O's bullpen loses Hess' no-hit bid in win vs Blue Jays
TORONTO (AP) — David Hess had done everything right, taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning in his first start of the season.
So it was something of a stunner when first-year manager Brandon Hyde pointed to the bullpen.
Hess was pulled after 6 1/3 hitless innings, and the Baltimore Orioles bullpen couldn't see the no-hit bid through in a 6-5 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday night. The 25-year-old right-hander struck out eight and walked one, but Hyde pulled him after 82 pitches. Hess also threw 42 pitches in relief Thursday on opening day.
"I was shocked because I knew my pitch count was decently low," Hess said.
Reliever Pedro Araujo replaced Hess, walked Justin Smoak, and then allowed a two-run homer to Randal Grichuk for Toronto's first hit.
Hyde said he had planned to pull Hess earlier, possibly after five innings, but let him stretch his pitch count more than expected because he was throwing so well. The effort helped Baltimore win its third straight and get its first victory in Toronto since Sept. 13, 2017. The Orioles lost all 10 games in Canada last year.
It was the second-longest scoreless outing of Hess's young career, just shy of the 6 2/3 innings he went last May at Tampa Bay.
Hyde was booed when he walked to the mound to fetch Hess, but the skipper had no regrets.
"For David to go beyond that (pitch count) obviously and then some, was incredible," Hyde said. "But that was a terrible walk. I hated to do it, but for David's health and one of, hopefully, 30-plus starts, it was the right thing to do."
Baltimore's offense was sparked by Jonathan Villar's first home run of the season in the first inning, with Trey Mancini providing the winning margin with his second homer of the year in the seventh inning.
Left-hander Richard Bleier picked up his first save of the season.
It was the second time this season the Blue Jays have been no-hit into the seventh inning. Detroit right-hander Jordan Zimmermann retired 20 Toronto batters on opening day before Teoscar Hernandez singled to end his perfect game.
Manager Charlie Montoyo acknowledged that his team has struggled when it comes to offense.
"I'm not going to defend our offense right now, but I know we're going to hit," he said. "That's what they do. They have a past, they have a record and we're going to hit. We're just not hitting right now."
After a team-record 24 consecutive scoreless innings from the Blue Jays starters to begin the season, things unraveled early for Sean Reid-Foley (0-1). Recalled from Triple-A Buffalo to make his eighth career start, he endured a rough outing, giving up five hits and five runs, three earned, while walking two and striking out three in two innings.
For the fourth time in five games to open the season, the Blue Jays saw their first nine batters sent down in succession, going just 1 for 46 in the opening three innings of their games.
The announced crowd of 10,460 was the smallest crowd at Toronto's Rogers Centre since April 19, 2010, when 10,314 showed up to see the Blue Jays play Kansas City.
Blue Jays: Top prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (strained oblique) has resumed baseball activities after being out since March 8, making appearances in extended spring training in Dunedin, Florida. Toronto's plan is to have the third baseman report to Triple-A Buffalo at some point but is mindful of the cold weather in Western New York and doesn't want him to reinjure himself. ... RHP Clay Bucholtz (right flexor) will throw 60 pitches on Tuesday and 75 on April 7, and could be in line to pitch against Tampa on April 13. ... RHP Ryan Tepera (right elbow) and LHP Ryan Borucki (left elbow) are scheduled to throw side sessions on Wednesday.
Orioles: Renato Nunez served as designated hitter once again on Monday, but Hyde said the biceps soreness that limited him in spring training has subsided somewhat, allowing him to play first or third base if required.
Orioles: RHP Andrew Cashner (0-1, 13.50) makes his sixth career start in Toronto, aiming to improve on the 1-2 record he has posted at Rogers Centre.
Blue Jays: After pitching seven scoreless innings on opening day, RHP Marcus Stroman (0-0, 0.00) makes his second start of the season, having won his only start against the Orioles last season, allowing just one run over seven innings.