Mets waste Quintana’s gem, shut out by Orioles 2-0 to lose 6th straight

Mets Orioles
Francisco Lindor in action during Sunday’s loss against the Baltimore Orioles. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

The Mets have not been many of the things they were expected to be this season — but they’re always consistent. And in this case, it’s not a compliment.

New York (50-61) was blanked by the Baltimore Orioles 2-0 on Sunday afternoon to complete a second consecutive sweep and clinch a sixth-straight loss — undone by ineffective bats and equally unimpressive defense within the confines of Camden Yards. 

It’s a hard-luck loss for Jose Quintana, who had his best outing yet as a Met amidst a crop of solid starts to begin his career in Queens by going six-plus innings and allowing two runs on six hits with six strikeouts.

“I think everybody’s getting a glimpse of what he can do for us for the rest of this year and next year,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said. “It’s pretty obvious that good starting pitchers that can go six, seven innings… can make a difference.”

He was pulled by Showalter with no outs in the seventh in a 1-0 game after allowing a double to James McCann and a single to Ryan McKenna to put runners on the corners.

Ryan O’Hearn hit a liner off the glove of reliever Trevor Gott that redirected to second baseman Danny Mendick. The Mets infielder hesitantly flipped the ball to second base for the force out rather than throwing home with plenty of time to get the slow-footed McCann at the plate, doubling the Mets’ insurmountable hole and adding that second run to Quintana’s ledger.

“We talked on the mound there that the umpire blocked his play. But he knew he had a play and he made a mistake. It happens… We just didn’t execute it.”

Buck Showalter Mets
New York Mets manager Buck Showalter. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

The Mets loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth inning to run starter Kyle Bradish from the game. But with Brandon Nimmo and Starling Marte unavailable to pinch hit, the left-handed Stewart was left in to bat against Orioles southpaw Cionel Perez. He grounded out to leave three men on and a chance to give Quintana a lead.

“Not scoring any runs, you’re not going to win games,” Showalter said. “We had one or two opportunities, but we took away from a good outing by [Quintana].”

In the bottom of the frame — as most good teams do — the Orioles rode the momentum of the escaped jam to take the lead as Quintana was undone by bad defense.

Rafael Ortega whiffed on a diving attempt to catch a Jorge Mateo line drive in center field, resulting in a triple with one out in the frame. 

Adley Rutschman’s grounder to third was then bobbled by Mark Vientos, who was looking to catch Mateo at home, forcing the Mets infielder to settle for the out at first to yield the game’s opening run. 

“There are so many things that don’t show up on the error column,” Showalter said. “Most of the time, these guys know exactly what they did wrong… it’s one of those learning curves.”

The Mets were shut down by Bradish, who overcame five walks to post 4.2 scoreless innings with five strikeouts, and a combination of Orioles relievers who yielded just one hit in 4.1 innings of work.

It’s the second time in five games that the Mets have been shut out. They’ve also been held to three or fewer runs in each of those games during that span.

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