DJ Stewart stood on third base with nobody out in the 10th inning against the Twins.
The Orioles were down by a run but appeared on the verge of a rally against Minnesota closer Hansel Robles.
Instead, Ryan Mountcastle struck out looking, Stevie Wilkerson walked, Austin Wynns struck out swinging and Freddy Galvis flew out to right, sending the Orioles to their 14th straight loss with the 3-2 setback.
The Orioles’ skid ties for second-longest in team history. Baltimore also has the longest losing streak in the majors since the Astros lost 15 in a row in 2013.
“Obviously, we were looking for some contact there with a runner on third, one out and the infield in,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “And first and third, they were anticipating a safety squeeze possibly, that’s why [Josh] Donaldson was holding the runner at third base, which made it hard for Stew to get much of a lead there.
“[A safety squeeze] still was in play, possibly if we had gotten into a little bit of a better count, but 0-1, 0-2 right away made it difficult. And tip your hat to Robles making some really good pitches there.”
The Orioles’ worst losing streak came in 1988, when they lost their first 21 games of the year. They also dropped 14 in a row in 1954, the season the club moved from St. Louis to Baltimore.
The Twins have beaten Baltimore 16 consecutive times, one away from Minnesota’s franchise record against one opponent. The Twins topped the Boston Red Sox 17 straight times from 1965-66.
“It’s been tough the last couple weeks, but we’re trying to keep our heads up and trying to keep playing hard,” said Orioles’ first baseman Ryan Mountcastle, who tied the game at one with a homer in the fifth. “We’ve been in a lot of close games and we’ve just got to try to turn the page and move on to the next one and hopefully win tomorrow.”
The pitching has been mostly solid during the past week, but the bats have gone silent. The Orioles have scored two or fewer runs in five of the past six games. The exception was a 7-4 loss in Chicago in the first game of a doubleheader against the White Sox May 29.
Jorge López was solid May 31, allowing one run with seven strikeouts in six innings.
“It’s been tough,” López said. “We know how difficult this game is, but getting my confidence back pitch by pitch, going through inning by inning, Just giving us a chance to keep the game close. We need to get better at some things, but from my point, I felt really good with all my pitches”
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