NEW YORK — For the first time since Brandon Hyde’s opening three games as their manager, the Orioles won a series at Yankee Stadium.
Rallying from a deficit that at three points was three runs wide, the Orioles beat the New York Yankees, 8-7, with a four-run inning that shook a spell of troubles with runners in scoring position and in this ballpark. The rubber game victory gave Baltimore its first series victory on the road against the Yankees since March 2019, their first three games of that season.
“We did a lot of really good things in this series, had the chance to win all three games,” Hyde said. “I was really happy with how we came back.
“I let our guys know, it’s OK to win 7-2 once in a while.”
They had opportunities in four of the first five innings, but at 0-7 with runners on second and third base to that point, they were 4-for-30 in such circumstances in the series. Still, the Orioles (43-92) found themselves in the game as they entered the late innings.
Trailing 7-4 as the seventh began, the Orioles loaded the bases against left-hander Andrew Heaney on a hit-by-pitch and two singles, the latter from Austin Hays to account for their first hit of the day with a runner in scoring position. Rookie Jahmai Jones, who had replaced Ramón Urías in the field an inning earlier after he exited with upper right leg soreness, doubled over Giancarlo Stanton in right field to score two. Jorge Mateo won a 12-pitch battle with Heaney, blooping a single in front of Stanton to tie the game. Kelvin Gutiérrez followed with a go-ahead single to left, the Orioles’ fourth hit in five at-bats in the inning with a chance to bring home a run.
The big inning at last erased a deficit the Orioles had been facing since the second inning after the Yankees answered Hays’ solo shot in the top half with Gary Sánchez’s grand slam off Keegan Akin. As Akin settled in from there, Baltimore got a run without a big hit on Mateo’s fourth-inning sacrifice fly, but Anthony Rizzo’s RBI single the next inning pushed New York’s lead back to three.
Sánchez and Cedric Mullins exchanged two-run home runs in the sixth, with Mullins’ making him only the second player in Orioles history with 25 home runs, 25 steals and 25 doubles in a season, joining Reggie Jackson in 1976.
“It’s crazy, just to be told that it’s been a solid minute since someone has come around and put together a 25-25 season,” Mullins said. “I’m just out there putting my all every single day, and to have the results show is a pretty amazing feeling.”
Mullins wouldn’t have come up in the sixth if not for Gutiérrez hustling to beat out a groundball to shortstop Gleyber Torres for a two-out infield single. Mullins laughed saying he planned to give Gutiérrez a big hug.
“That’s one thing that we do a pretty good job of,” Hyde said. “We’re playing banged up a little bit, like most teams are right now, but our guys are showing fight and hustle, and Guty did on that play. That could have been an easy, 80% down the first baseline because I hit a groundball to short, but he didn’t. He jailbreaked and he went as hard as he could and beat the throw.”
The Orioles’ bullpen locked in after Sánchez’s second shot. Marcos Diplán recovered with three straight outs before a walk prompted Hyde to bring in Tanner Scott, who got five crucial outs to send the game to the ninth.
Facing the middle of the Yankees’ order, rookie Tyler Wells, who has held the closer’s title for weeks without actually earning a save, finally did so by retiring Aaron Judge, Stanton and Rizzo in order.
“Amazing. We’ve been trying to get him a save opportunity for about two months,” Hyde said with a laugh. “First career save in a one-run game on the road, Yankee Stadium against Judge, Stanton and Rizzo is not an easy task, and he showed great stuff and composure.”
Akin’s aching fastball
Akin had allowed five runs over 17 innings in his past three starts. Sánchez’s slam nearly matched that with one swing.
The second-deck blast came on Akin’s ninth pitch of the at-bat, all of them fastballs. Through the grand slam, 34 of Akin’s 45 pitches were fastballs, according to Statcast, allowing three hits and a walk while hitting a batter. The rookie left-hander mixed it up from there.
Akin ended his outing retiring eight of the next nine Yankees after the home run, throwing more sliders (17) than fastballs (16) among his last 41 pitches.
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“It was more so just kind of establish the fastball today on the inside part, and then kind of adjust from there the first time through, but was just kind of hit-or-miss there in the second inning,” Akin said. “Let things get out of hand with the walk and then the hit-by-pitch so kind of locked it in after that, and we started mixing a little bit better and found some success there.”
Around the horn
- First baseman Ryan Mountcastle was out of Sunday’s lineup after fouling a pitch off his right foot in Saturday’s third inning.
- Rookie left-hander Zac Lowther will make his second career start in Monday’s series opener with the Kansas City Royals, though the Orioles have not announced any of their other starters for the four-game set, with Hyde saying he was considering giving Matt Harvey and John Means extra rest.