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Yankees 6, Orioles 9: Anthony Santander spoils the sweep

A back-and-forth game ultimately ended on a walk-off laser by Baltimore’s top home run hitter in 2022.

New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

After a quick Thursday night game of under three hours, the Yankees and Orioles turned around for a midday marathon that went over four. There were 15 runs scored in this one. Lots of bad pitching and the ball flying out to left field will do that to you. After multiple lead changes and ties, it ended in in a 9-6 score and a walk-off homer from Baltimore’s Anthony Santander.

The game started off on a bang. For a good second there, it was looking like this could be a stinker. DJ LeMahieu led off with a laser that was caught, Aaron Judge walked, and then Anthony Rizzo hit a double. No pitcher feels good after those first three at-bats. Bruce Zimmermann’s command was off to start, and Giancarlo Stanton made him pay with this 114-mph …

... single.

Usually, balls hit at 114 mph with an 18-degree launch angle are home runs, but this is the new Camden. You just have to tip your cap and move on. That gave the Yanks a 2-0 advantage, but that lead didn’t last so long.

Jordan Montgomery has been waiting for an early lead all year. This time he got it, but life doesn’t always work out how you want it to. He did not have his best stuff today. Just as Zimmerman paid the price for a bad pitch against Stanton, Monty paid the price for leaving his worst pitch over the middle of the plate.

Catcher Robinson Chirinos ambushed this pitch for a game-tying two-run shot in the second.

Like I said, baseball has its ups and downs. On the days where it seems like you might have a cushion, you might not have your greatest command. That said, Montgomery did battle for the Yankees. He stayed competitive and granted the Yankees a chance to win the game. Even while giving up seven hits, five innings with three run allowed is decent enough for a win on this team, especially considering the combination of this bullpen and the Orioles offense.

Luckily, Stanton came to play today and bailed Montgomery out of a loss. What should have been his second home run of the night was just his first. Turns out he just had to hit it way higher this time.

This one was hit 10 mph slower but at double the launch angle, leading to a home run well over the left-field wall (the first of the year for a visitor in Baltimore). Even with Stanton’s light-tower power, this is a great accomplishment with these new dimensions.

In the top of the sixth, fans feared that the Yankees would blow another great opportunity. The bases were juiced with Gleyber Torres and Aaron Hicks ready to go with no outs. They both struck out. The Torres at-bat was surprising, given his knack for the clutch and hot bat. However, Hicks has been lost at the plate for weeks now (maybe I should say for years). Nevertheless, Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s contact based approach paid off as he drove in two with a ground ball that slid through the 5-6 hole. New York was back in front, 5-3.

Sadly, the Orioles weren’t ready to roll over. Getting swept in a four-game series at home is embarrassing, even if it’s against the best team in baseball. After a combination of walks, singles, a sac fly, and a disconcerting forearm injury from Chad Green, they scratched across three runs to take the lead. Jonathan Loáisiga had relieved Green, and while entering those situations is always tough, that’s not an excuse to just miss the zone.

Loáisiga didn’t come back out for the seventh inning either. My gut tells me the Yankees are trying to give him time to figure out his command again. Let’s hope that it happens sooner than later.

The game was quiet for a little bit following the noise in the sixth. Jorge López made it a little more fun. His control was all over the place. You know what they say, right? A leadoff walk scores 75 percent of the time. Now, I have no idea if that is true. I never bothered checking, but in this case, it was. Kiner-Falefa had a great leadoff walk to start it up, stole second on a 3-2 count for pinch-hitter Josh Donaldson, and with the Yankees an out away from a loss, IKF was knocked in via this bloop from DJ.

This one just didn’t feel like a Yankees win though. They truly did luck into a few runs. It was great to see them not go away too easy. In the past year or so, they certainly would have. However, the rare poor bullpen day is bound to happen through the course of the year.

With Michael King and Clay Holmes unavailable, the Orioles were in on Lucas Luetge from the beginning of the ninth. When Santander came up with a chance to end the game, I didn’t have a good feeling. He has killed the Yankees this year and it was a perfect chance to keep that up. He scorched a three-run walk-off homer to win the game, spoiling the series sweep.

The Yanks didn’t play quite well enough to take four straight from the Orioles and that’s okay. They welcome the White Sox to the Bronx with a three-game weekend series beginning tomorrow night at 7:05pm ET. Nasty Nestor Cortes will take the bump with a chance for the Yankees’ offense to redeem themselves against the washed Dallas Keuchel. It was a successful road trip, and now it’s time to go home for Andy Pettitte Bobblehead Day.

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