NEW YORK—The Orioles have played better than expected this season. Their bats, however, have suddenly gone silent.
In their first three games at Yankee Stadium this weekend, they’ve scored two runs on 10 hits. They’ve lost all three.
On Saturday, they had an opportunity to come away with a win behind starter Dean Kremer’s second straight strong start against the Yankees.
Instead, they managed just four hits and lost, 2-1, 10 innings. It was the Orioles’ fourth straight loss and dropped their record to 20-25.
After reliever César Valdez baffled the Yankees for three innings, giving up just one hit, Hunter Harvey came in to pitch the 10th. With the automatic runner DJ LeMahieu on second, Harvey’s first pitch was wild, allowing LeMahieu to take third.
Luke Voit flied to centerfielder Cedric Mullins, and LeMahieu scored the winning run.
Manager Brandon Hyde was displeased with his team’s offense.
“We’ve just got to score some runs,” Hyde said during his postgame video conference.
On Friday night, the Orioles were shut out on two hits by Gerrit Cole in the first game of a doubleheader and had just four hits in the second game, getting outscored by a combined 16-1. Ten hits in 24 innings is maddening.
“Today, we chased way too much outside the strike zone,” Hyde said. “That’s why we’re streaky because they’re strikes to us, and we’re aggressive. We’ll have some good [offensive] nights like we did in Citi Field, but here, we’re leaving the zone too often.”
In the first game of the road trip, the Orioles beat the Mets, 11-2, on Tuesday. New York’s stellar defense helped the Mets overcome a 5-1 deficit and defeat the Orioles, 7-6, in a game they should have won.
The four hits on Saturday came from the top three hitters. Hanser Alberto singled and scored in the seventh. José Iglesias singled in the first. And Ryan Mountcastle singled and doubled.
The bottom six hitters were 0-for-24.
“I think it’s a little that the hitters we have that are overaggressive,” Hyde said. “Over time, they’ll start narrowing in their strike zone a little bit. I was disappointed in our at-bats today. I liked how we competed. I thought there was a lot of good things that happened today, but I thought we should have pushed more than one run across.”
The Orioles had only three hits in 5 2/3 innings against Jordan Montgomery, who struck out nine and allowed an unearned run in the seventh. Alberto singled to left, Mike Tauchman misplayed the hit, and Alberto was safe at second on the error.
Alberto advanced to third on Iglesias’ fly ball to right and scored on Mountcastle’s bloop single.
“We played way different than we did against the Mets,” Alberto said. “We are very, very disappointed in ourselves because we know we have to do a better job, but we’re facing some tough pitchers. Gerrit Cole and [Masahiro[ Tanaka have pretty good stuff and all we can do is turn the page and be ready for tomorrow and next week.”
Mountcastle doubled with two outs in the eighth but stayed there after Pedro Severino grounded back to Zack Britton.
Aroldis Chapman retired the Orioles in the ninth, and Jonathan Holder pitched a scoreless 10th for the win.
“You’ve got to be able to push more than one run across before you get to Britton and Chapman,” Hyde said.
Kremer’s Day: Kremer followed his outstanding debut last Sunday with another solid performance. In his first game against the Yankees, Kremer allowed a run on one hit in six innings.
On Saturday, he gave up a run on four hits, walking three and striking out seven.
Unlike his first game when he had four clean innings, Kremer had a baserunner in each inning.
“They had a slightly different approach against me this time,” Kremer said. “They tried to eliminate my curveball.”
LeMahieu led off the first with a double, advanced to third on Luke Voit’s fly to right. Aaron Hicks walked, and LeMahieu scored on Clint Frazier’s sacrifice fly to right.
Frazier tripled with two outs in the third, and Gary Sánchez doubled with one out in the fourth, but neither scored.
Valdez sharp: Valdez pitched three innings, giving up just Brett Gardner’s two-out triple in the eighth.
Valdez, who hadn’t pitched in a week, hasn’t allowed an earned run and only five hits in 10 1/3 innings in five appearances. He’s struck out 10 and walked two.
“Incredible,” Hyde said. “Three innings, tie game, no panic. He’s throwing a dead fish up there … great pitching, uses all of his pitches, different arm angles, different looks, it’s fun to watch.”
Akin won’t start on short rest: Hyde said he won’t consider bringing back Keegan Akin, who faced only seven batters in Friday’s second game, to start on three days’ rest on Tuesday. “It’ll probably be a spot starter day,” Hyde said. “I feel like we want to take care of Keegan, and that’s why we took him out after 39 pitches in the first inning … That was further than I wanted him to go in that one inning. I don’t want to interrupt his days-between starts. He’s had a lot of interruptions this season already. The best thing to do is to keep him on a regular rest schedule.”
Odds and ends: Infielder Dilson Herrera cleared waivers and was assigned outright to the Bowie alternate site. The Orioles’ player pool is at 60 … Hyde acknowledged that Anthony Santander’s oblique injury was season-ending, and said the rightfielder should be ready for spring training.
Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB
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