On a day they let a late three-run lead get away, the Orioles were still able to win. And they pulled it out by scoring in the top of the ninth off Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman.
The lefty took the mound in the ninth of a 3-3 tie and fanned Ryan Mountcastle, but Mountcastle reached first on the wild pitch to start the inning. An Austin Hays single to left and a walk to Trey Mancini followed to load the bases with no outs. After a strikeout, catcher Pedro Severino ran the count full. He then lifted a 3-2 slider deep enough to left to score Mountcastle and provide the 4-3 lead.
Right-hander Cole Sulser made that slim margin hold up. He got the final four outs and pitched a 1-2-3 last of the ninth to record a win as the Orioles (42-92) won for just the second time in their past 20 games versus American League East teams. The Orioles had lost the last two games by a single run.
“Getting the bases loaded was big,” said O’s manager Brandon Hyde. “And Sevy with a huge two-strike sac fly.”
But even a combined no-hitter and 3-0 lead to the seventh would not be enough to lead the O’s to a nice and tidy win today. They had to work extra hard to get it.
New York rallied to tie this game 3-3 with a run in the seventh and a two-run homer from Joey Gallo off Jorge López in the eighth.
Right-hander Chris Ellis, making his third O’s appearance, pitched a strong game. He went the first five and Tanner Scott pitched a scoreless sixth. But the Yankees got their first hit and run in seventh inning, which ended with the O’s turning a big double play to lead 3-1.
Anthony Rizzo reached on a leadoff error by second baseman Jahmai Jones and after a walk, right-hander Marcos Diplán relieved Scott. With one out and runners on the corners, a grounder up the middle by pinch-hitter Gleyber Torres glanced off the glove of Jones and was scored a base hit as a run scored. But Luke Voit pinch-hit and grounded to short. The O’s turned the inning-ending 6-4-3 as Mountcastle made a scoop of Jones’ one-hop throw to end the frame.
Ellis threw a second straight strong game for the Orioles and has allowed just two hits and one run in 9 2/3 innings his past two outings against Toronto and the Yankees.
Today he threw five hitless and scoreless innings with three walks and two strikeouts on 92 pitches. He lowered his ERA to 2.16 after four O’s games.
The Yankees only got one runner in scoring position against Ellis - and that was an error by left fielder Ryan McKenna - through the first four innings. But he pitched out of a big jam in the last of the fifth to preserve his shutout and the Orioles’ 1-0 lead.
He walked catcher Kyle Higashioka on six pitches with one out and walked No. 9 hitter Tyler Wade on seven pitches with two outs. But he stayed in the game, getting a mound visit from pitching coach Chris Holt. He faced leadoff hitter DJ LeMahieu and the count ran full. Ellis busted him in with a 94 mph fastball and LeMahieu popped out to second base as the O’s and Ellis held the narrow lead.
“It was really cool to have a big league manager trust you to go out there,” said Ellis. “It was a 1-0 ballgame, two guys on against the Yankees, one of the best hitters in baseball up. For me, for a pitcher, it’s nice when the manager puts confidence in you out there and you kind of know he’s got confidence in you. You make that pitch and try to make both of you guys look good.”
It was a super outing today as Ellis reached career highs in innings and pitch count in his fifth big league appearance. Ellis threw 49 four-seam fastballs that averaged 94 mph and topped at 96. He added 20 sliders and 16 curveballs.
Over these last two games within the division against the Blue Jays and Yankees, Ellis held their lineups to a combined 2-for-32 against him.
“Well, I thought we pitched extremely well,” said Hyde. “Chris Ellis, obviously that was a really good performance. Enough fastball command with a really good curveball and kept guys off balance. Going five hitless innings was a great start to the game for us. I thought Tanner Scott was really good and I thought Diplán was good. Lopie made one mistake with the changeup to Gallo, was a big pitch. But really proud of him for coming back and punching out Judge and Stanton after that. Sulser with four big outs. The key to the game was pitching.”
In the top of the fourth, the Orioles used two hits and a pitch that bounced to take a 1-0 lead.
Mancini singled to right with one out for his second hit of the day, and with two down advanced to third when Pedro Severino smoked a 111 mph-off-the-bat double into the left-field corner. On a 3-2 pitch to shortstop Jorge Mateo, Yankees lefty Jordan Montgomery bounced one to walk Mateo and score Mancini, who charged home from third on the wild pitch for a 1-0 lead.
But the game for the Orioles was also marked by missed chances. Through the fifth inning they went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left seven runners on base, five in the fourth and fifth innings alone.
But there was no frustration when they did break through for two runs in the seventh to lead 3-0. Jones and Cedric Mullins greeted reliever Wandy Peralta with back-to-back doubles for a 2-0 edge. It was Mullins’ 50th RBI. He advanced to third on a groundout and would score when Hays chopped one toward the mound. Mullins beat the throw home and the O’s lead grew to three.
Sulser kept New York (78-57) off the board in the ninth as the O’s won at Yankee Stadium for just the third time in their last 18 games.