NEW YORK - The first inning fiasco happened again today to the Orioles. Blink an eye and five runs were on the board. Wind was lost in the sails. What about another game?
The Orioles tried to claw back against the Yankees bullpen, which sprang into action in the third inning after Chad Green’s early departure. Manager Joe Girardi was letting them pass the baton. The Orioles were hoping and praying that someone would drop it before they dropped 6 1/2 games out of first place in their division.
Kevin Gausman tied his career high by walking six batters, and he became the latest starter to fall behind early and leave early, as the Orioles suffered a 14-3 loss to the Yankees before an announced sellout crowd of 46,348 that completed a sweep in the Bronx and heightened concerns about their ability to regain competitive stature.
The Orioles (31-30) have lost four in a row and six of eight to tumble into fourth place. They’re one game above .500 for the first time since being 1-0, and they’re 10-20 on the road.
Logan Verrett surrendered a solo home run to Aaron Judge, measured by statcast at 495 feet, and a two-run shot to Starlin Castro in the sixth inning. Judge added a two-run shot off Jimmy Yacabonis, making his major league debut in the seventh inning, to increase the lead to 14-3. Judge has 21 home runs on the season, including eight versus the Orioles to go with 16 RBIs.
The Orioles were outscored 38-8 in the series and have permitted 68 runs in six games this season at Yankee Stadium
Gausman allowed seven runs and eight hits in 3 1/3 innings, with six walks, no strikeouts, a home run and two wild pitches. According to the New York Post, Gausman is the first starter to walk at least six Yankees and strike out none since the Angels’ Omar Olivares on May 13, 1999. Olivares didn’t give up a run.
The Yankees scored five off Gausman before making three outs.
Remove Dylan Bundy from the equation, and the other four Orioles starters have gone 2 2/3, four, 1 1/3 and 3 1/3 innings in their most recent turns. Include Bundy in it, and the starters have posted a 14.54 ERA and 3.00 WHIP.
It starts with starting pitching, and it’s taxing the bullpen and pushing the Orioles down the standings.
Gausman loaded the bases with one out in the first and Castro delivered a two-run single. Gary Sánchez followed with a three-run homer and the Orioles never recovered.
They showed some life in the third by opening the inning with consecutive doubles by J.J. Hardy, Rubén Tejada, Seth Smith and Jonathan Schoop to reduce the lead to 5-3. Gausman escaped jams by inducing double plays to end the second and third, but he walked Aaron Hicks with one out in the fourth, Judge doubled and both runners scored on Matt Holliday’s single.
Verrett, who warmed three times, finally got into the game after Holliday’s hit. Two of the three runs off him were earned in 2 2/3 innings.
Yacabonis was pumping 97 mph heat in the seventh, but he walked two batters after striking out Chris Carter, Aaron Hicks followed with a two-run double and Judge continued to amaze, this time going to right-center field.
Gausman walked 47 batters in 179 2/3 innings last season. He’s walked 34 this year in 69 1/3.
Gausman walked the bases loaded with one out in the second, but Castro grounded into a 4-3 double play. The Orioles turned another one in the third after Didi Gregorius’ one-out single.
Damage control failed Gausman in the fourth, another walk leading to trouble, and the Orioles headed to Chicago for a four-game series wondering if the wind will touch their sails again before the ship sinks.