Orioles can't put away Yankees in series finale (updated)

NEW YORK – Tyler Wells had two strikes on Aaron Judge tonight leading off the fourth inning, and his ninth pitch turned into a double on a ball that hopped the left field fence. Gleyber Torres fell behind 0-2 and singled. The count was 2-2 to Miguel Andújar when he lined a run-scoring single into left-center to break a scoreless tie.

The four solo home runs surrendered last night by Bruce Zimmermann were hit after he got within a strike of facing a new batter. Jose Trevino’s walk-off single in the 11th inning came on a 1-2 offering from Bryan Baker, after Isiah Kiner-Falefa was down 0-2 and battled back to deliver a game-tying single.

An inability to put away certain Yankee hitters diminished the Orioles’ chances of winning the series.

Running out of rallies tonight, the Orioles were blanked in the Bronx, 2-0, to conclude the first half of their road trip. The offense went cold, with Yankees pitching retiring 14 of 15 batters before Trey Mancini walked in the eighth.

Adley Rutschman singled twice for two of the Orioles' five hits.

The Yankees let Rougned Odor's fly ball drop in shallow center field with two outs in the ninth to move Rutschman to third base, but Jorge Mateo struck out.

Wells allowed two runs and five hits in five innings, with no walks and two strikeouts. Anthony Santander made a diving catch in right to rob Judge, end the fifth inning and prevent Kyle Higashioka from scoring.

Judge had two strikes against him, of course.

"I just made a couple bad pitches," Wells said. "I would like to say that fatigue was kind of setting in in the fourth inning, but that is no excuse to make pitches right down the middle. Definitely feel like I was a pitch away, and all you need is better quality pitches."

The Yankees were held to one hit going into the fourth. Besides the double and two singles off Wells, who left after 77 pitches, they manufactured another run when Andújar stole second base and Rutschman’s throw veered into center field to score Torres.

Wells hasn’t issued a walk in six of his last seven starts. He’s posted a 2.57 ERA in three appearances against the Yankees this season.

"His stuff was good tonight," Rutschman said. "He was able to locate his pitches, move his fastball around. I think he looked really good."

"Honestly, it's just attacking them," Wells said. "There really is no other way to go about it. They're a great ballclub, they've got a lot of phenomenal veteran guys on that team who have solidified approaches, they know what they're going to do. I was telling some of the guys in the dugout, Aaron Judge is probably the hardest guy in the league to face. He covers so much ground, covers from his shins all the way up to his head. He can cover in, he can cover out, so it's a very difficult thing whenever you have a lot of guys like that in the lineup to face.

"I just keep trying to attack them, keep trying to make them get themselves out, and so far I've fared well."

Left-hander JP Sears, in his first major league start and only his third appearance, shut out the Orioles on three hits over five innings. A four-pitch fourth inning left him with 67, and he was gone after 84.

Sears had two innings on his Yankees ledger before tonight.

Cedric Mullins led off the game with a walk and Mancini reached on a fielder’s choice and error on Torres, who dropped the feed from Kiner-Falefa on an attempted force. Sears retired the next three batters, two via strikeout.

Rutschman, catching back-to-back games for the first time in the majors, led off the second with a 10-pitch single into right field. The kid knows how to work with pitchers and also work the opposing ones with his extended plate appearances.

"He controls the strike zone," said manager Brandon Hyde. "For the most part he swings at strikes, puts good swings on strikes. We need more guys to be able to get in hitters' counts. Tonight I felt like we really left the zone and were chasing."

"I know from Day 1 stepping in the box, just trying to get more comfortable, and I feel like I've been able to do that," Rutschman said. "Just looking forward to mostly just settling in, helping the team win, and looking forward to the next road series.

"Everything feels a little different right now. I'm just trying to compete and just help the team win."

Wells liked working with Rutschman tonight.

"Adley was great back there," he said. "Me and him were on the same page most of the game, he received it really well, he blocked really well. He's definitely a great catcher to have behind the plate, as far as presence. He's a wide guy, so he gives a good target. And coming up to us at the end of each and every inning, honestly, is a nice touch. It definitely builds that bond between a pitcher and catcher."

Odor walked with one out in the second, and Sears stranded two more.

Mullins reached on an infield hit with one out in the fifth and didn’t score.

Reliever Ron Marinaccio retired all six batters he faced, with Rutschman lining out on the sixth pitch. Former Orioles reliever Miguel Castro struck out Austin Hays to end the eighth and strand Mancini.

Joey Krehbiel retired the side in order in the sixth, and Logan Gillaspie stranded a runner in the seventh. Marcos Diplán, in his first appearance with the Orioles since April 18, retired the side in order with two strikeouts in the eighth.

"I thought we threw the ball really well tonight," Hyde said. "I thought Tyler Wells had his best stuff that he's had this year, really, the first few innings. The guys behind him threw the ball great, too, they gave us a chance. We just didn't score. We were facing a guy on a limited pitch count, we got his pitch count up the first couple innings and couldn't put good at-bats together with runners in scoring position, which really cost us the game."

Down on the farm, Double-A Bowie shortstop Gunnar Henderson had three hits and two RBIs by the fourth inning.

Drew Rom came off the injured list and allowed three runs and three hits, including a pair of home runs, in 2 1/3 innings. Noah Denoyer shut out Erie on one hit in four innings and struck out seven batters.

Hudson Haskin and Jordan Westburg each had two hits.

High Single-A Aberdeen’s Coby Mayo had an RBI double. Connor Gillispie allowed one run and one hit over six innings.

Carter Baumler made his professional debut tonight at Single-A Delmarva and tossed three scoreless innings with one hit, one walk and five strikeouts. Baumler underwent Tommy John surgery in 2020, four months after the Orioles selected him in the fifth round.

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