Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Orioles Rain On Yankees' Parade, As Eight Late Runs Spoil Gleyber Day


Gleyber Torres approaching the plate on his second home run of the night in the fifth inning. Photo by Jason Schott.

The Yankees got two home runs from Gleyber Torres as they raced out to a 5-1 lead before the Baltimore Orioles stormed back with eight runs in the seventh inning on their way to a 9-6 win on Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.

This ended the Yankees' longest winning streak of the season at five games, and with Tuesday's 6-5 win over Blatimore, the Yankees had won 15 of their prior 20 games, starting on May 2. 

That enabled the Yankees to run their record from 15-15 after they lost to Cleveland on May 1 to 30-20, the fourth-best record in the American League and sixth best in Major League Baseball.

Yankees Manager Aaron Boone said  of the Yankees' stellar play in May in his pregame remarks on Wednesday, "Just what I've been saying over and over, I just feel like the guys are competing really well and going in. There's an energy and a focus that's been really good, and it's manifested itself throughout games and, no matter what's going on in the game, I feel like that focus has been there really strong."

Wednesday night's game was delayed one hour and 36 minutes due to rain, and when the game began at 8:41, it was a raucous atmosphere befitting of a team on a hot streak.

Early on, the Yankees got to Baltimore starter Tyler Wells, starting with Isiah Kiner-Falefa blasting one off the center field fence for a triple with one out in the third inning.

Two batters later, Torres hit his first home run of the night, a two-run shot into the Baltimore bullpen in left field to make it 2-0 Yankees.

Baltimore got one back in the fourth against Yankees starter Nestor Cortes, who sailed through the first three innings, as Ryan Mountcastle blasted one to left for a solo shot, his 11th of the season.

In the bottom of the fifth, Anthony Volpe opened the frame with a walk before Kiner-Falefa blasted one to left-center for a two-run shot, his third homer of the season, to make it 4-1 Yankees.

Then, Torres was at it again, as he roped one inside the left field foul pole for his second homer of the night to give them a 5-1 edge. It was Torres' ninth of the season, with 25 RBI, and it was the 14th multi-homer game of his career.

Meanwhile Cortes was cruising, as he struck out the side in the sixth, so the Yankees decided to stretch him and bring him back for the seventh.

Anthony Santander opened the frame with a walk, then Austin Hayes singled, and Adam Frazier hit a three-run homer, his sixth of the year, to cut the Yankees' lead to 5-4, and that was all for Cortes.

In came Yankee reliever Jimmy Cordero, and ex-Met catcher James McCann and Jorge Mateo greeted him with singles. Gunnar Henderson then doubled them home to put the Orioles up, 6-5.

Cedric Mullins then struck out, and Cordero walked Adley Rutschman before he exited for Albert Abreu. 

Mountcastle hit a sacrifice fly to bring Henderson home, and as the Orioles' hit around, Santander and Hays got RBI singles to make it an eight-run inning and shockingly put them up, 9-5. Frazier grounded out to end the long inning.

The Yankees got a run back in the bottom of the seventh when Anthony Rizzo hit an RBI single to make it 9-6, but Danny Coloumbe got the final two outs of the seventh before he pitched a scoreless eighth, and Felix Bautista closed it out, with two strikeouts in the ninth, to earn his 12th save of the season.

Mike Baumann earned the win to improve to 4-0 after he pitched a perfect sixth inning. Wells had exited after the fifth, and he allowed five runs (all earned) on five hits and two walks, with eight strikeouts.

The Yankees have only lost one series in May (in Tampa Bay May 5-7), and they will go out to win the series on Thursday night with clarke Schmidt on the mound against Baltimore's Kyle Gibson.

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