Orioles suffer record loss to Yankees; Means gives up five in first; Ruiz homers again - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles suffer record loss to Yankees; Means gives up five in first; Ruiz homers again

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

BALTIMORE—For a few minutes, it looked as if the Orioles were going to break their long, painful losing streak against the New York Yankees.

Instead, the lead they snatched was quickly taken away, and they suffered their 18th straight defeat to New York, a team record. The night before they had tied the 1954 mark when they lost 17 in a row to Cleveland.

Pedro Severino gave the Orioles a 6-5 lead on a two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth,. But in the top of the ninth, Aaron Judge hit a three-run homer against Cole Sulser, sending the Orioles to an 8-6 loss.

The Yankees not only have won 18 in a row against the Orioles, but have won 17 straight in Baltimore as they swept this hastily arranged two-game series. The Orioles had been scheduled to open their home season against the Miami Marlins, but the Yankees came to town when the Marlins’ season was put on hold because of an outbreak of Covid-19.

After spotting the Yankees a five-run lead in the first, the Orioles scored two in the bottom of the first on a two-run home run by Hanser Alberto. Rio Ruiz hit a two-run home run in the second, his third hit and third home run of the season.

Neither team scored again until the bottom of the eighth. The Yankees’ Jonathan Loaisaga pitched two scoreless innings after play was stopped after 5 ½ innings because of rain.

The Orioles’ Renato Nuñez struck out to lead off the eighth. Anthony Santander was hit by a pitch, and Severino drove a home run just inside the left-field foul pole, his first of the season, to give the Orioles a 6-5 lead.

Sulser, who picked up his first career save in Boston on Sunday, walked Gio Urshela to begin the ninth. He retired Mike Tauchman on a fly ball to left. DJ LeMahieu singled, and Judge hit his second home run in as many nights, and the Orioles’ lead was gone.

“The leadoff walk hurt him,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said of Sulser. “He got squeezed on a call against Judge that really changed the at-bat. That hurt him, but I like his stuff. I have confidence in him.  Like a lot of these guys, we’re going to continue to find out. Tonight just wasn’t his night.”

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Zack Britton made quick work of his former team in the ninth for his second save. Home plate umpire Chris Segal called centerfielder Austin Hays out on strikes to end the game. Hyde screamed at Segal as the walked off the field.

The Orioles, who last defeated the Yankees on March 31, 2019, have lost 17 straight at home to them. Their last home win came on July 10, 2018.

The Orioles not only have lost 18 straight to a team for the first time, but the Yankees have homered against them in 21. According to ESPN, that’s also a team record.

They’re 2-3.

Means’ short night:  John Means was supposed to be the Opening Day starter for the Orioles. Arm fatigue prevented that, and he pitched for the first time in 2020 six days later.

Means had an awful first inning.

Before the game, Hyde said he hoped to get three or four innings from Means. Hyde removed him after 2 1/3 innings and 51 pitches.

Means, who hit five batters in his strong rookie season in 2019, tagged two of the first three Yankees, Judge and Gleyber Torres.

Torres, who was hit in the right elbow, stayed in the game but left in the third inning.

Giancarlo Stanton’s RBI single scored Judge, and Luke Voit hit a grand-slam. After six batters, Means trailed, 5-0.

“He felt great, probably felt a little too good,” Hyde said. “He was throwing  95, 96. I just think he was anxious to get out there and didn’t have really good command in the first inning, and then had a good inning-plus after that. He had a had tough time settling down.”

Means retired his last six hitters until Hyde removed him with one out in the third, the shortest start of his career.

“Physically, I felt great. I thought my stuff was better than it ever has been,” Means said.

He wasn’t surprised by his fastball’s velocity.

“It probably was a little bit of a tick up today but, honestly, that’s where my pitches have been. Even at Bowie the other day, I was 92-96 (mph). It’s just a little adjustment I made that I like a lot and hopefully next time we get some results with it.”

Ruiz’s home run: Ruiz’s homer was his third of the season, and his third hit. According to STATS, he’s the fourth Oriole in team history who homered for his first three hits. Mike Deveraux (1994), Boog Powell (1963) and pitcher Milt Pappas (1962) were the others.

Pappas hit home runs for his first four hits of that season, and his record is safe since Ruiz singled in the fourth.

Santander catching up: Anthony Santander, who was hitless in three at-bats as the designated hitter, said he’s feeling better.

Santander got a late start in summer training because he tested positive for Covid-19.

“Little by little, [I’ll] be able to be in full shape,” Santander said through a translator on a video conference call.

Santander is 3-for-18 (.167) with a home run and four RBIs.

Since he’s had the virus, he’s more sensitive to the Marlins’ outbreak — a reported 17 players — and news in general.

“It’s tough watching something like that with so many players involved,” Santander said. “Hopefully, they’ll get well soon.

“There are so many people affected because of this situation. It’s something to worry about, to think about.”

It sometimes makes it more difficult to concentrate on baseball.

“We try to keep those things separate, for sure,” Santander said. “We definitely talk about it every single day when we come to the ballpark, but the main conversation is, ‘let’s all try to take care of each other’ … Once the game starts, it’s time to compete. It’s time to beat the other team.

“Hopefully, the game can bring some joy to the fans. It’s much needed now.”

Looking ahead: The Tampa Bay Rays play three games against the Orioles this weekend. Alex Cobb, Wade LeBlanc, and either Tommy Milone or Kohl Stewart start against Blake Snell, Tyler Glasnow and Yonny Chirinos.

The Orioles’ schedule for early next week isn’t known. The Yankees, who were supposed to play in Baltimore next Monday-Wednesday, were sent for a two-game series once their four games with Philadelphia were put on hold because of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Though it hasn’t been announced, the Yankees could play four games with the Phillies next week, and the Orioles could play Miami.

The Marlins, who have suffered a devastating outbreak of the virus, are idle through the weekend, as are the Phillies, whose series with Toronto was postponed.

There could be an announcement on further schedule adjustments on Friday.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. CalsPals

    July 31, 2020 at 7:19 am

    Bummer, liked the way the boys came back, can’t seem to find a closer, much as I hate seeing Givens come in in the 9th, if the have any chance of trading him he needs a recent body of work, feel bad for “ Alka” but that’s what happens sometimes…go O’s…

  2. Orial

    July 31, 2020 at 8:26 am

    Heartbreaking loss but not shocking. Means apparently isn’t ready. BUT the clock is ticking Mr Means—“*@#% or get off the pot”. Sultser definitely was squeezed in the 9th and I don’t consider myself a whiner. He was forced by the ump to either walk Judge et al or throw it over the plate. Pick your poison. Might as well bring Rodriguez,Hall,Akin,Bauman into the mix–hey the need the work.

    • willmiranda

      July 31, 2020 at 11:44 am

      With no fans in the stands, the umps must feel as if they’re on vacation. No one to give them negative reinforcement to keep them in line. Players, coaches, and managers are easy to kick out of the game,
      and broadcasters, even if they’re bold enough to comment, can’t be heard. I think a few choice admonitions should be spliced into the recorded background noises and played –very loudly and distinctly– over the PA system at appropriate moments.

  3. Boog Robinson Robinson

    July 31, 2020 at 8:49 am

    Once again, Hyde cries about his pitchers being “squeezed”. Has he got a point?

    • CalsPals

      July 31, 2020 at 8:53 am

      Honestly he needs to be more active managing, talking to people, I’ll chalk this season up to “COVID”…but he doesn’t appear to have the personality of someone in charge, maybe an asst. but not in charge…go O’s…

  4. Bhoffman1

    July 31, 2020 at 10:15 am

    Rich this will be the last time I bring up Mason Williams on this site . To answer your response to me he hit 18 homers last year at Norfolk. Did Mullins ever come close to that number. He hit 375 this spring and he has a high on base percentage. He has a good eye and ears alot. Did Mullins ever come close to that I think he hit around 200 this spring. He fields better then DJ and Smith and is more versatile. Yes he hasn’t hit a lot of homers in the big leagues but he only has had minimal at bats and he’s gotten bigger with age. So he’s not playing here for other reasons then talent. I hope they can trade him to a team that will give him a chance that’s all I’m saying.

    • Bhoffman1

      July 31, 2020 at 10:15 am

      Walks a lot

    • CalsPals

      July 31, 2020 at 10:20 am

      Wouldn’t want to face him…go O’s…

    • Rich Dubroff

      July 31, 2020 at 10:36 am

      Bruce, in 217 major league at-bats, Mason Williams has 14 extra-base hits. In 241 major league at-bats, Cedric Mullins has 15 extra-base hits. Not a lot of difference. Mullins is considered a far better outfielder and baserunner than Williams is.

      Stewart was the team’s top draft choice in 2015, a different regime to be sure, but they still have to see what they have in him. Because of the money invested in top picks, they get longer looks than others.

      As for Smith, he displayed lots of power before his concussion in June 2019.

      Williams was twice a free agent, at the end of spring training in 2019 and at the end of last season. Both times he signed minor league contracts with the Orioles. The difference between signing a major league and minor league contract is stark. Players on major league contracts get much longer looks, and those on minor league contracts have to significantly outperform because so much more is invested in a player who has a major league contract.

      In this environment, trades are extremely difficult to make. The player pools, mixing of players with major league contracts, minor league contracts and up-and-comers make it cumbersome.

      • Phil770

        July 31, 2020 at 12:29 pm

        Thanks, Rich for the scouting insight. I was of the impression that Williams was a better outfielder than Mullins and Smith. Assuming the season continues with reduced rosters (28 and then 26), it would seem that the 5 OFs will need to become 4. Of DJ, Smith, Mullins…only two of them would likely stay which one? Given that Mason is not on the 40-roster, it’s another reason that he would not be called up and bump someone.

    • Bhoffman1

      July 31, 2020 at 11:31 am

      You didn’t address his 18 homers at Norfolk last year and he’s gotten bigger and gained weight with age plus like Boog said you can’t judge someone by 215 at bats. He will get on base more then all three guys you mentioned . It’s all about money invested in player and draftees it’s not about talent period

    • CalsPals

      July 31, 2020 at 12:02 pm

      Most businesses would call it saving face, definitely not right, but how the game is played, I would think Elias would want to replace Stewart since he’s not his guy & he could take total credit for Williams…but guaranteed $ talks, look at Crash…go O’s…

    • Bhoffman1

      July 31, 2020 at 12:43 pm

      Exactly plus Wiliiams has hit 286 in brief stint in majors . It’s all about money

  5. AZ ORIOLES Fan

    July 31, 2020 at 1:58 pm

    Squeezed yea maybe, anyone who watched knows the Yankees got that call but if you wild you won’t get the call. Bottom line throw strikes when you fall behind 2-0 or 3-1 You are going get hit.
    What’s up with Davis is he going to be around for the weekend series?

  6. Birdman

    July 31, 2020 at 2:39 pm

    Cardinals now have players testing positive, and their game tonight is postponed. Maybe the NBA can make it work with “the bubble” but, unfortunately, it is looking increasingly doubtful that MLB will be able to complete the season.

  7. dlgruber1

    July 31, 2020 at 4:11 pm

    In all professional sports confidence means almost as much as actual talent. Right now the Yankees simply know they’re going to win when they play Baltimore and honestly, the O’s know it too. There’s a bunch of guys on this O’s roster now who’ve never won a game vs the Yankees. And let’s face it, going position by position the only advantage, and it would be slight, that I give the O’s over the Yanks is 3rd base. In these 18 straight losses to the Yanks the O’s have had leads late in some of them but have not been able to close them out. Yankees games will be a barometer of this teams improvement and when the O’s inevitably start winning a few against them that will help them gain some much needed confidence. I’m hoping that will start sometime this season. In reality, once some of these young arms in the minors start arriving along with AR, Mountcastle and even Kjerstad things will be much more competitive. It’s the waiting that sucks, and I’m not getting any younger.

    • CalsPals

      July 31, 2020 at 4:15 pm

      Ditto what he said, lmao…go O’s…

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