After letting the lead get away in the ninth last night as they lost 4-3 to the New York Yankees, the Orioles are out today to end their latest losing steak, which has reached five games. Two of the five losses were by one run where they surrendered a lead in the final inning.
The Yankees (82-64) will try to sweep this series and stay in position to earn an American League wild card berth, as three AL East teams battle over two spots. Beginning play today, New York and Toronto have identical records and hold the AL wild card spots by one percentage point over Boston (83-65) at .562 to .561 in win percentage. The AL East teams have opened a 3 1/2-game lead over Oakland and four games over Seattle.
The Orioles (46-99) are trying to avoid their 100th loss of the year today. It would be the fifth season of 100 losses in club history. The Orioles lost 115 games in 2018, 108 in 2019, 107 in 1988 and 100 in 1954.
Orioles outfielder Austin Hays hit two homers and drove in all three Baltimore runs last night. It was his second multi-homer game in his last five games, third this season and the fourth of his career. His two-run homer in the eighth gave the Orioles a 3-2 lead. Hays’ first longball traveled 420 feet, his second-farthest homer of the season behind one that went 421 feet on June 17 at Cleveland.
The game marked his fifth of the year with a season-high three RBIs. He now has six career home runs against the Yankees, his most against any opponent, and his eighth-inning homer was the eighth go-ahead home run of his career, the third to come in the eighth inning or later. Hays is the fourth O’s batter to collect 20 home runs this season.
Hays is batting .300 (12-for-40) over his last 10 games with two doubles, a triple, six homers, 13 RBIs and an OPS of 1.199. Hays has hit 12 of his 20 home runs at home, where he has an OPS of .879 compared to .665 on the road. He has an OPS of .800 in 55 games in the second half.
Ramón Urías was 1-for-4 last night with a double to left-center in the second inning. He has reached base safely in 10 straight games since Aug. 31 with eight hits and five walks. It is his third on-base streak of 10 games or more this season, along with a 10-game stretch from July 27-Aug. 10 and trailing a 13-game stretch from April 29-June 29. Entering today’s game, his 13 doubles rank tied for eighth among qualified AL rookies, while his .359 on-base percentage ranked seventh among all major league rookies with at least 100 plate appearances.
The Orioles are 22-51 at home, 5-9 this month and 7-11 against the Yankees. They are 4-5 in the last nine games this year against New York and are now 17-49 in division games. By dropping the games Tuesday and Wednesday, they are now 11-29-7 in series play for the year. They have not won a home series versus an AL East opponent going 0-9-2.
The Yankees have won three in a row and four of five. Over a longer stretch, they are 6-12 over the last 18 games. New York is now 2-53 when trailing after eight innings with the win last night. It was their 39th comeback victory of the season.
Right-hander Chris Ellis (1-0, 2.08 ERA) will try to continue his recent run of solid pitching for the Orioles today. Over his past three starts against Toronto, New York and Toronto, he allowed two runs and eight hits over 14 2/3 innings with eight walks and strikeouts for an ERA of 1.23. Those teams batted .154 with an OPS of .509 against him.
That includes his Sept. 4 start at Yankee Stadium where he allowed one hit over five innings. It was originally five no-hit innings until a scoring change. The Orioles are 3-1 in Ellis’ four starts.
Lefty Jordan Montgomery (5-6, 3.71 ERA) pitches for New York, making his 27th start. The Yankees are 15-11 in his games but have lost the last three. In the first two he gave up just one earned run over 10 2/3 innings, but his last one did not go well. In that start versus the New York Mets, he allowed a season-high seven runs (five earned) on seven hits over 3 1/3 innings.
For the year, Montgomery has a WHIP of 1.251, allowing 8.3 hits and 1.0 homers per nine with 3.0 walks to 8.9 strikeouts. In 15 road starts, he is 3-3 with a 4.07 ERA.
In four starts this season against Baltimore, he is 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA. Over 18 2/3 innings, he has allowed eight earned runs with five walks and 17 strikeouts.
On the farm today: Triple-A Norfolk lost to Jacksonville 10-3 as right-hander Cody Sedlock allowed nine runs (seven earned) over two innings. Kyle Stowers and Tyler Nevin hit homers for Norfolk. Stowers leads all O’s minor leaguers with 27 homers and this was his third homer in 10 games with the Tides.
Double-A Bowie, with 10 wins in a row, hosts Altoona tonight, looking to get closer to wrapping up a playoff berth. Bowie (71-45) is 3-0 this week versus Altoona and has allowed just 24 runs during the win streak.