NEW YORK—Davis Hess has won just one game in 2019, and that was when he pitched 6 1/3 hitless innings in his first start on April 1. He has started seven times since then, losing five of those starts.
Hess allowed a career-high four home runs and the Orioles lost to the New York Yankees, 5-3, in the first game of a doubleheader Wednesday.
It was the Orioles’ first game since Sunday after rainouts prevented the first two scheduled games from being played.
Hess gave up two home runs to Gleyber Torres and one each to Gary Sanchez and Cameron Maybin. He has allowed 14 home runs in 40 1/3 innings. In two starts against the Yankees, Hess has given up seven home runs in 11 innings.
“They were just pitches that just didn’t have bite,” catcher Austin Wynns said. “ Obviously, clear over the fence. We just need to not do that. It’s too many home runs. It’s embarrassing, and we have to put an end to it.”
Manager Brandon Hyde tried to find the positives, but the home runs were just too much.
“You’re just not going to win games if you give up four homers,” Hyde said. “Around the four homers I thought he threw the ball really well. It’s just the long ball kind of got him again today, and it’s something he’s going to have to work on.”
It didn’t matter to Hyde that they were solo home runs.
“They’re still homers,” Hyde said. “Disappointing for me a little bit was we come out, we score, you give in to Gary Sanchez … on a heater that goes out of the ballpark. We score again and they hit another homer. Just being able to like have shutdown innings after teams put some runs up for you. He’s throwing the ball aggressive. It’s about executing a little bit better in those situations.”
Another run scored on a three-base error in right field by Trey Mancini on Gio Urshela’s fly, and a single by Mike Tauchman.
Mancini’s home run against New York starter J.A. Happ in the first gave the Orioles a 1-0 lead. Wynns’ RBI double in the second put them up, 2-1.
Renato Nunez broke a 4-for-53 slump with his seventh home run of the year, leading off the fourth, but an Orioles homer was always followed by a New York homer, or two.
“The shutdown inning is big,” Hess said. “That’s something that I didn’t do well. Talking to [pitching coach Doug Brocail], just really focusing on trying to nail down the root of what was going on. Some of the balls they hit were good pitches, but that’s a team that’s swinging it well, a team that’s winning a lot of games right now. Sometimes, you’ve just got to tip your cap and just attack the next guy.”
Hess allowed five runs, one unearned, on six hits in six innings.
“I just thought David Hess has got to keep the ball off the barrel,” Hyde said. “When you miss middle-middle to Gary Sanchez, you know? Gleyber Torres, a hanging slider up and away to Maybin. It’s not going to end in a good result usually. I like the way he threw besides a few pitches, and he battled and gave us six.”
Happ was pulled after just 64 pitches with one out in the sixth and a 5-3 lead.
Adam Ottavino, Tommy Kahnle, Zack Britton and Aroldis Chapman combined to shut down the Orioles, allowing just two hits in 3 2/3 innings.
“Their bullpen, they’re stacked,” Wynns said. “Bottom line, A through Z, their bullpen’s what they are. We’ve just got to do a better job. We’ve got to find the barrel.”
Branden Kline pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Hess, allowing one hit.
The Orioles have given up 88 home runs in 41 games.
“We lead the league in home runs,” Wynns said. “You know what? We have to make and adjustment … We’ve got to come up with something.”
26th man: Evan Phillips, who was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk, returned for the day as the Orioles’ 26th man for the doubleheader.
Quick game: The time of the game was two hours, 12 minutes, fastest Orioles game since June 15, 2009 when the Orioles beat Philadelphia in two hours, nine minutes.
Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB
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