As Cedric Mullins lined a single into center field in the 10th inning, Dwight Smith Jr. put his head down and rounded third, headed for home.
The throw from the outfield came home, right as Smith blew through a stop sign from his third base coach. By the time he realized his mistake, he was caught in a rundown and was tagged out seconds later.
The next at-bat, a popup from Bryan Holaday ended the game as the Orioles squandered a chance to tie the score against the Blue Jays in the 10th inning at Camden Yards.
Tuesday’s loss for the Orioles was their third in a row, and fourth loss in five games, a tough loss to swallow for a team that has found itself surprisingly in the playoff conversation through the season’s first 23 games.
“Disappointed we didn't score in the bottom half, had an opportunity and made a mistake,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “Tough loss.”
Smith’s baserunning mistake might not have mattered as much, however, if it weren’t for the incredible defensive play of Chris Davis, a defensive replacement in the 10th inning.
With runners at second and third with just one out in the 10th inning, Davis made a spectacular diving stop to keep the ball in the infield and, while seated on his backside, threw to catcher Pedro Severino at home.
The throw was a one-hopper that Severino couldn’t gather, as the Blue Jays took an 8-7 lead, which ended up being the final score. Davis was credited with an error on the play, though anyone who watched it knows Davis did all he could.
“For me, that was a great play of getting to the ball,” Hyde said. “He was trying to make a game-saving play, no fault for that. For me, just him catching the ball saved a run there. Just tried to make a great play and it skipped up on (Severino) when he threw it from his rear end there. I give credit to CD for getting to the ball on a tough ball down the line.”
The loss pushes the Orioles closer to .500 with a game on Wednesday afternoon still to come against the Blue Jays. There, they’ll try to avoid a sweep and a .500 record once again.
The Orioles had won two extra inning games this season, one in a walk-off from Pat Valaika and another due to an inside-the-park home run from Austin Hays.
Tuesday night against the Blue Jays, the Orioles just lost one of those toss-up games.
“At this level, it is a fine line between winning and losing,” pitcher Wade LeBlanc said. “But at the same time, it’s a case study in a baseball season whether it’s 60 games, whether it’s 162, there’s ups and downs. The good teams are the ones that can ride out the lows and get back to sea level faster and don’t let the sinking prolong. Tomorrow is a new day, we come out, we play hard, as you saw tonight there’s no quit, there’s definitely no quit in these guys.”