O's game blog: Orioles look to bounce back against the Yankees

Now one game under the .500 mark and 4 ½ games out of the final American League playoff spot, the Orioles (46-47) continue their series with the New York Yankees tonight at Camden Yards. It’s the second game of the weekend series and second of a seven-game homestand.

New York’s Aaron Judge hit two homers, driving in four runs Friday night in the Yankees’ 7-6 win. Judge has eight homers in 13 games this season versus Baltimore pitching. He helped the Yankees move out to a 7-3 lead in the seventh inning before Anthony Santander’s three-run blast in the last of the seventh pulled the O’s within one run. It was No. 16 for Santander and his sixth this season against the Yankees. Santander connected on a 1-1 slider and drove the ball 424 feet. He ended a 13-game homerless streak.

With Friday’s loss the O’s are 4-10 against New York (3-5 at home) and 16-22 versus the AL East on the season. The Orioles are 5-5 their past 10 games within the division and 12-11 in their last 23 AL East games.

Baltimore’s eight-game home win streak ended in the loss, and they are 25-18 at home for the year. They are 12-4 in their last 16 at home.

The Orioles are now 1-3 since the end of their 10-game win streak. And the three losses in this stretch, to Tampa Bay and New York, have come by four total runs, twice by one run. Baltimore pitchers have allowed 23 runs in this four-game stretch after allowing 30 total runs during the long win streak.

The Orioles are now 27-28 in games decided by one or two runs. They are 15-17 in one-run games and 12-11 in those decided by two runs.

Last night’s game began a stretch in which the Orioles are playing their next seven games in the AL East, counting Friday. Seventeen of their next 26 games through Aug. 17 are within the division.

The Yankees (65-30) have the best record in the majors, but had lost seven of 10 games heading into this series and were swept in a doubleheader Thursday at Houston. New York, with that win last night, is now 28-18 on the road and 31-15 versus AL East foes.

Right-hander Jordan Lyles (6-8, 4.76 ERA) will make his 20th start tonight and hopes it goes much better than No. 19. On Sunday against the Rays, he had his shortest outing of the year at 2 2/3 innings and allowed a season-high-tying six runs on six hits.

In the five starts preceding that one, his ERA was 2.76 and opponents had hit .220 with a .623 OPS against him. The Orioles are 7-12 in Lyles' 2022 starts.

Righty Gerrit Cole (9-2, 3.02 ERA) will also make his 20th start. For the year, he has thrown 113 1/3 innings, allowing 81 hits and 17 homers with 30 walks and 147 strikeouts. His WHIP is 0.979 and he's got a 2.4 walk rate and 11.7 strikeout rate. The Yankees are 14-5 in his outings.

Cole is pitching well in recent games. He’s allowed just two runs and eight hits over 14 innings his past two games, versus Cincinnati and Boston, with just one walk to 23 strikeouts. Over his past seven games, Cole is 4-1 with a 2.14 ERA. In 46 1/3 innings he has walked 13 and fanned 63, allowing a .163 batting average and .532 OPS during that span.

While Cole has a 2.09 ERA in 10 home starts, he is 5-0 with a 4.25 ERA and 1.212 WHIP in nine road starts.

Félix Bautista (1.0 IP, 3 K) and Dillon Tate (1.0 IP, 3 K) combined to strike out six consecutive Yankees batters last night, the most consecutive strikeouts by Orioles pitchers since John Means struck out seven straight Rays batters on Sept. 20, 2020. That tied the club record set by Sammy Stewart in 1978. Orioles pitchers have struck out 26 batters in the last two games, their most in a two-game span since May 31 and June 1, 2021, when they also fanned 26.

The O's will once again tonight shorten up some outings on their farm. The understanding is that pitchers Matt Harvey and Bruce Zimmermann will both pitch in shorter stints tonight for the Triple-A Norfolk Tides. 

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