O’s game blog: Yankees series begins at Oriole Park

After an off-day that provided them a chance to regroup, the Orioles take the field tonight to start a three-game series against the New York Yankees. The O’s come off three straight losses over the weekend to Toronto by scores of 11-10, 11-2 and 22-7. And now they face a Yankees team against which they won two of three games in New York from Sept. 3-5, allowing just 14 runs in those games.

But after beating Toronto 6-3 on Friday night, the Orioles took leads into the seventh inning of both Saturday doubleheader games but lost both. Then they trailed 16-4 at the end of the third inning on Sunday.

Toronto scored what is a major league-record 27 runs over a four-inning span starting with the last inning of Game 2 on Saturday. Amazingly, in the previous six innings before that, the Blue Jays had been no-hit by Keegan Akin. The bullpen allowed 29 runs in 11 innings in the last three games of the series. The team ERA increased in those games from 5.72 to 5.93.

After Friday’s win - it can be hard to remember now - the Orioles had won five of seven, six of 10 and were 8-8 the previous 16 games. Now they have lost four of five heading into this series, which will end an 11-game homestand. The O’s are 3-5 on the homestand.

But in the last three games of the Toronto series, covering 23 innings, Baltimore pitching allowed 43 hits and 44 runs, giving up 13 home runs.

The Orioles are 17-47 in American League East games in 2021, but their best record within the division is their 7-9 mark against New York. They are 3-4 at home versus the Yankees and have won four of the last seven games between these teams.

The Orioles hit three homers on Sunday, including Ryan Mountcastle’s 28th homer. That tied him with Cal Ripken Jr. from 1982 for most homers by a rookie in a single season in team history. The O’s have homered eight times in the last three games, 11 in four and 18 times over nine games. They have five games with two or more homers in the last nine contests.

The Yankees played a makeup game on Monday afternoon at home versus Minnesota. They trailed 5-0 after five innings but won 6-5, their first time this year winning a game they trailed by four or more runs. They had been 0-34 in such games until Monday, when Aaron Judge hit a three-run homer in the eighth to produce a 5-5 tie and Gary Sánchez singled in the winning run in the last of the 10th.

The Yankees recorded their 10th walk-off win of the season and those 10 wins are their most in a season since 2009 when they recorded 15 walk-off victories. This marks just the third time in the last 33 seasons the Yankees have recorded at least 10 walk-off wins in a season; they also had 15 in 2009 and 10 in 2005.

New York recorded its 38th come-from-behind win of the year. Entering Monday, only Tampa Bay (43), Boston (41) and San Francisco (38) had as many.

New York went 6-1 versus the Twins this season and this marks their 14th consecutive season series win over the Twins. According to Elias, the Yankees’ streak of 14 straight winning seasons is tied for the fifth-longest streak against a single opponent in franchise history. The Yankees are 65-26 (.714) against the Twins since 2008, their best record versus any AL club over the span. Including the postseason, they are 21-2 against Minnesota in the Bronx since the start of 2015.

The Yankees (80-64) are 4-12 since the end of their 13-game winning streak from Aug. 14-27. They are 39-33 on the road and 28-36 against AL East opponents.

Alexander-Wells-Throws-White-Sidebar.jpgLefty Alexander Wells (1-2, 7.15 ERA) will get the start for the Orioles. His last start was Sept. 7 against Kansas City, when he allowed five hits and two runs over four innings on 80 pitches. So he will be on six days rest tonight. The Orioles are 1-3 in his starts this year. This is his eighth major league appearance and fifth start.

Right-hander Gerrit Cole (14-7, 2.78 ERA) will make his 27th start for the Yankees. On Tuesday, he left a start against Toronto early due to left hamstring soreness. Over 3 2/3 innings, he gave up five hits and three runs (two earned). In his four starts before that one, he went 4-0 with an ERA of 0.73 and gave up a .185 batting average and .480 OPS with four walks to 39 strikeouts over 24 2/3 innings.

Cole has allowed two earned runs or less 20 times this season and has 17 quality starts. The Yankees are 14-12 in his outings.

Cole has finished in the top five for the Cy Young Award four times. He was fourth in 2015, fifth in 2018, second in 2019 and fourth in 2020.

He has made one start versus the Orioles this season and that was a scoreless one on April 6 at New York in a 7-2 Yankees win. He gave up four hits over seven innings with no walks and 13 strikeouts. He threw 97 pitches in that game, averaging 96.9 mph on his fastball and topping at 100.5 mph. He garnered 26 whiffs on 52 swings in that outing, getting nine swings and misses on 14 swings against his slider.

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