BALTIMORE—Matt Harvey has met the Orioles’ expectations and, perhaps, exceeded them. The 32-year-old right-hander pitched six strong innings against the New York Yankees on Monday night and led the Orioles to a 4-2 win before 6,362 at Oriole Park.
Harvey (2-1) won his second straight start, allowing just a run on three hits. He retired 11 Yankees in a row and New York scored its only run with two outs in the sixth when Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge hit back-to-back doubles. Harvey walked three and struck out five in his longest start of the season.
“That’s probably the best I’ve felt in a couple of years,” said Harvey, who’s with his fourth team since leaving the New York Mets in 2018.. “Everything was working well, mechanically felt good, felt strong through the whole outing. I was able to throw strikes when I needed to, and guys made plays behind me, and it was a good team effort.
“Obviously, tonight was better. I’ve been kicking myself with the short outings in my mind. I want to go six, seven innings every time. I could have done that in all my starts, really.”
Orioles manager Brandon Hyde liked what he saw from Harvey.
“I thought he got over the hump there,” Hyde said. “I thought his stuff stayed the same through the fifth.”
Cedric Mullins’ leadoff home run, his second of the season, gave Harvey a 1-0 lead in the first. Mullins’ home run landed on Eutaw Street, the first Oriole to do that in 2021. Mullins also hit a home run to center against left-handed reliever Justin Wilson leading off the seventh. It was his first multi-home run game. He doubled in the fifth.
Mullins’ average is .365, and he has an .996 OPS. More impressive, he’s doing it batting left-handed exclusively this season, having abandoned switch-hitting during the offseason.
“I knew that I put in a solid amount of work in the offseason off of machines,” Mullins said “A couple of guys threw left-on-left. I’m adjusting fairly quickly, and it feels pretty good.”
Mullins has impressed Hyde.
“To go left-on-left with Justin Wilson, who I know very well, you don’t see that very often,” Hyde said. “Not only to hit a homer, but to go dead center, shows you the power that Cedric has.”
In the second, New York starter Deivi García walked catcher Pedro Severino with one out. With two outs, shortstop Freddy Galvis doubled, scoring Severino to give Baltimore (10-12) a 2-0 lead.
Galvis left the game because of groin soreness. Ramón Urias moved from second to short to replace him, and Rio Ruiz came in to play second.
“He’s just day-to-day right now,” Hyde said. “It’s a left groin strain, soreness, just kind of tightened up on him a little bit. Feels a lot better now. It’s fortunate for us, it’s just day-to-day.”
With Galvis out, the Orioles need an infielder, and they optioned outfielder Ryan McKenna to the alternate training site at Bowie after the game. Richie Martin and Pat Valaika are among those who could be considered as infield options.
After the back-to-back doubles by Stanton and Judge cut the lead to 2-1, former Orioles reliever Darren O’Day hit Austin Hays in the left hand with a pitch.
On a hit-and-run, Hays took off for second and Severino punched a single to right field, sending Hays to third. He scored on the third balk of O’Day’s career. His first two came with the Orioles in 2017 and 2018.
Travis Lakins pitched a scoreless seventh. In the eighth, Tanner Scott’s control issues continued.
He walked the bases full in his second straight appearance. On Saturday night, he walked three Oakland batters after retiring the first two and struck out Stephen Piscotty to end the top of the ninth.
This time, Scott walked Clint Frazier, DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Judge. Stanton flied out before Judge walked. Rougned Odor struck out, and Hyde brought in César Valdez.
“I’m going to continue to throw him out there in big spots,” Hyde said about Scott. “I believe in the arm. I believe in the kid. He’s had a couple of rough ones with command. Huge punchout of Odor.”
Gio Urshela singled off Valdez. Frazier scored, and Judge was thrown out trying for third on a strong throw from Hays in left. Yankees manager Aaron Boone was ejected by first base umpire Greg Gibson for arguing the ruling that LeMahieu had not scored before the out at third was made, ending the inning and leaving the Orioles ahead, 4-2.
Boone didn’t request a challenge call in time, Gibson ruled. Boone said the call was correct.
Valdez retired the Yankees (9-13) in order in the ninth for his fifth save.
Tate waits his turn: With 10 relievers in the bullpen, Dillon Tate hasn’t gotten consistent work. He’s twice pitched in consecutive games but has had three, four and five days of rest between appearances.
“That has been a thing where I’m making adjustments with my routine as the games are going on,” Tate said. “So sometimes I might have to get in there and lift a little bit more and other times I may have to get on the mound and get sessions in on days I’m not throwing on days where it’s back-to-back or even every other day. I’m playing with things to keep myself as sharp as I can until my name is called.”