The fundamentals that Orioles manager Brandon Hyde demands of his team, no matter how far away it sits from contention, disappeared tonight along with a late-inning lead. And the outcome was predictable.
The Yankees scored four runs in the ninth while taking advantage of poor throws and a missed pop up and produced a 10-7 win over the Orioles before an announced crowd of 16,457 at Camden Yards.
Mychal Givens couldn’t get the four-out save. The Orioles couldn’t rescue him while falling to 15-32 overall and 6-16 at home.
It was a group effort.
Their lead down to 7-6, they fell into immediate trouble in the ninth on back-to-back singles by Brett Gardner and Cameron Maybin. Right fielder Joey Rickard’s throw allowed Maybin to take second base and put two runners in scoring position.
DJ LeMahieu grounded out with the runners holding, but Aaron Hicks’ sacrifice fly tied the game and Maybin hustled to third when Dwight Smith Jr. lofted a throw in the general vicinity of home plate.
Luke Voit walked after catcher Pedro Severino overran his pop up behind home plate to extend the at-bat and Gary Sánchez clubbed a three-run homer to left field to break the tie.
A 6-1 lead through four innings was dust.
The Orioles stranded two runners in the eighth and two more in the ninth while losing for the 10th time in 12 games and the 16th in 20.
Hanser Alberto batted leadoff in only one game in his major league career before tonight. Severino had been slotted fifth in the order only twice. The cleanup hitter, Renato Núñez, remained so deeply buried in a slump that it’s a wonder anyone could find him without a shovel.
Hyde keeps searching for a hot hand, keeps adjusting his lineups based on matchups, hunches and at least a modicum of desperation.
Forty-seven games have brought 47 combinations, a neat trick with a three-man bench.
Alberto doubled, homered and singled twice, Severino had an RBI single and Núñez homered, doubled and walked twice - much of the production coming within the first four innings. What they couldn’t do was pitch out of the bullpen.
Andrew Cashner allowed three runs in six innings for his fifth quality and third in a row. But he had to swallow the no-decision.
Gleyber Torres homered off Cashner in the second inning and Givens in the eighth. Eight of his 10 homers this season have come against the Orioles. His 11 career homers against them are seven more than any other team.
Torres jumped on a curveball after Cashner recorded a strikeout and induced a fly ball in the first inning with 95 mph fastballs. He launched the first pitch from Givens after the right-hander replaced Shawn Armstrong with two outs in the eighth and the Orioles leading 7-5.
The Orioles have surrendered 97 home runs in 47 games, but they hit two off left-hander J.A. Happ in the third inning. Núñez was 6-for-68 since April 24, but he’s 8-for-16 with four home runs lifetime against Happ.
Núñez walked in the first inning, only his second since April 23. He doubled off Luis Cessa in the seventh after Smith collected his first career triple and scored on Trey Mancini’s sacrifice fly for a 7-3 lead.
Smith finished with three hits after being 3-for-25 since May 12.
Slumps were busted all night.
The Orioles had five doubles, a triple and two home runs among their 13 hits.
Alberto and Mancini doubled in the first inning, the former a blooper down the right field line and the latter with an exit velocity of 106.8 mph per Statcast. Mancini scored on Severino’s single into left field for a 2-0 lead, though the Yankees had a play at the plate if Gardner’s throw hadn’t been cut off.
Alberto led off the third inning with his third home run, the most recent coming on May 7. Núñez reached the flag court in right field with two outs for a 4-1 lead and Severino was hit by a pitch.
There are many ways to contribute. Some just leave a mark.
An RBI single in the fourth enabled Alberto to tie his career high with three hits - he’d surpass it with his single in the eighth - and left him a triple short of the cycle. Richie Martin doubled with two outs, his speed turning an apparent single into something more.
Happ was done after Alberto’s first single, which gave the Orioles a 6-1 lead. They tallied one run over the final two days in Cleveland.
Cashner struck out Torres and pumped his fist before walking off the mound in the fourth inning. He keeps dealing and making himself into a more attractive trade chip, benefitting the Orioles on multiple fronts.
Hyde wants to win games. The Orioles want to keep moving forward with their rebuild and continue to shed salary.
Cashner’s ERA shrank to 3.88 until he allowed two runs in the sixth to leave it at 4.14. He has a 3.40 ERA since opening day.
The defense backed him up. Martin ranged from the right side to the left of second base to backhand Hicks’ ground ball and threw across his body for the out. Alberto snagged Maybin’s liner and stepped on second base for the unassisted double play to end the fifth.
An infield hit and walk put Cashner in a jam with no outs in the sixth. Third baseman Rio Ruiz made a diving backhanded stop at the line and threw out Voit to prevent at least one run from scoring, but Sánchez had an RBI single and Hicks came home on Kendrys Morales ground ball, with Martin again ranging to the other side of the bag to make the backhanded stop and throw across his body.
Severino was hit on the hand by a 95.5 mph fastball from Cessa in the fifth inning, dropped to one knee and let out a yell that almost toppled the Bromo Tower. Umpires ruled that he was swinging at the pitch and called it a strike. Cessa walked Severino and Stevie Wilkerson and drilled Rickard above the numbers to load the bases with one out, but the Orioles couldn’t pad their lead.
It was down to 6-3 in the sixth, when Cashner threw 29 pitches to increase his total to 92. But he also produced a 97 mph fastball, again maintaining or gaining velocity through an outing.
Branden Kline entered in the seventh inning and was charged with two runs (one earned) as the Yankees crept within 7-5. The second run scored with Armstrong pitching after Smith caught Hicks’ shallow fly ball and threw widely to the plate as Maybin took a couple steps off the bag.
He only wanted to draw the throw. He never expected to score.
Armstrong struck out Voit to end the seventh and retired all four batters he faced before Givens entered the game and it unraveled.
Hyde on lack of fundamentals toughest part of loss: “Yeah, it’s a tough loss. We just did some things the last couple innings that allowed extra baserunners, allowed runners to move up. We played winning baseball for seven innings and then didn’t the last two innings. I thought we played really well. Our ABs the first seven innings were probably the best we’ve had all year. I thought Cash threw the ball great. Gave us everything he had. Grinded through that sixth inning. We just didn’t play well the last two innings for whatever reason.”
Hyde on how to fix the fundamental issues: “We’re out early almost every single day. I think we do more ground ball team fundamental stuff than I’ve probably ever seen in the big leagues, just because of the youth and inexperience we have at this level. When you play a game like that, with inexperience, the game speeds up on you. With the lack of experience, sometimes things happen. What you hope for is that guys learn from the mistakes. We made a lot of mistakes in the last two innings obviously and allowed a really, really good team and a good lineup to catch up and take the lead on us. That’s what’s disappointing. But you’ve got to come back and try to get better.”
Hyde on bullpen: “I thought Shawn Armstrong was unbelievably fantastic. I’ll take a two-run lead with Mychal Givens in the game with four outs to go every night of the week when he’s available. He has been lights-out for us and he was probably due for a hiccup and tonight unfortunately was one of them, what happened tonight. But didn’t help him out. Mike’s not going to be perfect down there and he’s been almost perfect so far and tonight just didn’t happen.”
Hyde on Torres: “What we shouldn’t do is continue to throw strike breaking balls early in the count. And just have to do a better job of pitching to him. There’s no doubt about it. But with Givens, I like the matchup there. Just threw a strike slider that he hit out to left-center. We’ve just got to make better pitches against him.”
Hyde on what is hardest part of night like this: “I don’t like to see our team struggle, so you wish you could help in some way. Those last two innings were hard because I know how much guys are putting into it. Guys are invested and so to see disappointment is not the easiest. But yeah, pretty good club over there that can come back on you and we just didn’t play real well the last two innings and so that’s hard to watch.”
Hyde on offensive improvement: “I just thought our approach tonight was fantastic. I loved the way we took walks, I loved the way that we grinded out at-bats, I loved the way that we used the whole field a lot. I just thought our approach tonight was the best it’s been in a long, long time. Was really happy with our at-bats, especially those first seven innings. I thought we really swung the bat well and got a really good pitcher out fairly early. So I was just happy with our ABs and our baserunning. We ran the bases great.”
Hyde on outfield throws: “That’s just situational baseball, understanding when to keep a runner off of second base, where to go with the baseball in a big spot and that’s learning by teaching and by us talking to them and us trying to get into what they were thinking at the time, give scenarios what to do better next time, just have them understand. That goes back to development, player development.
“We’re doing a lot of that here, obviously. On a night like tonight, you see how long of a way we have to go and that’s part of being a young, inexperienced team against a good club when the game speeds up on you a little bit.”
Hyde on whether it surprises him: “I knew the inexperience going in, and I didn’t know a lot of our players real well, so obviously I know them pretty well now a couple of months in. I’m seeing some things at the big league level that I haven’t seen in a while, but that’s why we’re here, and we’ve got to get better.”
Hyde on whether someone should have helped Severino on pop up: “No, that’s Sevy’s ball all the way. Trey’s too far away, especially with a right-hander being off the line and over. I haven’t talked to Sevy since. I know he’s really upset about it and mad, so I really didn’t think that right after that was the best time to talk about it, but it’s unfortunate. I feel bad for him. I know he feels terrible. I don’t know if he lost it, didn’t see it. I don’t know what happened.”
Givens on outing: “Just didn’t get the job done. That’s basically it. I put the game on me. I’ve been in those situations. It’s not like I haven’t been in it before. I just didn’t get the job done.”
Givens on whether dropped popup affected him: “No. It’s still my fault. You can’t count on something like that. When that happens, that’s baseball. I should get the job done and get us in the dugout and everybody shake our hands. But I just need to do a better job getting the leadoff guy and executing pitches.”
Givens on loss: “It’s baseball. Everybody wants to blame everything on something. But it’s baseball. We still need to go out there and get three outs and go out there and score runs. But at the same time I think we did a good job. We can’t sit there and blame one thing. We need to go out there and keep on playing ball and have fun.”
Givens on Torres: “Keep him off-balance. He’s a good hitter. Tip your hat, but at the same time, the past is the past. You can’t sit there and look at what he’s done. We have to make adjustments. We’ll make the adjustments and we’ll start talking about how many times we got him out. Right now he’s swinging a good bat and we’re going to go forward and keep on playing our game.”
Cashner on fundamental breakdowns: “I think when you have a young team you’re going to have some growing pains for sure. I mean, there’s a couple things we could have done better, whether it’s hitting the cutoff man, whether it’s throwing to a base, whether it’s cutting the ball off. I think there’s a lot of things you can point at and kind of pick and choose. If I get DJ out in the first of the sixth, maybe the inning is a little bit different. So I think as a whole we just have to learn from it and keep working.”
Cashner on what he says to young guys: “For me, for our hitters, we’ve done an unbelievable job. We stayed in most of the games in New York when we played against them. So I think you just keep sticking with your process, keep playing defense and I think if you continue to do the little things right over the course of the season you’re going to be on the better end of the outcome.”
Cashner on loss: “To me this is the toughest one of the season for sure. With them being in first place, them coming in here and us putting some runs on Happ early. He pitched us really well last year. To get out and get ahead early and to lose this one, this one was tough.”
Alberto on loss: “We’ve been battling the whole time and lost the game at the end. It’s a little frustrating. We’ve got to turn the page and get ready for tomorrow.”
Alberto on what team needs to do to get better: “It’s a lot of stuff. Sometimes the pitchers do good and the offense doesn’t come out and sometimes the offense is there and the pitching staff is not there. Sometimes the defense. We’ve got to keep working as a team and be ready. A lot of stuff.”
Alberto on losing the lead: “It’s tough. It’s very tough. You’ve got to turn the page and be ready for the next day. It happens. We’re facing a lot of good teams. They’re in first place right now. We’ve got to continue to fight.”