BALTIMORE—For the first half of the season, Tyler Wells was brilliant, with a 3.18 ERA, a 7-4 record and an outstanding WHIP of 0.927. In his three starts since the All-Star break, it’s been downhill for Wells.
On Saturday night before 42,829 at Camden Yards, the second sellout crowd of the season, Wells allowed three runs on three hits and walked three in 2 2/3 innings in the Orioles 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees.
In these three second-half starts, Wells has allowed 11 runs on 10 hits and walked nine in nine innings.
“Tonight, again his command just wasn’t there,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “Just missed locations, gave them some hard contact … Not locating his pitches.”
The Orioles (63-41) remain in first place in the American League East by 1 ½ games after Tampa Bay’s 17-4 loss to Houston.
Giancarlo Stanton hit a home run to left field against Wells with two outs in the first.
Wells (7-6) labored through a second inning in which he walked Isiah Kiner-Falefa to start the inning, and after Harrison Bader hit into a force play, Bader stole second and took third on catcher Adley Rutschman’s wild throw.
Rutschman picked off Bader at third, and Anthony Volpe was called out looking on the 10th pitch of his at-bat to end the inning.
Aaron Judge hit a two-run home run in the third with one out, and with two outs, Wells hit Anthony Rizzo with a pitch and walked DJ LeMahieu.
“He doesn’t look like he has his best stuff,” Hyde said.
In a tight race for the postseason, Hyde can’t afford to be overly patient.
“I’m also trying to win the game, and the guy’s stuff doesn’t look like Tyler Wells,” Hyde said. “He’s walking people and hitting Rizzo with a curveball. That’s not who he is.”
Wells is scheduled to pitch on Thursday at Toronto, but Hyde didn’t guarantee he’d start then. The trade deadline is at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, and the Orioles could add a starting pitcher by then.
“I think we’re going to be talking about a lot of things here coming up,” Hyde said. “Obviously, we’re in a weird week. He’s had tough times his last few starts. I think there are going to be discussions going on.”
Mike Baumann replaced Wells, who allowed three runs on three hits in 2 2/3 innings.
“Control is by far the biggest issue,” Wells said. “Each start, it’s been a different goal. I made some progress in what I was trying to accomplish between last start and this start, but other things I’ve got to sort out and go back to the drawing board on. If there’s anyone that’s going to work really hard on it, it’s going to be me. I’m not going to let it discourage me.”
Wells said he’s fine physically.
“It’s a long season, and you’re going to have some rough starts,” he said. “That’s part of the job. We all have tough days at work.”
Gleyber Torres’ sacrifice fly in the top of the fourth scored Bader to give New York a 4-2 lead.
Ryan Mountcastle hit his 13th home run to right against Clarke Schmidt (7-6) to start the second. Adam Frazier doubled and moved to third on Colton Cowser’s infield out and scored on an infield single by Ramón Urías.
Rutschman, who batted leadoff for the first time in his career, scored in the fifth on Anthony Santander’s infield out after walking and advancing to third in Gunnar Henderson’s double.
The Orioles had no baserunners after Henderson’s double, and New York pitching retired their final 14 batters.
Kyle Higashioka’s leadoff home run against Cole Irvin in the sixth put New York (55-49) ahead 5-3.
Irvin loaded the bases with one out, allowing singles to Judge, Stanton and Rizzo before Bryan Baker, who had allowed 47 percent of inherited runners to score entering the game, allowed a three-run double to Kiner-Falefa on the 10th pitch of his at-bat, giving the Yankees an 8-3 lead.
“I was hoping that Irvin could go a little longer, but it didn’t quite happen,” Hyde said.
“I always feel confident in my ability to work out of jams,” Wells said. “But whenever Skip makes that decision, I trust that his decision is best. Ultimately, it’s his choice, but if he made that decision, I trust him 100 percent.
“Everyone’s got a bad day at work, and how you react to it is ultimately the biggest thing, and right now I’m trying to take positives out of each start and continue to work on the things I need to get better at.”
Notes: Dean Kremer (10-4, 4.59) will face Luis Severino (2-4, 6.46) on Sunday night at 7:10. The game will shown exclusively on ESPN. … In Friday’s news conference, Orioles executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias said DL Hall would pitch two innings in the Florida Complex League on Saturday. Hall had actually pitched two innings on Friday before Elias spoke, allowing one hit, a walk and struck out six.
Minor league update: Leftfielder Connor Norby hit his 14th home run in Triple-A Norfolk’s 5-4 loss to Nashville.
Centerfielder Dontá Williams and designated hitter Billy Cook homered in Double-A Bowie’s 10-3 loss to Somerset.
High-A Aberdeen and Jersey Shore were tied at 1-1 when their game was suspended in the fourth inning.
Kannapolis beat Single-A Delmarva, 2-1, in a game that was ended by rain after five innings.
Carter Baumler, who had right shoulder surgery in the offseason, pitched a scoreless inning in the Florida Complex League, his first action of 2023.