Orioles’ losing streak reaches 11 as Matt Harvey has another short stay in 7-4 loss to White Sox

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This offseason, the Orioles’ free agency focuses were understandably on areas where they were inexperienced and lacking major league-ready players in the high minors. They signed Freddy Galvis to fill the shortstop hole they created by trading José Iglesias to the Los Angeles Angels. To fill the holes in a youthful rotation, they provided minor league deals to three veteran starters.

Former Cy Young Award winner Félix Hernández didn’t make it through spring. Wade LeBlanc’s stay on the major league roster was brief. Of the trio, only Matt Harvey remains, and while Galvis has trailed only Trey Mancini in offensive production since slumping through his first two weeks with Baltimore, Harvey has trended the opposite direction.

In a 7-4 loss to the Chicago White Sox to open Saturday’s doubleheader at Guaranteed Rate Field, Galvis homered twice, but Harvey continued a frustrating May, laboring to get nine outs. The defeat marked the Orioles’ 11th straight, their longest winless streak since dropping 13 straight in the final week of the 2009 season.

Harvey, 32, was never expected to recapture the form that made him an All-Star starter and National League champion with the New York Mets, but the Orioles hoped he could be a serviceable innings provider behind John Means to stabilize what is otherwise a fresh-faced rotation. He seemed up to the task initially, but beginning with a four-inning outing in which he lowered his ERA to 3.60 because the quartet of runs he surrendered were unearned, he has failed to complete five innings in five straight starts. The Orioles have lost each, with Harvey’s ERA climbing to 6.84.

Galvis staked him to an early lead with his first-inning home run off Chicago left-hander Dallas Keuchel, the sixth time during the losing streak the Orioles have scored in the opening frame. But Harvey gave it right back on José Abreu’s RBI single in a 33-pitch first.

The White Sox (30-20) scored four times off Harvey in the third, with Abreu driving in two more and scoring on Jake Lamb’s home run. An error opened the fourth, prompting manager Brandon Hyde to end Harvey’s afternoon with 88 pitches in three-plus innings.

Travis Lakins Sr., the Orioles’ 27th man for the doubleheader, kept the inherited runner from scoring, allowing Baltimore (17-34) to start cutting into the deficit Harvey created. Maikel Franco homered, and Ryan Mountcastle, back in the lineup for the first time since taking a pitch off his left hand Tuesday, followed with his first career triple, scoring on Pat Valaika’s ground ball. Galvis brought the deficit to one with his second solo shot off Keuchel, marking the switch-hitter’s fourth career two-homer game and the first where both came right-handed.

It was the closest the Orioles came. Yoan Moncada created the final margin with a two-run home run off Shawn Armstrong in the sixth, and with doubleheaders featuring seven-inning games, Baltimore immediately had to face Chicago closer Liam Hendricks, who finished off the Orioles’ 18th defeat in 20 games.

Nevin makes birthday history

With Mountcastle limited to designated hitter duty and Mancini still dealing with soreness after taking a 95 mph fastball off his right elbow in Thursday’s series opener, Tyler Nevin drew the start at first base. With Saturday being his 24th birthday, Nevin became the first player in Orioles history to make his major league debut on his birthday.

One of three prospects the Orioles acquired from the Colorado Rockies for reliever Mychal Givens, Nevin doubled into the stands in his first at-bat and walked his second time up.

Hyde said Mancini is doing well and could return Sunday or Monday.

Longest Orioles slumps

O’s losing streaks of 10 games or more since moving to Baltimore

Lost 21 — April 4-28, 1988

Lost 14 — Aug. 11-25, 1954

Lost 13 — Sept. 17-30, 2009

Lost 12 — Aug. 16-28, 2004

Lost 12 — Sept. 18-29, 2002

Lost 12 — June 18-July 3, 1955

Lost 11 — July 27-Aug, 8, 1958

Lost 11 — May 18-29, 2020

Lost 10 — June 12-21, 2019

Lost 10 — May 26-June 5, 2010

Lost 10 — Sept. 17-26, 2008

Lost 10 — Sept. 1-19, 2001

Lost 10 — June 23-July 3, 1999

Lost 10 — Aug 23-Sept 2, 1998

Lost 10 — June 3-13, 1987

ORIOLES@WHITE SOX

Sunday, 2:10 p.m.

TV: MASN2 Radio: 105.7 FM

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