Orioles manager Buck Showalter will be the first to tell you that momentum is only as good as the next day's starting pitcher, a truism that was borne out in his team's 8-6 loss to the New York Yankees before 33,170 on a balmy Saturday night at Camden Yards.
The Orioles (31-23) came into the game on a three-game roll that included two double-digit offensive performances against the Boston Red Sox and an uplifting victory over the Yankees in the series opener Friday night.
The Yankees (26-29), meanwhile, had lost five of their previous seven games and were still smarting from the way the Orioles had put a dent in tough setup man Dellin Betances the night before.
So, the next day's starting pitcher was Tyler Wilson and he got roughed up in a four-run fourth inning that sent the Yankees on their way to 7-0 lead. It looked like that would be more than enough after Yankees starter Ivan Nova carried a three-hit shutout into the seventh, but the Orioles staged a six-run rally that inning with all six runs coming on three homers.
Mark Trumbo led off the inning with his 18th of the year, Pedro Alvarez followed an infield single by Matt Wieters with his fifth homer and Adam Jones greeted reliever Nick Goody with a dramatic three-run shot to make it a one-run game — all with no one out.
That finally convinced Yankees manager Joe Girardi to go to one of his shutdown late-inning relievers. Former Orioles left-hander Andrew Miller came on to get the next six outs in order before turning the game over to closer Aroldis Chapman, who pitched a scoreless ninth for his ninth save.
“I’m proud that we made a run at them," Showalter said. “The part where they’ve got those three guys down there, it’s tough. We got the tying run to the plate again in the ninth, but just couldn’t quite put them away.”
Wilson's tough inning: Apparently, it has become routine for an Orioles starter to get off to a good start and then unravel in one ugly inning.
Wilson joined the club, working a solid three innings before the Yankees went on a fourth-inning hit parade to take a 5-0 lead. The middle of the Yankees batting order, which had gone quietly in the second inning, opened the fourth with three consecutive hits, including a run-scoring double by Starlin Castro. Three of the next four batters also drove in single runs to make it an early evening for Wilson. The Yankees scored in four straight innings before reliever Dylan Bundy and Brian Duensing combined to pitch a scoreless seventh. Wilson finished with five earned runs in four innings.
Trumbo's 18th: Trumbo's 18th home run of the season didn't appear to have a huge impact on the game at the time, but it was a huge impact. He hit it 450 feet to straightaway center field. When it landed, he was the major league home run leader.
Another foul pole review: The Orioles felt they got the wrong end of the foul pole during the Red Sox series when Chris Davis hit a towering shot over the right-field pole that was ruled foul. The Orioles asked for a video review, but the call was upheld even though Showalter said his team eventually saw a replay angle that proved the ball was fair. Fast forward to Saturday and a similar shot by Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius that the Yankees wanted reviewed. This time, the FOX broadcast crew had a better angle and it was a very close call, but it also was upheld as foul.
Double trouble: The Yankees obviously felt that you can never have enough runs against the power-packed Orioles lineup, because they pulled a double steal for a run with the score 6-0 in the top of the sixth. Jacoby Ellsbury scored from third base after Brett Gardner stole second and drew a throw from Wieters. The return throw to the plate by Manny Machado was close enough for the Orioles to check the replay, but there was no challenge. And, as it turned out, that was the deciding run in the game.