NEW YORK - The 52nd player used by the Orioles this season had one major issue tonight. Same as everyone else. A wrong kind of bonding.
Can’t beat the Yankees.
Four of the first five batters reached against Ty Blach, Brett Gardner delivered a three-run triple and Gleyber Torres kept bullying the Orioles while they were being swept by the Yankees with an 11-8 loss in Game 2.
Trey Mancini homered again, delivering a two-run shot in the third, and Hanser Alberto added a three-run shot in the seventh, but Orioles fell to 39-80 overall and 2-15 against the Yankees. They’re 0-3-2 in doubleheaders this season.
Rio Ruiz singled with the bases loaded in the ninth to score two runs and give manager Brandon Hyde reason again to praise his club’s ability to keep pressing teams. No matter how outmanned.
Mike Ford homered in the fourth and Torres greeted Evan Phillips with a three-run shot in the fifth. Torres tacked on another three-run homer against Tom Eshelman in the sixth for an 11-3 lead, the 248th home run surrendered by the Orioles this season and the 59th by the Yankees. Torres accounts for 13, the most by a player versus any opponent in the divisional era, surpassing 12 hit by Sammy Sosa against the Brewers in 1998.
Torres also set a record with his fifth multi-homer game against the Orioles this season. According to STATS, the last player before Torres to homer twice in both ends of a doubleheader in the same season was Mike Schmidt in 1983 against the Expos..
Game 2 marked the 33rd time that the Orioles surrendered multiple home runs to a player.
Playing it safe and smart in the eighth, the Orioles walked Torres intentionally with two runners on base and two outs.
The Orioles have lost 14 consecutive games to the Yankees this year, the second-longest single-season streak against an opponent in club history, according to STATS. The 1954 team lost 17 in a row to the Indians.
The 1955 Orioles lost 13 straight to the Indians and this year’s edition broke the tie for second.
The Orioles lost 12 straight to the Royals in 1988, 12 straight to the Rays in 2008 and 12 in a row to the Blue Jays in 2010.
The longest streak over more than one season is 15 in a row to the Royals from 1987-1989. The Orioles have lost 12 consecutive games to the Twins beginning on March 31, 2018 and the teams don’t play again until May 18, 2020 at Target Field.
Blach left tonight’s game after walking Aaron Judge to open the fifth and allowing a single to Gio Urshela. Torres mashed Phillips’ second pitch, taking it 420 feet to left-center field per Statcast, and Blach was charged with six earned runs and seven total. He allowed seven hits and walked three batters.
Working on three days’ rest, Blach was lifted after only 76 pitches. Whether he sticks around and gets a second chance is to be determined. Jimmy Yacabonis will return to Triple-A Norfolk after serving as the 26th man.
Eshelman entered in the sixth with runners on the corners and no outs, nearly stranded them and watched the flight of another Torres missile.
Chad Green provided a nice opening act for the Yankees, retiring the side in order in the first inning on only nine pitches. Left-hander Joe Mantiply began to warm after the first out, which occurred when Jonathan Villar dived into first base while trying to beat out a ground ball.
Slows you down every time.
Anthony Santander struck out on a 98 mph fastball to end the inning and Green was allowed to come back out for the second. Renato Núñez flied to center field and Mantiply made his Yankees debut and first major league appearance since pitching in five games with the Tigers as a rookie in 2016.
He’s bounced around a bit, just like the ball that eluded a diving Santander in left-center with the bases loaded and one out in the first inning.
DJ LeMahieu, Urshela and Torres singled off Blach, who stuck to his script of throwing changeups and low-90s sinkers. Gardner followed with the triple and the Orioles had allowed seven runs in the first inning in the doubleheader.
Blach threw 26 pitches in the first and 25 in the second while allowing an unearned run. But he registered back-to-back eight-pitch innings in the third and fourth - the latter marred by the Ford home run.
Former Oriole Breyvic Valera led off the second with a bloop single into right field on a ball he assumed would go foul, causing him to stand at the plate, run late and cross the bag rather than rounding it. He moved up on a walk, advanced again on a wild pitch and scored when catcher Chance Sisco’s throw sailed up the left field line.
Because Mantiply is a lefty, Alberto was required to get a hit. He led off the third inning with a triple and scored with one out on Ruiz’s chopper to first.
Villar singled and Mancini hit his 29th homer of the season - a ball that traveled 405 feet per Statcast to right-center field.
Blach retired the side in order in the fourth and Ford took him deep in the fifth, making him the 33rd Oriole to allow a home run among the 35 who have pitched. Nate Karns and catcher Jesús Sucre got away clean.
Brady Lail made his major league debut in the fifth and induced a double play grounder from Villar after Mantiply walked Ruiz. Alberto homered to left field in the seventh after Jace Peterson’s leadoff walk and a Sisco single.
Alberto singled off left-hander Nestor Cortes Jr. in the ninth to fall a double short of the cycle. The Orioles rallied. They scored twice.
They were still swept.
Update: The Orioles optioned Phillips and returned Yacabonis to Triple-A Norfolk.
Hyde on walking Torres: “The Barry Bonds treatment. Obviously, he’s killed us all year. We are supposed to be making better pitches to him or not letting him beat us and we continue to throw the ball to the middle part of the plate. First game, fastball center cut, homer. Second game, slider middle part of the plate, homer. And then Eshelman is trying to pitch around him and he does something and throws it right in the middle of the plate for another homer. So I just had enough and put him on.”
Hyde on Blach: “I thought Blach threw the ball well. He gave up the home run to Ford, he gave up the double to Gardner, but besides that, there was a ton of soft singles, groundball singles, end-of-the-bat singles that hurt him. But I liked his pitch mix. I think he’s got the ability to pitch. I think he can locate. When he misses with his off-speed, it was down. It was nice to see.”
Hyde on how to evaluate new guy like Blach: “Obviously, we’re just looking for guys who can get big league hitters out, and we’re on a record pace of not. So we got Wojo (Asher Wojciechowski) from Triple-A and he’s done well. We got Blach from Triple-A with the Giants and I thought he threw the ball well tonight. So I just like guys who have the ability to mix pitches, speed up and slow down guys, be able to locate, because we just have a hard time doing that - the majority of our guys that are in this organization. I thought it was nice to see.”
Hyde on whether it was actually a difficult decision to walk Torres: “Well, we’re not supposed to pitch to him anyway, or be careful with him, and instead of being careful with him, we’re throwing the ball in the middle. So I just didn’t want to see it anymore.”
Hyde on Torres: “Against us it’s been a lot. I’ve known Gleyber since he’s 16 or 17 years old, so maybe it’s something personal that he has. No, he’s obviously a very talented player and he’s going to kill mistakes. When we were facing him at home we did a better job of pitching to him and today we just did not. He’s just a really talented guy, obviously, that has got a ton of tools and a bright future. We’re making him look like a first-ballot Hall of Famer.”
Hyde on offense: “Just continuing to battle. Love the fight in our guys. Bring the tying run to the plate again. Tough to stand out on defense and have super long innings defensively and when you score, they score right behind you and it’s demoralizing at times. And for our guys all year long to be able to fight and battle and scratch and stay in ballgames is a real credit to the character, especially our hitters.”
Hyde on Mancini’s leadership: “I think he’s starting to take on that role even though this is his third year in the big leagues. He recognizes that we don’t have a whole lot of experience here and I think guys really look up to him. How hard he plays and how he prepares, the intensity he plays with. He plays to win. So I think it’s natural that he’s becoming a voice in our clubhouse and somebody that all our guys look up to.”
Blach on outing: “I thought I made some pretty good pitches. They did a pretty good job all night of staying disciplined. They didn’t really chase anything. They came up with guys on base and made good swings and found some holes.”
Blach on facing the Yankees: “That’s a really good lineup. Every guy in there can do damage and so you’ve got to be able to make pitches and try to limit the damage and try to keep guys off base, try not to give them any free opportunities.”
Blach on what he learned about Orioles: “It shows the character, the season that a lot of these guys have been through. But for guys to come out and show the fight that they did there in the top of the ninth inning, they could easily cash it in, but we were right in that game, making a battle, getting the tying run to the plate, so that’s pretty impressive. That shows a lot, shows a lot of heart in these guys.”
Blach on Torres: “He’s swinging a hot bat. He’s getting pitches up in the zone and leveraging them and doing a nice job. He’s hot, and you’ve just got to be able to disrupt that timing a little bit.”
Sisco on trying to get Torres out: “Very frustrating, honestly. It got to the point where we walked him there that last at-bat. Luckily, Tom stepped up and made some pitches to Gardner there to bail us out of that inning. Just got to make better pitches, that’s all.”
Sisco on reaction when told to walk Torres: “I guess he made the right move. I don’t know what to think in that situation. My job is to try to call the pitches that I think are going to get him out, and hopefully execute those pitches, but I think he made the right choice.”