This one had an ugly start. And unfortunately the rest of the game was like the start too.
The first two Yankee batters of the the game — DJ LeMahieu and Luke Voit — reached base on singles. Then David Hess fell behind Gary Sanchez 3-0 before managing to get the count full. But Sanchez deposited the seventh pitch of the at-bat into the seats in left, giving the Yanks a quick 3-0 lead.
For the second night in a row, an Orioles player dropped a pop-up in foul territory. Hanser Alberto was the culprit this time when he called off Chris Davis near the first base coaching box and had the ball bounce off his glove. But the miscue didn’t come back to bite the O’s this time, with Hess retiring LeMahieu on a fly out and striking out Voit to strand Cameron Maybin on first and end the second inning.
In the top of the third, Dwight Smith Jr. hit the outfield wall hard while trying to catch a rocket off the bat of Gio Urshela. The ball bounced out of Smith Jr.’s glove as he crashed into the padding of the State Farm signage in left center field and fell to the ground. Urshela wound up at second and Aaron Hicks scored on the play, giving New York a 4-0 lead.
The next batter, Clint Frazier, cranked a two-run shot to dead center field. Stevie Wilkerson tracked it to the wall and timed his leap well, but the ball was just beyond his reach. Three innings into the game and Hess had allowed six runs, including a pair of home runs.
In the bottom of the third, the Orioles had their best chance of the early innings to get to German. They loaded up the bases with two outs, but the Yankees’ right-hander was able to get Rio Ruiz to roll over on a curveball and ground out to second base, ending the inning and the threat.
Interestingly enough, the starters had very similar pitch counts at the end of the fourth; Hess with 76 and German with 73.
But the fifth inning was not kind to Hess. He gave up his third home run of the night, this one a three-run shot by Frazier to dead center, his second dinger of the night. And with that shot, the Orioles attained another dubious record — fastest team to reach 100 home runs allowed, ever.
The Birds finally got on the board in the bottom of the fifth, with a three-run home run of their own. Alberto was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and Austin Wynns reached when German threw a tailor-made double play ground ball into center field. With runners on the corners, Wilkerson lined a homer just over the railing atop the out of town scoreboard in right. 9-3, Yankees.
Hess was replaced by Josh Lucas in the sixth and things got murky almost immediately. LeMahieu got his third hit of the night on a ground ball past the dive of Jonathan Villar, then Voit singled to center to put runners on the corners with one out. The Yanks got their tenth run of the night on a fielder’s choice ground ball to third, with the runner out at second but Sanchez safe at first on the relay throw.
Aaron Hicks came up next and dropped a bloop single into right center, putting runners on the corners again, this time with two outs. Then Gleyber Torres smoked a line drive off the mound and into center field to score another run. 11-3, Yankees.
German was lifted after five innings, replaced on the mound in the sixth by Yankees right-hander David Hale. Davis greeted him with a double against the shift and down the left field line. Renato Nunez moved Davis to third on a ground ball to short and Alberto drove him home on a ground out to third. 11-4, Yankees. That was the final scoring to take place in the game.
Despite giving up a pair of runs in his first inning of work, at least Lucas was able to soak up three innings for the O’s and spare the bullpen. Richard Bleier came on to work the ninth and retired the side on three ground outs, so that can be taken as a positive.
Halfway through this four-game series against the Yanks, and the Orioles are 0-2. Baltimore has either looked completely over-matched or just shot themselves in the foot at different points in these first two games. They’ll have to play more sound all-around baseball if they hope to take any of the next two games in this series.