May continues to throw the gauntlet of teams that were supposed to be better than the young Orioles. Truth be told, the Orioles haven’t listened to the talk and have taken each game one at a time.
After sweeping the Toronto Blue Jays into the AL East cellar, the New York Yankees were next up in the Bronx. This was a series the Orioles were not intimidated by.
Even after blowing a 4-1 lead in game one, the feisty Birds stormed back to take the series 2-1 and keep a strong hold on second place in the AL East. It also wrapped up a 5-1 road trip heading into Memorial Day weekend.
Let’s see how the games unfolded:
Game 1: O’s 5, NYY 6 – 10 innings
The Orioles wasted no time jumping out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning. Home runs by Cedric Mullins and Gunnar Henderson helped push the lead to 4-0, giving Kyle Bradish a good lead to work with.
Bradish was on cruise control until Harrison Bader hit a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth. Bradish pushed ahead, but in the fifth inning, he would hit a wall and let the Yankees tie the game.
Terrin Vavra provided an RBI ground out in the sixth, and the Birds were ready to close things down. Their closer Félix Bautista entered in the ninth to close things down.
Unfortunately, Aaron Judge is not one to play around with, and a hanging splitter ended up in the middle of the plate. Judge, who is hitting .585 on middle of the plate pitches, deposited the hanger in the stands to tie the game. The Yankees would walk it off in the bottom of the 10th, sending the Yankees to a 6-5 victory to open the series.
Game 2: O’s 9, NYY 6
If the Yankees were expecting carry over from the previous day, they received their wish. The Yanks stormed out to a 5-1 lead with Nestor Cortes, who has a career 1.01 ERA in six starts against his former club and was doing his usual shutdown of the Oriole hitters.
But there is something about these young Birds. They don’t know when to quit, and the Yankees were about ready to find out.
Once again, Adam Frazier was going to play hero. He stepped to the plate with two runners aboard and unleashed a fly ball that caught the wind. Carrying back and to the left, it would hit off the right field foul pole for a three-run home run to make the game 5-4 in the Yankees’ favor.
James McCann and Jorge Mateo followed with back-to-back singles before pinch hitter Gunnar Henderson (who just finished taking batting practice in the indoor batting cage) laced a two-run double, giving the Orioles a 6-5 lead and shocking the Yankees and their fans.
Ryan Mountcastle would follow with a sacrifice fly, and Anthony Santander and Austin Hays would finish the scoring off with RBI singles. The Orioles plated eight runs to take a 9-6 lead. It was their largest inning since a nine-run eighth inning on September 8, 2021.
Mike Baumann (4-0), Mychal Givens, Danny Coulombe and Félix Bautista would shut New York down from there, with Bautista redeeming himself by collecting his 12th save.
The 9-6 win was the Orioles’ league-leading 19th come-from-behind victory.
Game 3: O’s 3, NYY 1
After splitting the first two games with each team notching comeback victories, game three was bound to be just as tense.
Kyle Gibson, coming off one of his best starts against Toronto, was ready to take on the Bronx Bombers. Gibson was 1-5 in 10 career starts with a 6.75 ERA against New York prior to this outing.
Gibby forgot the past and pitched like the veteran leader Baltimore needed. Pitching seven innings for the second straight game, he would allow just two hits and no runs. Gibson (6-3) improved to 3-1 against the AL East with a 2.52 ERA in four starts against the division this season.
Backed up by two double plays and an RBI single by Anthony Santander (3-for-3), the Orioles fought to hold on to that 1-0 lead. To give a little breathing room, Austin Hays hit a two-run double in the eighth inning to extend the lead to 3-0.
Mike Baumann pitched a clean eighth before ‘The Rock’ Yennier Canó collected his fourth save. Though Canó gave up a rare walk, hit and run, he secured the 3-1 win and 2-1 series victory.
The Orioles completed a 5-1 road trip while winning their fourth straight series against the AL East. At 33-17, the Birds remain in second place and have the second best record in the majors.
For this series, the BATTERY ❌-FACTOR went to an opposing player. In order for the series to go Baltimore’s way, Aaron Judge would need to be shut down.
Outside of the game-tying home run in game one, Judge did little the rest of the way. For the series, Judge ended up 1-for-9 (.111) with a home run, one RBI, two runs, five walks and a strikeout.
It’s fair to say keeping Judge from having an impact on the series is one of the main reasons the Birds were able to win two of the three games.
The Orioles have little time to celebrate as they head home to begin a three-game series against the Texas Rangers. Friday marks the debut of the City Connect uniform, with game one starting at 7:05 p.m. EST.
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