BALTIMORE—The Orioles entered the seventh inning with a two-run lead over the New York Yankees. With a rested bullpen, they thought they had a good chance to hold the advantage.
Instead, the bullpen faltered. Gio Urshela’s three-run, pinch-hit home run lifted New York to a 5-4 win over the Orioles before 10,809 at Oriole Park on Friday night.
Cole Sulser began the top of the seventh for the Orioles (16-22) and allowed a one-out single to Miguel Andújar and walked Kyle Higashioka. Manager Brandon Hyde replaced Sulser with Travis Lakins (1-4), who gave up the home run to Urshela on the ninth pitch he saw, a belt-high fastball.
Aaron Judge hit a home run with two outs against Dean Kremer in the first. Austin Hays answered with his fifth homer off Corey Kluber in the bottom of the first after Cedric Mullins had dropped a single into left field but was thrown out attempting to steal second.
Judge hit his 10th home run of the season, and fifth against the Orioles, in the fourth. He has 22 in 58 games against them.
“I made a couple of mistakes to the wrong guy, and he’s got enough power to do some damage,” Kremer said.
The Orioles took a 4-2 lead in the fifth. DJ Stewart led off with a double. He took third on an infield out and scored on Pedro Severino’s double down the left-field line. It was Severino’s third RBI of the season. The Orioles’ catchers, Severino and Sisco, have combined for just six RBIs. Neither had an RBI last September.
Pat Valaika’s single scored Severino. Valaika stole second, his first career stolen base in his 301st game. With two outs, Hays walked, and Trey Mancini doubled to right to score Valaika, but Hays was out at the plate to end the inning.
Adam Plutko replaced Kremer for the sixth. Kremer, who has made five of his 11 career starts against New York (21-17), allowed two runs — the solo home runs by Judge — on five hits in five innings, striking out four.
Hyde has been careful about limiting Kremer’s innings but said that wasn’t why he didn’t send him out for the sixth.
“That wasn’t the case tonight,” Hyde said. “The case tonight was trying to win the game.”
With Judge due to lead off the sixth, Hyde went to Plutko.
“He [Kremer] gave us five innings, left with the lead,” Hyde said. “We just didn’t hold it.”
Kremer won’t have to face the Yankees again until early August, when the teams play in New York.
“It’s not a lineup [that] you can really take for granted,” Kremer said. “You’ve got to be at your best pretty much every time you face them. If you’re not, they do a lot of damage.
“The more you see somebody, on both ends, the easier it gets, I guess, both on the hitting and the pitching side.”
Kluber (3-2) allowed four runs on seven hits in six innings. He’s 5-1 in nine career starts against the Orioles.
Chad Green, Wandy Peralta and Jonathan Loaisiga combined for three scoreless innings.
Stewart had his first three-hit game of the season.
“It’s just nice to see some stuff fall for me,” Stewart said. “I didn’t hit everything super hard … There’s been games where I’ve hit them right at them or someone makes a really good play. I’m not going to get too high or too low. Tomorrow’s a fresh start, and we’ll go at it again.”
Notes: John Means had been scheduled to start on Sunday but his start has been put on hold. The Orioles didn’t comment on the change or announce a starter to replace him. … Freddy Galvis batted fourth for the first time in his career. He went 0-for-4. … Maikel Franco was 0-for-4 and is in a 4-for-52 slump that’s sent his average to .196. “We need Frankie and, hopefully, we can get him going pretty soon,” Hyde said. … Jorge López (1-3, 5.63 ERA) will face Domingo Germán (2-2, 4.02) on Saturday night. …The crowd was the largest of the season and the third sellout.