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Miguel Castro's Rough Inning Sends Orioles To Late-Night Loss

September 19, 2017
BALTIMORE -- With the Orioles and Red Sox tied in the top of the 11th inning, first baseman Chris Davis tried to make a play on Boston center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr.'s ground ball, but it squirted away, and by the time Davis recovered it, he couldn't make a throw to second to get Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon on the force out, instead settling for the out at first base.
 
Three batters later, Orioles right-hander Miguel Castro gave up a two-run single to Boston left fielder Andrew Benintendi, and the Orioles were saddled with a 10-8 loss before 16,716 at Oriole Park Sept. 18. The Orioles had won 12 of their first 14 extra-inning games this season.
 
Manager Buck Showalter didn't think Davis could have made the play to force Leon.  
 
"I'm not sure if he would have been able to get the lead out. No," Showalter said. "We can talk about 20 different plays in that game. We had some opportunities to score more runs, too, but we also didn't do a very good job of keeping them from under eight runs. That's probably the key. Both clubs were challenged a little bit with pitching tonight, and they pushed a couple across at the end."
 
Boston used 10 pitchers, the Orioles nine.
 
From Aug. 18-Sept. 1, Castro threw 15.1 scoreless innings in six outings. Since then, he's allowed runs in each of his last five appearances, eight runs in 6.2 innings.
 
"The thing that I notice is that sometimes, I lower my arm angle too low, and that gets me in trouble, but that's just an opportunity to improve and get better and work at it," Castro said through a translator.
 
Castro said he's not getting tired, but Showalter is monitoring the 22-year-old.
 
"Nobody works harder than him. He really wants this," Showalter said. "But sometimes we have to be the voice of reason with guys like that because the 'want to' gets in the way of 'should you.' But we look at it every day. We make sure we keep our arms around that." 
 
The Orioles had a chance to chop a game off Minnesota's lead in the race for the second wild-card, but they're still 5.5 games out with 11 to play. At 73-78, the Orioles must go 8-3 to finish the season at .500.
 
Right-hander Dylan Bundy had a 6-1 lead entering the top of the fifth, but he imploded, and the Red Sox scored six runs to take a 7-6 lead. 
 
"Stuff-wise, for September, I thought it was OK," Showalter said of Bundy. "I think the command deserted him a little bit there."
 
With so few games remaining and Bundy throwing 169.2 innings so far this season, could it be time to end an overall successful season?
 
"Stuff's fine; he feels great between starts, he's getting extra days rest," Showalter said. "As long as we think it's beneficial for him and the club, then we'll continue down that path. But we're not at that point yet."
 
Bundy acknowledged he could be getting tired in his first full season as a starter.
 
"I mean, it could, yeah. But it doesn't matter," Bundy said. "It's September. Everybody is tired right now. So, you've just got to battle through it and work on it in my next bullpen and get ready for the next one."

NOTES: Minor league pitcher Miguel Gonzalez, who pitched for the Orioles' team in the Dominican Summer League for the last three seasons died Sept. 18 after a Sept. 16 auto accident in the Dominican Republic. … RHP Kevin Gausman (11-10, 4.83) will face LHP Drew Pomeranz (16-5, 3.28) Sept. 19. … Triple-A Norfolk manager Ron Johnson and pitching coach Mike Griffin are with the Orioles for this homestand.

Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox