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First inning explosion KO’s Yankees as Orioles cruise to 9-3 win on Sunday Night Baseball

The Orioles bats knocked around New York for seven runs in opening inning and never looked back as they downed the Evil Empire.

New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Fifty years ago, the sporting landscape was graced with “Down goes Frazier.” Sunday night in Baltimore, Birdland was graced with “Out goes Frazier, down goes the Yankees.” The Orioles offense exploded for six runs before recording an out, and the made a statement with a 9-3 win over the Yankees.

With the struggling Luis Severino on the mound for the Yankees, the Orioles’ offense looked for the baseball equivalent of a first round KO. Adley Rutschman, in his new role as leadoff hitter, started off the inning with a single through the right side on a first-pitch fastball. Gunnar Henderson then took a center-cut cutter and bounced it back up the middle to immediately give the O’s a one-on, one-out scoring threat. Friday night’s hero Anthony Santander then got the scoring started, sending a double into the RF corner that plated Adley and gave the Orioles a 1-0 lead.

Ryan O’Hearn kept the rally going with a double of his own, rocketing a ball the other way into the LF corner that scored both Gunnar and Santander. Then, after Austin Hays worked a five pitch walk, Adam Frazier delivered the knockout blow. The veteran utility player launched a first-pitch fastball almost onto Eutaw Street for a three-run home run that gave the O’s a 6-0 lead and sent Camden Yards into a frenzy. Adley would later deliver another body blow with an RBI single for his second hit of the inning, and at 7-0 it felt like the Yankees were truly out of it before the 2nd inning even began.

In keeping with the boxing metaphor, the Orioles offense continued to work the jab the rest of the game as they tacked on a few insurance runs. When the Yankees cut things to 7-2 in the top of the 4th, the O’s responded with another two runs of their own. In the bottom of the inning, Adley led off the inning by working a walk from a full count. Gunnar then sent a laser beam of a double into the right-center gap, allowing Adley to score all the way from first. After a wild pitch allowed Gunnar to move to third, O’Hearn picked up his third RBI of the game by singling past a drawn-in infield—restoring the seven run cushion at 9-2.

The early lead allowed the Orioles pitching staff to operate on cruise control for most of the evening. Dean Kremer started off excellently, striking out two on his way to a one-two-three 1st inning. Things then got a little more tense in the bottom of the 2nd. After getting two quick outs, Kremer gave up a hard hit single to center fielder Harrison Bader for the Yankees first base runner. Kremer then issued back-to-back walks to load the bases for New York and give them an opportunity to get back into the game. However, he was able to get catcher Kyle Higashioka to ground out to third to escape with a scoreless inning.

Kremer and the Orioles weren’t as lucky in the 3rd and 4th innings. Right-fielder Jake Bauers led off the New York 3rd with a solo homer to center on a low cutter. The very next batter, Gleyber Torres, looked like he had another HR, only for it to hit off the very top of the Great Wall of Baltimore, meaning he had to settle for a double. Kremer then locked in, striking out the next three batters to strand Torres at second.

Things then got a bit messier for the Orioles starter in the top of the 4th. Bader led off the frame with another single, and Kremer looked to execute another Houdini act. He almost got there too, picking up the first two outs on a pop-out to center and another K. However, Higashioka didn’t ruin the rally again, singling into center field to keep the inning alive. Bauers then delivered his second RBI of the game, doubling down the line in right to plate Bader and make things 7-2.

While Kremer came out for the 5th inning, he only lasted one batter as Brandon Hyde pulled him after giving up a leadoff single to Giancarlo Stanton. Mike Baumann then came in to relieve Kremer, and although he picked up three outs, a single from Isiah Kiner-Falefa and a sac fly from Brader meant the Yankees picked up their third run of the game.

From there it was smooth sailing for the Orioles’ bullpen. Shintaro Fujinami worked two nearly flawless innings in the 6th and 7th—collecting four strikeouts along the way. Danny Coulombe then came in for the 8th and proceeded to strike out the side. Yennier Cano then repeated that trick in the 9th, K’ing all three Yankees he faced to put a bow on an O-so-satisfying Orioles win. The Baltimore pitching staff racked up 18 Ks overall, a season high and a season worst for New York.

The win not only sealed the series for the O’s, but sealed the season series against the Yankees with the Orioles’ seventh win. Even more than that, though, it felt like a changing of the guard at the top of the AL East.

The Yankees are so often thought of as the “rightful” holders of the AL East title—and the Orioles have come to be known as the cellar dwellers. When Cano pumped in the final strike to Anthony Rizzo, and Camden Yards erupted into celebration, it seemed pretty clear that New York no longer holds the AL East’s metaphorical belt. And now the Orioles are one step closer to claiming it for themselves.


Who was the Most Birdland Player for Sunday, July 30th?

This poll is closed

  • 49%
    Adam Frazier
    (445 votes)
  • 36%
    Adley Rutschman
    (331 votes)
  • 5%
    Gunnar Henderson
    (51 votes)
  • 8%
    Ryan O’Hearn
    (72 votes)
899 votes total Vote Now