Jordan Lyles struggles in exchange for illness, Ryan McKenna throws Orioles’ 17-4 loss to Red Sox – Boston Herald

As Jordan Lyles warmed up to pitch in Monday’s doubleheader against the Toronto Blue Jays, it was clear to him and the Orioles pitching coaches that the stomach flu he was dealing with was keeping him from being himself, so it rushed team up to replace him.

Lyles’ efforts to start Saturday ended with a feeling of “OK,” manager Brandon Hyde said, but the effects of the illness seemingly lingered in his worst outing at Camden Yards as a golden oriole.

In a 17-4 loss to the Boston Red Sox, Baltimore’s most lopsided of the season, Lyles gave up eight runs, all earned, in 3 2/3 innings. Outfielder Ryan McKenna registered the last of the top of the ninth inning after Yennier Cano, one of four pitchers the Orioles had taken over from the Minnesota Twins for All-Star closer Jorge López last month, closed the gap in his team debut and gave up seven runs in 1 2 /3 turns.

“I didn’t have my best stuff,” Lyles said. “I was not well. They got an early lead and that was the ball game. Unfortunately we had to use a lot of pitchers after me. But at the other end of that spectrum, it only counts for one loss. And we’re going to try and win a series tomorrow. If we win tomorrow, we’ll take the series and we won’t think about all the runs we gave up tonight.”

With the loss, the Orioles kept them from gaining ground in the American League wild card race, entering the day four games behind the Seattle Mariners for third.

In his first outing in 11 days, Lyles, a 31-year old righthander, made his second shortest start with Baltimore (73-66) and only his second in 13 appearances at Camden Yards, in which the team’s innings leader failed. don’t finish the fifth.

It was clear early on that he was not at his best. When the first three Boston batters reached base, Lyles managed only one pitch of at least 90 mph, a threshold Baseball Savant had him reach on more than 88% of his fastballs on Saturday this year. On a sacrifice just below that figure, Rafael Devers hammered a grand slam at the Boston bullpen in left midfield.

“It’s just one of those things where maybe he didn’t feel himself today,” said midfielder Cedric Mullins.

Lyles reached a top speed of 90.4 mph on his 37 pitches in the first inning. In his previous start against the AL Central-leading Cleveland Guardians, a 6 2/3 scoreless innings, Lyles threw 37 pitches harder than that. He followed the grand slam by eliminating 10 of the next 12 Red Sox, with a six-pitch third inning mixed in. But back-to-back doubles with one out in the fourth gave him a fifth run, and when the Red Sox hit for consecutive singles on a flyout, Keegan replaced Akin Lyles and allowed both runners he inherited to score before an out on base ended the frame.

“It just didn’t look like it was very sharp,” Hyde said. “Have not been feeling well for a while, and sadly, a bit rusty there in the first, and the Devers grand slam, sort of ball in the middle. He was good for the next few innings, then it seemed like he ran out of gas a bit in the fourth.”

The Red Sox had three more hits, including a homerun by Christian Arroyo, off Akin to open up the fifth, giving them seven consecutive hits that doubled their total.

Of Lyles’ 77 pitches, 39 were fastballs, and only four reached 90 mph. He had thrown at least 65% of his fastballs that hard in each of his previous 27 starts, including 91% in his start against Cleveland. He said his off-speed pitches “were not much of a thing either.”

“When I’m there, I don’t care what I throw or how hard I throw,” Lyles said. “I’m trying to get quick outs, trying to get our defense back in the dugout and make them feel comfortable, and I hate that they’re in the outfield and infield for so long because they [catcher] Justice [Rutschman] yonder, squatting so long. It was a tick or two down. I’m sure I’ll be able to recover in a few days.”

McKenna replaced Cano with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth, the Orioles’ second pitching this season by a positional player. He allowed every inherited runner to score, but none of his own runners in his first professional pitching appearance. Rutschman greeted him, as he does with any pitcher at the end of an inning, with a punch at the first base line after Kevin Plawecki grounded out.

The Orioles lineup narrowly caught up with Boston’s offense in the first inning. Mullins’ home run in the third inning gave him 14, making him a little shy to become only the fourth player since 2012 with consecutive seasons of 15 homers and 30 steals. He followed Jorge Mateo’s sacrifice fly in the fifth with a bloop to the left to bring in another run.

A pop-up in the eighth inning by McKenna filled in for a two base error, and he came home on a single by Ryan Mountcastle, shaking some previous bad luck from first base for the Orioles. Mountcastle’s first two balls in the game were each hit at a speed of at least 105 mph, with the latter being caught on a jumping catch on the wall by midfielder Enrique Hernández. Then Mountcastle stared at center, and shook his head after reaching a single with a swinging bunt in the sixth.

He and Mullins were the only Orioles to record multiple hits.

“We know what lies ahead, what lies ahead, what we are capable of,” Lyles said. “It was a heavy loss, but it only counts for one.”

Around the horn

  • Although he was not needed with the blowout, closer Félix Bautista flied out before the game, Hyde said, hoping to be available again by Sunday. Bautista did not throw in the win on Friday because he suffered from arm fatigue.

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