Orioles starting pitcher Chris Tillman gave up two home runs on his first nine pitches. The Yankees beat the Orioles, 8-3, at Camden Yards. (Kevin Richardson / Baltimore Sun video)
The Orioles were hoping that their series-opening victory over the New York Yankees on Memorial Day would be the start of something good, but they didn't produce much of an encore Tuesday night.
The Yankees greeted O's starter Chris Tillman with a home run barrage and drove him out of the game in the third inning, while the Orioles lineup struggled to get anything against hard-throwing Yankees right-hander Luis Severino.
Brett Gardner and Matt Holliday each hit a pair of early-inning home runs and the result was an 8-3 Orioles loss before an announced 16,126 that threatened to drop the Orioles into fourth place in the American League East.
Severino gave up just one run on seven hits through 6 1/3 innings, and those hits weren't exactly evenly distributed through the O's batting order.
Rookie Trey Mancini accounted for nearly half of them, hitting safely in his first three at-bats to raise his average to .300 and driving in the only run the O's would score off the Yankees starter with a bases-loaded infield hit in the sixth inning. He also reached base with a walk in his final plate appearance.
"With a pitcher like Severino, you can't try to do too much,'' Mancini said. "With that kind of velocity, he's going to supply a lot of power and such. I tried to almost cut my swing down a little bit and think right field because lately, personally, I think I've been pulling off the ball a little bit at times, so I just tried to swing 75 or 80 percent and take him the other way."
The Orioles would tack on a couple of late runs against the Yankees bullpen with RBI hits by Joey Rickard and J.J. Hardy in the eighth inning.
Tillman's tribulations: Through five starts, Tillman has pitched 23 innings and allowed 44 base runners for a 1.91 WHIP. He has averaged 19.3 pitches per inning. It's hard to win with those kinds of numbers, and it's even tougher when you consider that the Orioles have scored 10 runs while he was in those five games.
Bombs away: Against the Orioles, Gardner has not lived up to his career averages, but he made an exception Tuesday night. Coming into the game, he had a career .236 batting average and a fairly paltry .302 on-base percentage (for a leadoff hitter). He also had hit only seven home runs in 505 career at-bats against the O's, but homered on the third pitch of the game from Tillman and also homered off reliever Logan Verrett in the fourth inning.
Tough mop-up: Verrett took over for Tillman and got the final out of the third inning, but he couldn't cool off the Yankees lineup. He followed up the leadoff homer by Gardner in the fourth by allowing three of the next four batters to hit safely – two of them scoring on a long double by young slugger Aaron Judge. Verrett pitched three innings and allow three runs on five hits.