Alexander Wells trailed by two runs tonight just two batters into his latest start with the Orioles. The first three batters produced three hits. The flashbacks to the past three games, with 44 runs surrendered, were blinding.
It never got that bad. There was no need to begin researching past records within the organization or the league. But the Orioles assumed the position and fell again on hard times.
Wells followed a scoreless second inning by serving up back-to-back home runs in the third, Yankees starter Gerrit Cole escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first and the Orioles lost again 7-2 before an announced crowd of 10,235 at Camden Yards.
Joey Gallo greeted Spenser Watkins with a leadoff homer in the eighth, DJ LeMahieu homered to lead off the ninth, and a fourth loss in a row lowered the Orioles to 46-98 overall and 7-10 against the Yankees, who had dropped eight of their last 10 games.
The Orioles have allowed 51 runs in their last four games.
The Yankees tied their season high with four home runs.
DJ Stewart pinch-hit for Trey Mancini leading off the fourth inning. Mancini walked in his only plate appearance and has been receiving treatment for soreness on his right side, an injury that surfaced Sept. 5 while facing Cole at Yankee Stadium. The Orioles announced his reason for leaving tonight as right abdominal soreness.
“We’re hoping it’s not very serious,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “I really took him out of there pretty much for precautionary purposes. Just felt it a little bit in that first at-bat and we talked after the inning. Just didn’t want to make it any worse, so we’re hoping it feels better tomorrow. Really day-to-day at this point.”
Wells lasted four innings and 85 pitches, allowing five runs and seven hits and leaving his ERA at 7.76. He surrendered three home runs.
“He got beat with his off-speed tonight,” Hyde said.
“I thought his slider was good tonight. I wish he would have used it more. But his misses are normally up and for me he needs to work down in the zone a little bit more. Be able to change eye level up and be able to throw the changeup down low underneath. Just a lot of spray misses up tonight.”
The pitch counts for Wells read 22, 20, 31 and 12 - when he retired the side in order in the fourth.
“One through nine, they’re a quality lineup,” Wells said. “You’ve got to be on your game from pitch one and tonight I made a couple mistakes out over the plate and they capitalized.”
LeMahieu began the game with a single and Aaron Judge hit his 34th home run, and his ninth against the Orioles to go with 15 RBIs. He was 20-for-55 against them after his 400-foot shot to center field on a changeup.
Anthony Rizzo singled, but Wells retired the next three batters. He struck out Giancarlo Stanton on a slider.
Rizzo was hit by a pitch with one out in the third and Stanton put a changeup on the flag court. Luke Voit got a curveball that he liked and took it deep into the left field seats for a 5-0 lead.
“They definitely capitalize a lot more on the mistakes up here,” Wells said.
The Orioles worked Cole for 29 pitches in the first inning and loaded the bases on Cedric Mullins’ leadoff double and two-out walks to Mancini and Austin Hays. Ramón Urías ran the count full and struck out on a curveball.
Cole retired nine in a row before Urías singled with two outs in the fourth. Pat Valaika led off the fifth with a bloop single and he scored with two outs on Ryan Mountcastle’s double into the left field corner, the rookie’s 80th RBI of the season.
The Yankees went to the bullpen after the fifth. Cole allowed one run and four hits with three walks and seven strikeouts, and he threw 108 pitches.
Gleyber Torres, moved to second base, committed a fielding error in the sixth on a potential double play ball from Urías after Hays’ leadoff walk to put Michael King in a jam. Pedro Severino grounded to Torres and jogged to first base on a 4-3 double play.
Severino also is day-to-day with soreness in his upper leg and groin area, which he’s experienced for about a week. The Orioles might have to select the contract of a catcher at Triple-A Norfolk. Nick Ciuffo has been on the taxi squad for multiple trips.
“Kind of aggravated it early in the game,” Hyde said. “After that second at-bat, running out of the box, it looked like it grabbed him a little bit, so took him out of the game for that.
“These things happen. For the most part, we’ve been pretty fortunate throughout the year and now we’ve got almost three weeks left and we do have a lot of nagging things going on. That just gives other guys opportunities and we hope that some of these guys can get on the mend quick and be OK. But you just never know.”
King didn’t allow a hit in three innings.
Patrick Dorrian hit his 20th home run with Double-A Bowie, a two-run shot in Game 1 of a doubleheader. Gunnar Henderson doubled and scored a run in his first game with the Baysox. Zach Watson tripled in a 3-2 win.
Dorrian has a three-run double in Game 2.
Single-A Aberdeen’s Brandon Young tossed five perfect innings with nine strikeouts. Jake Lyons followed with 2 1/3 perfect innings and six strikeouts before a walk and single in the eighth. He struck out seven in 3 1/3.