The bottom of the first started with Orioles’ starting pitcher Alex Cobb leaving the game after four pitches, and his replacement walking the first three batters he faced. Even with the Yankees’ struggles with the bases loaded, that seemed like a pretty good omen for the rest of the game.
An even better omen was the Yankees actually then scoring a couple runs in that inning. However, that would be the extent of the offense. J.A. Happ wasn’t awful, but wasn’t his usual Yankee self. The bullpen, on the other hand, struggled, allowing the Orioles to eventually take the lead. Baltimore held the Yankees’ offense down after that first inning, eventually coming out with a 6-3 win.
After a quick top of the first, the bottom of the opening inning was weird. Cobb had to be removed early due to blister issues. Andrew McCutchen, whose at bat was still ongoing, then walked, as did Giancarlo Stanton and Luke Voit. Gleyber Torres smartly got the Yankees out of the dreaded bases loaded spot with a sacrifice fly to get on the board. Miguel Andujar followed that up with a single to score another run. A couple batters later, Gary Sanchez dropped a single in, scoring a third run in the inning. Things seemed pretty promising then.
Baltimore got one of those runs back in the second when Tim Beckham hit a solo homer.
Happ would only last five innings, but that was the only run he allowed. The Orioles racked up five hits and two walks off him, taking his pitch count over 100 in five innings. That caused Aaron Boone to go to the bullpen early, but for whatever reason the person he went to was A.J. Cole. That didn’t do great.
Cole came out to start the sixth and immediately allowed a double to Trey Mancini. Beckham came up next and hit his second home run of the game, this one to tie the game. Renato Nunez immediately followed that with another home run, and over the course of 10 minutes, the Yankees were suddenly fell behind. Mercifully, Cole was removed after that.
Tommy Kahnle came in and allowed a double of his own, this one to Joey Rickard to start the inning. Kahnle then bounced back with two straight outs. However, those outs were a ground out and a fly out, which allowed Rickard to go to third, and then tag up and score.
Luis Cessa would replace Kahnle to start the following inning, and threw a scoreless frame in the seventh. He would not throw a second in the eighth, though. The Orioles tacked on an extra run on a pair of hits to extended out their lead further.
The extra runs conceded by Kahnle and Cessa didn’t end up mattering much, as the Yankees’ offense went quietly after the first inning. They managed just two hits and one walk after the three-run first.
For their sake, I hope the Yankees were still a bit in party mode after a clinching a wild card last night. If they weren’t, that was a couple hours of our lives we’ll never get back. At least the season series with the Orioles is over.