NEW YORK - Orioles manager Brandon Hyde keeps stating what should be obvious to everyone. That his club has to pitch better in order to be competitive and at least partially tame a Yankees club that slips into savage mode when it steps in the box.
Can’t keep giving up home runs at a record pace. Can’t keep running through relievers as if there’s prize money at stake for most used.
Hyde preaches and again has his patience tested to the extreme.
Gabriel Ynoa was handed a lead in the top of the first inning and surrendered two homers worth four runs in the bottom half. The hits keep coming and there’s little time to catch your breath.
Didi Gregorius delivered a three-run shot with no outs, Gleyber Torres went solo and the Yankees added two more while winning Game 1 of today’s doubleheader 8-5 in the Bronx.
Trey Mancini hit his 28th home run in the third inning and Anthony Santander hit his 10th in the sixth, but the Orioles are 39-79 and waiting for Ty Blach to make his debut with the club as the Game 2 starter.
Orioles pitchers were one home run short of the American League record of 242, which they set in 2017. They blew past it today, increasing their total to 245 after Gio Urshela took Ynoa deep in the fifth inning and Cameron Maybin crushed one to left field in the sixth for a 7-3 lead.
The 2016 Reds are about to step aside for them at 258.
Left-hander James Paxton was worked over for 29 pitches in the first, which began with another Hanser Alberto hit against a southpaw. He began the day leading the majors with a .413 average.
Santander singled with one out and Renato Núñez launched a long sacrifice fly to center field for his 64th RBI.
Ynoa committed a major sin by walking leadoff hitter Brett Gardner. Urshela reached when Alberto tried unsuccessfully for the force at second base and Gregorius redirected a 95 mph sinker.
Going 95 mph also didn’t work against Torres, who’s hit 11 homers against the Orioles in 15 games.
The Yankees began the day with 52 versus the Orioles, a single-season major league record by an opponent. They’re up to 56.
According to STATS, Torres’ 11 home runs tie Álex Rodríguez (2003 versus Angels) and Ernie Banks (1957 versus Dodgers) for the most in a season by a shortstop against an opponent.
The Orioles are 2-14 against the Yankees this season and have three more games in the pending file.
Ynoa fell behind 5-1 in the second inning after retiring the first two batters. Gardner and Urshela doubled, a mild power display compared to what came later.
The seven earned runs allowed over six innings tied Ynoa’s season high. He’s reached seven runs twice and six twice and is carrying a 5.93 ERA.
What’s missing is a minor league option.
The fourth inning closed with Santander throwing out Breyvic Valera at second base after he was slow to gather a single. Gardner grounded out to begin the fifth and Urshela cleared the left field fence.
Santander cut the lead to 6-3 in the sixth, but Maybin flexed, Gregorius had a sacrifice fly off Branden Kline in the seventh and the Orioles were headed for another loss to the Yankees.
They’re piling up like the home runs that are surrendered.
The Orioles loaded the bases twice in the eighth against Luis Cessa. Núñez had an RBI grounder and Zack Britton walked Jace Peterson.
A roster move is coming to make room for Blach.
Update: Hyde confirmed that Blach is starting Game 2. Kline was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk.
Hyde on home runs allowed again: “Yeah, just the longball beat us again today. We do a nice job scoring there in the top of the first and give it right back and then some with Gregorius and Gleyber going deep.
“I thought Gabby threw the ball decent after that and the good thing is he went six innings for us, which on a day like today you need your starters to give you some length. But yeah, just a few home runs, they hit four and tough to recover from that.”
Hyde on managing differently because of the doubleheader: “A little bit because I used a bunch of guys yesterday. We have the 26th man today, but you want Gabby to go as deep as possible. With us already being down three or four runs you’re trying to stretch him out a little bit there and he gave us six innings, did a nice job. Just a couple bad misses on pitches.
“The ball Gregorius hit was center cut middle of the plate and the slider to Cameron Maybin was on the wrong side of the plate. They made us pay for it all year when we’ve missed location.”
Hyde on team fighting back: “It seems like we have that ... Do a nice job of hanging in there and scratching back. We reloaded the bases there in the eighth and got their closer in the game, got the setup guy and the closer in the game when that game could have gotten out of hand, not on our end, so that’s a positive. But we just can’t give up so many home runs. Just can’t recover offensively.”
Hyde on whether all late-inning relievers are available: “Yeah. I’m not going to go too deep because I don’t want to let them know who is available and who’s not, so they should be all available.”
Ynoa (via translator Ramón Alarcón) on most frustrating part: “I think I would say the control of my pitches. I was missing too many pitches, unfortunately. In addition to that, the home runs also.”
Ynoa on knowing he needed to provide innings: “Going long was the whole objective today. I was able to pitch six innings today, so fortunately it was good enough to save some for the bullpen and get ready for the second game.”
Ynoa on facing Yankees: “It’s tough when your pitches are not working, when unfortunately you can’t command your fastball. If my fastball, I was able to command it better, I think I would have been able to get better results.”
Ynoa on all the Yankees home runs: “Obviously as a pitcher you want to get those guys out. You really think about how to get those guys out and attack them. Unfortunately they really don’t miss any mistakes, so it’s a challenge.”
Santander (via Alarcón) on frustration of all the home runs: “It is frustrating, but at the same time our mind is still strong to play aggressive baseball, to keep competing every single day despite the results.”