NEW YORK—The Orioles offensive challenges have been on display for the past two nights at Yankee Stadium. In the first two games of the three-game series, the Orioles have struck out 27 times. They were nearly shut out for the second straight night.
The Orioles’ 7-2 loss to New York before 9,404 on Tuesday night was their 12th straight at Yankee Stadium, a franchise record. In their last six games here, the Orioles have had just 27 baserunners, scored five times and struck out 65 times.
On Tuesday night, they were no match for Gerrit Cole, who struck out 13 Orioles without walking a batter in seven innings. He has a 1.36 ERA in six starts against the Orioles.
The Orioles have struck out 60 times in five games. Their two runs came with two outs in the ninth inning on an infield single by Ryan Mountcastle and a two-run homer by Rio Ruiz, the team’s first.
“I just thought we faced Gerrit Cole tonight on a good night for Gerrit Cole,” manager Brandon Hyde said in response to a question about the team’s strikeout ratio. “Give him credit. He’s really tough to hit. You saw us leave the strike zone too much, premeditated swings at times where he were chasing breaking balls down, but he is throwing 100 miles an hour on top, so it’s not easy.
“Facing Jordan Montgomery last night, he was tough. Playing the teams that we play, we’re going to face elite pitching, and it’s something our guys are going to have to adapt to, and we’ll pull through.”
In his first start of the season, Dean Kremer escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first by striking out the side but didn’t record an out in the fourth inning and walked four.
In the first, D.J. LeMahieu singled to lead off. Aaron Judge lined a ball off Kremer’s hamstring, and reached first. Kremer stayed in and walked Brett Gardner.
“It tightened up pretty quick,” Kremer said. “But then as I continued to move around, it loosened up and, mentally, I was fine, I kept going.”
Kremer showed his toughness when he struck out Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres and Clint Frazier to end the first.
Jay Bruce homered to start the second against Kremer. He allowed two-out singles to Stanton and Torres in the third, but New York didn’t score. In the fourth, Kremer walked Bruce, Gio Urshela and Kyle Higashioka before Hyde had seen enough.
“Dean pitched well. In the fourth inning, he ran out of gas,” Hyde said. “He threw a lot of pitches those first few innings. Tough time commanding the baseball in the fourth.”
Kremer allowed three runs on five hits in three-plus, with the four walks and five strikeouts.
“I got away from my game plan and started to try to place things and be too perfect,” Kremer said. “I went away from attacking the zone.”
Adam Plutko, who was excellent in rescuing starter Matt Harvey on Saturday, limited the damage. Bruce scored on LeMahieu’s double play grounder and Judge’s single scored Urshela. Plutko retired his final seven batters.
The Orioles, who are 3-2 after sweeping Boston in the opening series, had their best chance to take a lead in the first when cenerfielder Cedric Mullins led off with a single, stole second, advanced to third on Cole’s wild pitch but was thrown out at the plate when he ran on contact on Anthony Santander’s ground ball to first. Bruce threw home to nab Mullins.
Cole retired the last 12 Orioles before Chad Green came in for the eighth. Each Oriole but Makiel Franco struck out against Cole.
“He’s really difficult,” Franco said. “At the end of the day, you have to make adjustments and try to find the barrel because you hit it off the end of the bat, it’s going to hurt your fingers.”
Tyler Wells gave up New York’s final run in the seventh on an RBI double by Stanton.
Judge hit a 432-foot home run, his second, against Wade LeBlanc in the eighth to make it 7-0.
Green pitched a spotless eighth, and Lucas Luetge nearly had one in the ninth. With two outs, Mountcastle was safe on an infield single to shortstop, which was reviewed on replay. Yankees manager Aaron Boone didn’t think Mountcastle beat the throw. Ruiz followed with the Orioles’ first home run in five games.
Notes: The Orioles are 3-25 against New York since April 4, 2019. … Mullins is the third Oriole hitter with at least 11 hits over his first five games. Adam Jones (12 in 2013) and Eddie Murray (12 in 1982) are the others.
Opening Day: The home opener is Thursday, and the Orioles face the Boston Red Sox at 3:05 p.m. Gates open at 2:05 p.m. Baltimore mayor Brandon Scott and former Boston mayor Marty Walsh, who’s now Secretary of Labor, will throw out the first pitches. The National Anthem will be performed by Zadia.
“Can’t wait for it,” Hyde said. “Everybody’s looking forward to it. Guys were talking about it in the clubhouse. Can’t wait to go home, see fans in the seats at Camden Yards. It was two months last year of nobody there and hearing ourselves in the dugout, hearing the other dugout, and to hear a buzz in the crowd and here fans cheer for our guys, everybody’s very excited for that day.”
Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB
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