For the Orioles tonight, a chance to have a feel-good series opening win against a rival after Sunday’s 10-0 loss evaporated amid several defensive misplays and the New York Yankees’ late-game homers.
Once leading 6-1 in the fourth, the Orioles lost 10-7 to the Yankees who scored four runs in the ninth to storm from behind. With the score tied 7-7, catcher Pedro Severino apparently lost a foul popup and it landed safely instead of resulting in the third out. One batter later Gary Sánchez lined a three-run homer to left off Mychal Givens to break that tie.
The meltdown in the ninth included a couple of ill-advised throws from Joey Rickard in right and Dwight Smith Jr. in left that allowed Yankees runners to take extra bases. It was a turnaround from earlier where the O’s made strong defensive plays in the infield by shortstop Richie Martin and third baseman Rio Ruiz.
The Orioles fall to 15-32 with one of their most frustrating and discouraging losses of the season. They have lost six of seven and 10 of 12 and are 2-7 against New York and 0-4 at Oriole Park.
Earlier, when the Orioles scored two runs in the last of the first tonight off New York lefty J.A. Happ, they doubled their run output of the last two games at Cleveland.
And the scoring didn’t stop there as they opened a 6-1 lead in the fourth. Hanser Alberto, batting leadoff, went 4-for-6 with a homer and Renato Núñez also homered. But that five-run lead didn’t hold and neither did the 7-6 lead in the ninth.
When right-hander Andrew Cashner delivered his third-straight quality start and fourth in the last five games, it looked like the Orioles had the formula for victory.
Alberto led off the home first with a bloop double and scored on Trey Mancini’s 15th double to provide the game’s first. Alberto’s four hits tonight are a career high. When Severino singled in Mancini, the O’s had a 2-0 lead in the first. In the last two games in Cleveland, they scored a total of one run on six hits.
Gleyber Torres homered to center in the second and it was a 2-1 game. He began tonight batting 15-for-31 with six homers and eight RBIs against the Orioles. He would get more later.
But by the end of the fourth the Orioles held a 6-1 lead scoring twice in the third and fourth off J.A. Happ. Alberto and Núñez hit solo homers two batters apart in the fourth. It was No. 3 Alberto and No. 8 for Núñez, who also doubled. Núñez began today with just six hits his last 68 at-bats.
An inning later RBI singles by Alberto and Smith opened a five-run lead for Cashner. But the Yankees would rally late and when Torres hit his second homer of the game in the eighth, pull within 7-6.
Torres hit two solo shots tonight. He has 10 homers this year and eight against Baltimore pitching. He has three multi-homer games this year, all off the O’s. He has five career multi-homer games, four against the Orioles. He’s hit five homers in four games at Oriole Park in 2019.
Cashner allowed five hits and three runs over six innings and threw 92 pitches. He was in line for a win until the Yankee scored nine runs in their last four at-bats. Cashner’s ERA is 3.41 his last five starts.
New York rallied against Branden Kline for two in the seventh to make it 7-5 and the second Torres homer pulled them with a run. And then the top of the ninth happened.
The Orioles, who hit just .102 in the last two games at Cleveland, had 13 hits tonight including seven for extra bases with four doubles, Smith’s first career triple and the two homers. They went 4-for-13 with runners in scoring position and left 10 on base.
They were trying to beat a New York team that began tonight with 10 wins in its past 13 games and on a 20-7 run since April 19 - the best record in the majors in that span. The Yankees swept three here last month and made it 4-0 at the Yard this year tonight.