Yankees beat Orioles behind Kluber; Zimmermann hit hard; Flaa makes debut - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Yankees beat Orioles behind Kluber; Zimmermann hit hard; Flaa makes debut

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

BALTIMORE—Bruce Zimmermann’s shortest start of the season put the Orioles behind early on Tuesday night, and there was little they could do about it.

Zimmermann allowed nine hits, many of them on hard hit balls, and the Orioles lost to Corey Kluber and the New York Yankees, 5-1, before 6,662 at Oriole Park.

New York (10-13) snatched the lead in the first when leadoff batter DJ LeMahieu doubled, moved to third on a single by Aaron Judge and scored on Gio Urshela’s sacrifice fly to center.

Judge hit his fifth home run of the season in the third. In the fourth, Kyle Higashioka, who’ll now catch more regularly than Gary Sanchez, homered with one out.

LeMahieu and Giancarlo Stanton singled with two outs, and Judge walked, ending Zimmermann’s night. Gio Urshela singled against Orioles reliever Dillon Tate, and LeMahieu scored. However, Stanton was thrown out at the plate by Austin Hays, who threw out Judge at third in the eighth inning on Monday night.

“He just left some balls out over the plate,” manager Brandon Hyde said about Zimmermann. “He had a lot of hard contact early, battled through the first three innings, and we were still in the game … It wasn’t the best night for him.”

Zimmermann (1-3) was charged with four runs in 3 2/3 innings against a tough Yankees lineup.

“It’s probably one of the best in baseball despite how their record is,” Zimmermann said. “You know they’re going to break out eventually. You just don’t get a break through that lineup.”

The Orioles (10-13) were dominated by Kluber (1-2), who allowed a run on six hits in 6 2/3 innings, walking two and striking out nine. He won his first game since April 20, 2019 and is 4-1 with a 2.73 ERA in eight lifetime starts against the Orioles.

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Kluber missed most of 2019 because of a broken arm and pitched only one inning for Texas last year before he was shut down by a shoulder injury.

“I thought he located well. I thought he made it tough on our hitters,” Hyde said.

Kluber started three times for the Cleveland Indians against the Chicago Cubs in the 2016 World Series when Hyde was Chicago’s first base coach.

“More like a pitcher tonight,” Hyde said. “Corey Kluber, back when I saw him, five years ago, it was power two-seam, power breaking ball. Five years later, he’s gone through some things, and he’s pitching. He’s pitching extremely well. He utilized all of his pitches and made it really tough on our guys.”

First baseman Trey Mancini had the Orioles’ first hit, a leadoff double in the fourth. After DJ Stewart grounded to second, Mancini scored on Maikel Franco’s single.

Tate pitched 2 2/3 innings and allowed Stanton’s 434-foot home run to center in the seventh to give New York a 5-1 lead.

Ryan Mountcastle singled to start the seventh. With one out, shortstop Pat Valaika hit a long drive to right that Judge caught, jumping in front of the grounds crew shed, taking away at least an extra-base hit. After centerfielder Cedric Mullins singled, Jonathan Loaisiga got Mancini to ground out, ending the last Orioles’ threat.

Jay Flaa became the 20th player from North Dakota to reach the major leagues when the 28-year-old right-hander pitched a scoreless 1 1/3 inning, walking two, getting Stanton to hit into a double play and striking out Judge to end the top of the ninth.

“It was pretty surreal being out there,” Flaa said. “There were obviously a lot of emotions building up to that. It was like not really worrying about who was in the box, I had enough going on with controlling my heart rate.

“Coming back to the clubhouse now, and having guys coming up and congratulating me, that means a lot to me and everything. As far as this experience sinking in, I don’t know that it will for quite some time.”

After the game, the Orioles returned Flaa, a sixth-round draft choice in 2015, to the alternate training site at Double-A Bowie because they needed to make room for Dean Kremer, who will start against the Yankees on Wednesday night.

Notes: Flaa is the fifth Oriole to debut this year, following Rule 5 right-handers Mac Sceroler and Tyler Wells, left-hander Zac Lowther and outfielder Ryan McKenna. … Catcher Chance Sisco threw out Gleyber Torres attempting to steal in the fifth. Sisco has thrown out all four runners attempting to steal this season. … The Orioles had won their last four games against the Yankees at home.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

29 Comments

29 Comments

  1. Orioles20

    April 28, 2021 at 8:14 am

    The orioles need to inject some offense into this team. Mountcastle is hitting the ball hard and doesn’t have anything to show for it. His plate discipline could improve but I think he’s trying to do too much. Stewart has done nothing outside of the rangers and marlins series. The middle infielders continue to do nothing. Ruiz continues to swing at the slider down and in. O’Day threw him one the other night and of course he whiffed on it. Now with Galvis down we do not have a true shortstop.

  2. Triandos 11

    April 28, 2021 at 8:16 am

    A lackluster performance for sure last nite but at least Zimmerman got more reps and hopefully will learn more from the experience. Going back to yesterday’s comments I think Plutko can be a starter on this team.Hays continues his excellent defense with that great arm. Never like playing the Yankees because I have never liked them since childhood. Being from central New York State I got my chops busted a lot as I started as a fan when the Orioles were in their infancy.

    • CalsPals

      April 28, 2021 at 8:42 am

      Agree, I think Plutko could start, could approach it similar to what the Rays do frequently, have no idea how he could go, 2-3 innings would seem good…go O’s…

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      April 28, 2021 at 9:06 am

      Hell, Bluto could start for this team.

    • CalsPals

      April 28, 2021 at 9:46 am

      :)…funny…go O’s…

  3. Shamus

    April 28, 2021 at 8:56 am

    Zimmerman is a keeper . Just keep throwing him out there. Nice hustle by Franco. Can’t believe I just said that. Plus his bat is hot. Still to early to worry about slumping hitters, just hope they learn how to adjust and break out sooner then later

    • TxBirdFan

      April 28, 2021 at 10:52 am

      Shamus – the words Franco and hustle don’t mix. Not from what I’ve seen.

  4. Bhoffman1

    April 28, 2021 at 8:58 am

    I don’t see Zimmerman as a long term starter but as a 3 inning relief pitcher Lowther should take his place in the rotation when Mikey is ready to bring up his best players. Ruiz and Urias have proved one thing they don’t belong here . Valaika should stay here he will hit some in whatever role he’s given and Jones should be given a shot at second now

  5. jaygotcha

    April 28, 2021 at 8:59 am

    The offense is just way too inconsistent. If they would have kept Alberto, Nunez and Iglesias around, then this team could actually be in first place right now. Having those three would have provided nice depth to this roster.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      April 28, 2021 at 9:08 am

      They would have also provided a few extra wins, and a lower draft slot.
      (yeah, back to beating a dead horse)

      • Rich Dubroff

        April 28, 2021 at 9:43 am

        Ken, how would Renato Nunez, who’s free to sign with anyone help the Orioles? He was hitting .148 when Detroit let him go. There was no market for him in the offseason. I think Alberto, who’s hitting .217 with Kansas City and Iglesias, who’s hitting .267, about what Galvis is, would be an improvement up the middle, but I don’t know how much more offense they’d be providing. I would have been happy to see them keep Iglesias, but he hit much better last year in sporadic play than he’s hitting, playing regularly with the Angels. I think they thought that Yolmer Sanchez was going to be a defensive upgrade over Alberto, but he regressed, and in retrospect, keeping Alberto would have been better, but I really can’t see their record being much better than it is now with those two.

        • Boog Robinson Robinson

          April 28, 2021 at 10:05 am

          Rich, I’m no better than the media … if it doesn’t fit my narrative, I ignore the facts. 🙂

          You make good points, however I believe Alberto will break out of his slump, just as I believe Mountcastle and Mancini will theirs.

          I have no explanation for Nunez other than he must have been the product the short porches of Camden Yards, though I think someone will pick him up. I do note that he DID have 2 homers in his 27 at bats in the Motor City, so evidently he must be able to hit ’em over the fences of other parks as well. To answer your question, the O’s could certainly use a little of that power although I think they’ll eventually find it in other players as the year plays on. I really have no problem with the team moving on from him.

          Let’s revisit these 2 (Alberton & Nunez) in about 2 months and see where they stand. As far as Sanchez goes, I think you heard it here first a few months back when I stated he wouldn’t break camp with the club. That being said … my cut date of mid-May is fast approaching for your pet Urias. Still can’t figure out of Mikey sees in that guy other than he’s really fast.

          You points are taken and noted. I love it when we get a little of your personal opinion rather than just the play by play stuff from the night before. Keep it coming.

        • jaygotcha

          April 28, 2021 at 10:40 am

          Rich, for whatever reason, those guys don’t perform well with the bat outside of Baltimore. Before they arrived none of them hit but once they got to the Orioles, something clicked for them. Nunez and Alberto did it for two seasons so it wasn’t a fluke. I’m optimistic that if they would still be with Baltimore, they would have continued to hit. Nunez would have been tougher to keep around given that DH is about the only spot for him. But having Iglesias, Galvis and Alberto sounds a lot better than Ruiz, Urias and Valaika.

    • ClayDal

      April 28, 2021 at 9:35 am

      Iglesias is hitting.267 with the Angels, Galvis is at .264. A wash there. Nunez was hitting.148 with the Tigers before they sent him back to the alternate camp. Alberto is hitting.267 in KC. Bonus trivia-Mike Yastrzemski is hitting.215 in SF

      • Rich Dubroff

        April 28, 2021 at 9:49 am

        John, Alberto is hitting .217 with the Royals. He has 267 career hits.

        • willmiranda

          April 28, 2021 at 11:28 am

          Alberto’s also contributing to a first-place team, albeit part-time and even on the mound. Given more at-bats, as he was in Baltimore, he is not a .217 hitter. I don’t want to get deep into this debate because there are too many variables. I think the big picture is that present management is just shuffling tweedledees and tweedledums at random, hoping for a lucky strike. I include the random molecular motion between Camden Yards and the “alternate training site.” I do agree with your standard of: How many games did this move win for us?

    • Rich Dubroff

      April 28, 2021 at 9:37 am

      Jay, currently Hanser Alberto is hitting .217. Jose Iglesias is hitting .267, Renato Nunez was hitting .148 before Detroit let him go. Iglesias’ glove would have been nice, but Galvis’ average is about the same, and I can’t see where Nunez would help at all.

    • TxBirdFan

      April 28, 2021 at 10:57 am

      I miss Alberto. He got on base for us and that’s what we’re missing. Letting Nunez go was no big deal, but Alberto was one of our best players for a couple of years. I’d take him at third over Franco any day

  6. Icterus fan

    April 28, 2021 at 9:54 am

    It’s good to keep up with players and their stats, but with Nunez, Alberto and Sanchez, they are merely former employees. Aside from the glove, who cares about Sanchez? He drank his cup of coffee and now he’s gone. Let him hit .245 or whatever somewhere else. The boss fired him. Game over.
    I liked Alberto, and Nunez too.
    Come on, they used to work here and now they don’t.
    Let it go!

  7. PrayinForReign

    April 28, 2021 at 9:56 am

    I think I spotted Villar playing center field for the Mets last night. Just sayin’…

  8. Bhoffman1

    April 28, 2021 at 10:25 am

    I agree with Rich I would have liked to keep Iglesias to me he’s a better player then Galvis and has better hair. As far as the other two Nunez and Alberto they are not complete players and don’t fit into Mikeys long unfortunately very long term plan. I hope Kremer pitches well tonight so they don’t shuffle him back to the alternate site and Lowther is back soon to replace Zimmerman in the starting rotation. Means, Lowther , Bauman , Kremer and Dark night should be the rotation by this summer I hope

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      April 28, 2021 at 10:44 am

      Although I was rooting for Richie Martin last year, I have to admit Iglesias won me over by the end of summer. Cutting him was classic Elias MO.

      As far as very long term plans go … where does the farm system of Houston stand now? That blueprint simply isn’t sustainable. Hopefully Mikey will tweak it a bit.

    • Icterus fan

      April 28, 2021 at 10:45 am

      I meant Iglesias, but either way…..adios hombres.
      Better hair than Galvis? Between him, Kremer and Lopez, there’s some serious hair on display. I’m just jelly….

    • BarstoolSleeper

      April 28, 2021 at 12:40 pm

      Zimmerman has 7 career games in the majors and you’re ready to move on from him already?

    • Bhoffman1

      April 28, 2021 at 5:26 pm

      Yes I see his stuff it’s not starting pitcher overwhelming but it’s good for a few innings in relief. Time will prove me right or wrong

    • Bhoffman1

      April 28, 2021 at 5:28 pm

      By better hair i meant a hair cut. Seriously for someone that had long hair back in the sixties and seventies there is something to say about the Yankees clean cut look in those pinstripes

    • CalsPals

      April 28, 2021 at 6:20 pm

      Can’t argue the clean cut look, looks professional…go O’s…

    • dlgruber1

      April 29, 2021 at 12:36 am

      Roughened Odor looks human again.

    • CalsPals

      April 29, 2021 at 4:00 pm

      Lol, at least as close to human as he can…go O’s…

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