BALTIMORE—In wild 2020-style baseball, the Orioles lost their 19th consecutive game to the New York Yankees in the ninth inning of the first game of a doubleheader Friday evening at Camden Yards.
After the teams were tied at 4 through seven innings, they played a scoreless eighth. In the top of the ninth, the automatic runner was pitcher Jonathan Holder, who was in the batting order because the Yankees ran short of position players.
Holder moved to third on an infield out and scored on Miguel Andujar’s RBI single against Travis Lakins, the Orioles’ sixth reliever. Clint Frazier hit another run-scoring single, and the Orioles lost, 6-5. The defeat was especially painful because the Orioles lost rightfielder Anthony Santander to an oblique injury in the eighth.
Santander is going for tests and won’t play in the second game of Friday’s doubleheader.
In the bottom of the ninth, Lakins was the automatic runner because the Orioles ran out of position players because of Santander’s injury. Lakins scored when Renato Núñez hit into a double play.
The Orioles left 11 players on base and were 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
“I was happy with how are guys came back,” said Orioles manager Brandon Hyde about his team’s comeback from a 4-1 deficit. “We had many opportunities to win the game, and we didn’t get it done … We should have won the game a couple of times.”
The Orioles haven’t beaten the Yankees since March 31, 2019, and they’ve lost 18 straight at home, with their last victory on July 11, 2018.
“We haven’t played well against the Yankees for two years, so I figure we can start doing that today,” Hyde said before the game in a video conference call.
“We haven’t matched up well against them. They scored more runs than we do. We’ve had a tough time beating them. They’re a really good club. They’re a very talented team. They’ve got some guys banged up. They did last year, also. It didn’t really matter because they replaced big league guys with big league guys.”
The last time the Orioles beat the Yankees, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Gleyber Torres all played. Even with all of them on the injured list, the Orioles lost again.
Cedric Mullins led off with his second home run of the season against Michael King. Gary Sánchez homered, his seventh of the season, to tie it in the second against Orioles stater Thomas Eshelman, who was a late replacement for Alex Cobb, who was placed on the injured list before the game. Hyde said the Orioles were following protocol with regard to Cobb.
Sanchez entered the game batting .130, a full 130 points higher than he was hitting on July 30, the last time the teams met. He began the season hitless in 15-at bats.
Núñez, who was questionable because of a sore hamstring, committed an error on Tyler Wade’s grounder to begin the inning. D.J. LeMahieu singled, and Luke Voit walked.
Brett Gardner’s two-run single scored Wade and LeMahieu. After Clint Frazier walked, and Mike Ford flied to left, Branden Kline, whose contract was selected before the game, struck out Sanchez and walked Mike Tauchman to score Voit for a 4-1 lead.
Eshelman was charged with four runs, two unearned, in 2 1/3 innings.
Rio Ruiz hit his seventh home, a two-run shot and his first since August 15, to close the gap to 4-3. Núñez’s 10th home run with two outs in the fifth against Ben Heller tied it at 4.
The Orioles left three runners on in the sixth, and one each in the seventh and eighth.
José Iglesias extended his hitting streak to 11 with a ninth-inning single, but his seven-game multi-hit streak ended.
Eshelman’s day: Eshelman didn’t know he was going to start the first game on Friday’s doubleheader until 10:30 Friday morning when Cobb was placed on the injured list.
Alberto on Clemente nomination: Alberto was honored to be the Orioles’ nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award for community service in his native Dominican Republic.
“I want to make a difference,” Alberto said “I just want to help these young guys behind me.”
Alberto’s hometown in the Dominican, San Francisco de Macoris was particularly hard hit by Covid-19, and he helped distribute food and medicine in the city.
Another reason Alberto was cited were his public service announcements, recorded in English and Spanish, to help the Maryland Department of Health during the pandemic
“That was very important because I like to help the community,” Alberto said.
Alberto had missed the two games against the Mets after he jammed a knee running to first base in the 10th inning of Monday’s game against Toronto.
“I cried when I came to the training room because I never felt that pain before,” Alberto said. “That scared me a lot.”
After taking an MRI and X-Rays, Alberto was diagnosed with inflammation. After working out before the game, he was cleared to play.
Roster moves: Outfielder Mason Williams, who had been designated for assignment when DJ Stewart was recalled, has cleared waivers and is outrighted to the alternate site at Bowie. Left-handed pitcher Zac Lowther was also added to the alternate site roster.
The Orioles have 38 players on the 40-man roster and 58 in the 60-man player pool.