We’ve seen it happen far too often lately: An Orioles pitcher allows a key hit when ahead in the count. It happened today at a crucial point in the game at New York.
First baseman Greg Bird hit a three-run homer on an 0-2 pitch from Brian Matusz. He got a hanging breaking ball and didn’t miss it. That broke a 5-5 tie in the seventh inning as New York beat the Orioles 8-6 this afternoon.
With their 15th loss in 18 games, the Orioles fall to 65-72. They have fallen to seven games under .500 for the first time all year. The Orioles are 5-9 against New York and 1-7 at Yankee Stadium with five consecutive losses.
The Orioles lost an early three-run lead in falling to 20-47 against teams with records of .500 or better.
Jonathan Schoop hit a three-run homer in the second off Micheal Pineda and Manny Machado added an RBI single for a 4-1 lead. New York had gone ahead 1-0 in the first when Chris Davis and Schoop let a shallow pop to right fall for a Chris Young RBI single.
After Young’s RBI double made it 4-2 in the third, a three-run fifth put New York ahead 5-4. Alex Rodriguez hit No. 29, a solo shot. John Ryan Murphy’s two-run homer off Wei-Yin Chen put the Yankees ahead. At that point, Murphy was 9-for-16 this season against Baltimore pitching.
Machado’s solo blast to center in the seventh off Justin Wilson made it a 5-5 game. It was No. 27 for Machado in his 137th game. Before this year, he had 33 career homers in 289 games. But that tie didn’t last long and Bird’s homer in the home half of the seventh put New York back in control.
The Orioles pulled to within 8-6 in the ninth when Davis drove in a run with a two-out single. It was Davis’ 101st RBI. But Andrew Miller struck out Jimmy Paredes to end the game.
Chen went five innings, allowing nine hits and five runs (four earned) to fall to 8-8 with an ERA of 3.48. He has allowed 10 runs in 9 2/3 innings over his past two starts after giving up three earned runs or less in 16 of his previous 17 starts. O’s starting pitchers have now gone nine straight games without pitching at least six innings.
Center fielder Adam Jones left today’s game in the eighth inning with right shoulder soreness. Steve Pearce went into the game in right field and Gerardo Parra moved to center.
The O’s missed a comeback chance in the eighth when Dellin Betances walked the first two batters. That inning ended when he struck out Caleb Joseph. Joseph slammed his bat on the plate and it cracked. He then broke the bat over his knee. That summed up the frustration felt recently from the clubhouse and the fanbase.