6th straight for O’s gives LA 7th in row
Blach unable to maintain success against Dodgers who clinch NL West title
Entering the 2019 campaign, no pitcher had better handled the behemoth Los Angeles Dodgers than Ty Blach.
As the Dodgers collected the latter half of what before Tuesday was six straight National League West titles — twice following that achievement with an NL pennant — the left-handed Blach was one of only two pitchers to throw at least 50 innings against Los Angeles from 2016 to 2018 with a sub-3.00 ERA. The Arizona Diamondbacks’ Robbie Ray still had an ERA nearly a full run higher than Blach’s 1.88 mark in that span.
But after the Orioles’ 7-3 loss to the Dodgers on Tuesday at Camden Yards, Blach’s career ERA against Los Angeles was up to 3.57, and his ERA in his five-start tenure with Baltimore rose to 11.32. Blach, the former San Francisco Giant, allowed six runs in 21⁄ innings, serving as the losing pitcher in the game that clinched a seventh straight NL West title for the Dodgers and the Orioles’ sixth consecutive defeat.
Even after he allowed seven earned runs in a relief appearance against the Dodgers while with the Giants earlier this year, Blach had the lowest ERA of any pitcher with at least 50 innings against Los Angeles since 2016, his debut season. But with a division title in reach, the Dodgers were unrelenting Tuesday.
After Blach struck out A.J. Pollock to open the night, the next three Dodgers (94-52) reached, with NLMVPcontender Cody Bellinger’s RBI single providing an early lead. Abatter later, Corey Seager and his lifetime 4-for-23 line against Blach stepped up with two on and two outs. He deposited Blach’s 36th pitch into the right-center stands for a three-run home run.
Blach needed eight more pitches to get the inning’s third out, then used that same number for a clean second. In the third, Seager swatted his second home run, a two-run shot, and manager Brandon Hyde pulled Blach two batters later. He left the game with 13 earned runs surrendered to the Dodgers in 52⁄ innings this season, one more than the 12 he allowed across 571⁄ frames against them in his first three years in the majors.
Rookie Gavin Lux followed Seager’s pair with his first career home run in the fifth, coming off Tanner Scott to give the Dodgers a 7-0 lead. The homers also brought the Orioles to 164 allowed at Camden Yards, a major league record for most given up at home. Including the two games remaining in this series, the Orioles (46-98) have eight home contests left. They would have to go 7-1 or better to avoid matching or passing last year’s home record for the worst in the franchise’s 65-year stay in Baltimore.
The offense was not blameless in the defeat, though scoring even a handful of runs against rising Dodgers ace Walker Buehler is a difficult task. After the Orioles recorded consecutive two-out singles in the second, Buehler struck out the next four and retired eight straight overall. Baltimore did not get another batter to second base in his seven innings.
The Orioles then struck for three runs in the eighth off Casey Sadler. DJ Stewart hit his first home run of the year, and a single by Renato Núñez and an error on the play brought home two more later in the inning. But the late life was not enough to overcome Blach’s early struggles.
Orioles starting pitcher Ty Blach walks to the dugout after he was pulled in the third inning of the team’s 7-3 loss to the Dodgers Tuesday night in Baltimore.