “I think the training staff, all the coaches, they’ve just done a tremendous job so far and helped me feel right at home and get me back in the swing of things.”

This story will be updated.


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