The Orioles had come from behind to win their last three games heading into tonight. But they had not come from 7-0 behind to win and they could not do that tonight.
The Yankees led 7-0 to the last of the seventh, then watched the Orioles hit three homers that inning to pull within 7-6. But the final was New York 8, Orioles 6 as tonight’s comeback bid fell short.
“You just keep chipping away,” said Adam Jones, whose three-run homer made it 7-6 in the seventh. “You just tell the team, ‘Lets keep chipping away.’ (Mark) Trumbo, really long home run. Good at-bat by (Matt) Wieters, who drew the walk and then Toro (Pedro Alvarez) with the two-run home run. It’s momentum. Flash (Ryan Flaherty) had a great at-bat to allow me to come up with men on and put a good swing on a pitch. We couldn’t come all the way back. Seven runs is hard to come back from, especially when they bring in that bullpen.
“The home run power that we have as a team, top to bottom, it just always keeps us in the game. We’re a bloop and a blast away from anything. We put ourselves in the best situation to come back, so I tip my hat to my teammates for playing to that last out.”
Jones’ three-run home run gives him 370 career RBIs at Camden Yards, a new record for this ballpark. He passed Cal Ripken Jr. who had 368.
“I think that is pretty cool,” he said. “Means I’ve been around here a little bit and have been fortunate to be healthy and play with some really good players over the years. It is a team thing. It is not like I hit home runs to always drive myself in.”
Jones also drew a tough walk in the ninth inning off Aroldis Chapman after falling behind in the count. He took some 100-plus mph pitches to get on base. He has 15 walks this year after getting 19 all year in 2014 and 24 last season.
“I’m trying to zone things up and hit strikes,” Jones said. “Obviously I go out of the zone here and there. But just trying to have good at-bats. I’m being aggressive first and foremost. But trying to lay off a pitch that ain’t mine, especially early in the count. Even though I’ve drawn a few walks, I’ve also had a lot of three-ball counts. That is a test to where you are working 1-2, 0-2 and working back to 3-2. Trying not to give anything anyway. Get down 0-2 it’s easy to throw an at-bat away, but I’m trying to battle and give my best at-bat for my teammates.”
On the mound tonight, for the fifth game in a row, an O’s starter allowed five runs or more. Tyler Wilson gave up five runs over four innings as the Orioles fell behind big early on. HIs ERA is 4.39 through 11 games and eight starts.
“We had a good plan of attack and knew how we wanted to pitch these guys,” Wilson said. “The fourth inning (when New York scored four runs) is just a really prime example of how fast things can happen. Things are rolling right along and then one thing leads to another and you have to be able to stop the bleeding.
“Going back and looking at the successive hits there in the fourth, I don’t think it was from a lack of execution per se. Other than the ball to (Rob) Refsnyder, everything else I was pretty comfortable with where the pitch was and how I executed it. But to the same point - I need to be better.”
So does the rotation as a whole. The ERA in this five-game stretch allowing five or more is 10.03. The rotation ERA is 6.68 over the last 19 games and the Orioles have just five quality starts in that stretch. Right now they are looking for someone to step up.
“Absolutely. We have had opportunities and that is all we can ask for, the opportunity to recognize the moment and kind of rise up,” Wilson said. “It’s just, everybody is working on different things and it is a little different from guy to guy. I think we are really close to turning the corner. Just like the guys don’t quit during the game, we are not going to quit on our skillwork on the side and we are only going to get better from here.”
The Orioles fall to 31-23 and one game back of Boston for the AL East lead. They are 20-11 at home, 3-2 against New York and 3-3 on this homestand which continues with the series finale Sunday afternoon.