NEW YORK - The Orioles forced J.A. Happ to throw 33 pitches in the top of the first inning today. Loaded the bases against him after scoring a run. Listened as fans booed the starter. Seemed on the verge of releasing all the frustration that built over past games against the Yankees.
They settled for the one run, gave up four in the bottom half of the inning and looked again like a team loaded with desire and energy but short in other areas.
And the beasts that they keep facing aren’t going to show any mercy.
Dylan Bundy settled into a nice groove after the first inning but the damage was done, with the Orioles rallying again but unable to overcome the early deficit and losing to the Yankees 6-5 in the Bronx.
The Orioles were swept in the four-game series and are 39-82 overall, 3-11 this month and 2-17 versus the Yankees - including 16 losses in a row that fall one short of the club’s single-season record against an opponent.
Renato Núñez collected a career-high five hits in the loss, including a two-run double off Luis Cessa in the seventh that reduced the lead to 6-4. He scored on Jonathan Villar’s double off Adam Ottavino, the club again pushing hard in the later innings.
Can’t question the effort.
Can’t keep handing back runs.
Gary Sánchez followed Didi Gregorius’ RBI single in the first with a three-run homer to give the Yankees a lead that stayed with them. Sánchez has 10 homers against the Orioles this season and Gleyber Torres has 13 - the first teammates with double-digit totals against an opponent in the same season since Babe Ruth and (11) and Lou Gehrig (11) in 1927 versus Boston.
It’s an unusual occurrence.
Bundy retired 16 of the next 17 batters after the homer and didn’t allow another hit until Sánchez singled with two outs in the sixth. Gleyber Torres doubled and manager Brandon Hyde brought in Richard Bleier to face Mike Tauchman.
Bleier thought he struck out Tauchman with the count full, didn’t get the call - and a few others - and pounded his fist into his glove while shouting at plate ump Mark Carlson, who took a few steps toward the mound and responded.
Mike Ford lined a two-run single into left field for a 6-1 lead. Thairo Estrada grounded out and Bleier had a few more words for Carlson on his way to the dugout.
Bundy was charged with six runs and five hits with two walks and four strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. He was done after 98 pitches and his ERA increased to 5.25.
Villar had an RBI single in the first after Trey Mancini walked and Núñez singled. Villar was 0-for-19 against Happ before today.
Brett Gardner drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the first and singles by Gio Urshela and Gregorius tied the game. Sánchez saw a 93 mph fastball, a slider and a changeup, the latter clearing the center field fence for a 4-1 lead.
The Orioles have surrendered to the Yankees 61 of the 250 home runs their pitchers have allowed. They allowed 12 runs in the first inning in the four-game series.
Severino had an RBI single off Happ in the third after Núñez singled and Villar walked. Cessa heard some boos in the seventh after Hanser Alberto doubled, Mancini walked and Núñez lined his double into the left field corner to force Ottavino into the game.
Villar offered a rude greeting and the Orioles were within one run, but pinch-hitter Chance Sisco struck out to end the inning.
Zack Britton, averaging 5.2 walks per nine innings, issued a free pass to Peterson leading off the eighth. Núñez singled off Aroldis Chapman with two outs in the ninth, lining a 102 mph fastball into right field. But the Orioles couldn’t push across the tying run.
They led, immediately fell behind, scratched and clawed and only had more marks to show for it.
Update: The last Orioles player with a five-hit game was Matt Wieters exactly three years ago today in San Francisco.
According to STATS, it’s happened 49 times in club history. The last player with five hits in a loss was Derrek Lee on June 17, 2011.
Hyde on Bundy: “He threw the ball in a ton after that first inning. I think you saw they were really leaning out over. He had a couple nice pitches (in the first), to be honest with you. Urshela with the two-strike fastball on the black, or off that, he hit for a single. I guess Gary was sitting on a 2-0 changeup that wasn’t a bad pitch for the homer. But after that he really established fastballs in and got them off the plate and I think he showed our staff when you can establish in and throw off the plate in, you’re able to open yourself up for the other side of the plate. And he did a great job of that.”
Hyde on whether tempted to stay with Bundy in sixth: “Not with two lefties coming up and Bleier ready. In the 90ish (pitch count) range is when things have happened for Dylan so far this year, so I went with Bleier and missed on a close 3-2 pitch. Might have been a strike. And just left the ball over that scored a couple of Dylan’s runs, so that’s really unfortunate.”
Hyde on Núñez: “Noonie obviously had a great day, great at-bats all game. As I’ve said many times, I love when Noonie hits the ball the other way. So yeah, anytime you get a hit off Chappy it’s a pretty good accomplishment, and he just had an outstanding day.”
Hyde on needing to get lead before late-inning relievers come in: “That’s why you try to score by the seventh. I thought Sisco on Ottavino was kind of our one shot, short right field porch and Ottavino’s numbers against right-handers, to take a chance there because I knew Britton and Chapman were going to be after him. Yeah, obviously, they have an elite bullpen, and that’s what really good teams have and it’s tough to score on those guys.”
Hyde on losing 16 straight to Yankees: “Well, it doesn’t feel great. It’s well reported. I like the way we fought today. I thought we competed. I love the way we came back again. We’re just a little short at times, but yeah, it’s not a good feeling having lost that many in a row to them.”
Bundy on start: “Even in the first, just executing all of your pitches and trying to get weak contact. Pitching inside a little bit more than I have in the past.”
Bundy on what prompted him to pitch inside more: “They lean out over the plate all the time, and when you’re making quality pitches and they’re getting homers and singles and doubles off them, you’ve got to get them off the plate with a purpose.”
Bundy on sixth inning: “You know where you’re at pitch-wise and you’re trying to get all three outs and get out of the inning and get back in the dugout so we can score some runs. That’s all you’re trying to do is attack the guys and get out of the inning.”
Bundy on being done with Yankees: “We don’t have to play them anymore, so I guess that’s a good thing.”
Stevie Wilkerson on satisfaction of staying competitive: “I think there’s satisfaction in us playing a solid baseball game today. They’re a really good team with a really good lineup and bullpen and starters. You know they have good players covering all those fields. But today we battled them and Dylan gave us a good start. The bullpen did a good job and we fought our way back into it and get the go-ahead run at the plate in the ninth, and we played a pretty solid baseball game.”
Wilkerson on being done with Yankees: “I think going into those series we were looking forward to the challenge. Obviously, we came up short in a lot of those games. Those are two really good teams (Astros and Yankees) and they’re a difficult series. We’re up for any challenge. These are difficult ones. Whoever we square up against, we’re going to go at it with all we’ve got.”
Wilkerson on what Orioles can learn from Yankees:” I think we learn that we have to do everything right to win those games. You’ve got to get timely hits, make timely plays, put guys away when they’ve got runners in scoring position, and we’ve got to drive our guys in when we have them in scoring position.”