6th straight for O’s gives LA 7th in row

Blach un­able to main­tain suc­cess against Dodgers who clinch NL West ti­tle

Baltimore Sun - - ORIOLES - By Nathan Ruiz

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.

NICK WASS/AP

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.

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