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Yankees 1, Orioles 2: Baltimore stays alive, keeps Judge, Yanks in check

Orioles pitching walked Judge twice, but mostly quieted the New York bats as they downed the Yankees.

Baltimore Orioles v New York Yankees Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

As a team, the Yankees didn’t exactly have a ton to play for other than just adding another win to the total. They’ve already locked up the division, a first-round playoff bye, and only had a minuscule chance of catching the Astros for the best record in the American League. On the other hand, Aaron Judge’s quest for a 62nd home run was still very much alive as he entered Friday night’s matchup against the Orioles.

Well, not only did Judge not get the milestone homer, there wasn’t much of any offense to speak of for the Yankees. An Oswaldo Cabrera home run was the only run-scoring play, as a Baltimore team fighting and clinging onto their playoff hopes managed to stymie the Yankees’ lineup. Jordan Lyles and Orioles pitching in general had a good day as their offense pushed across two runs, which ended up being enough for a 2-1 win to stave off Wild Card elimination — at least for the moment.

Before Judge could even take a single hack, the O’s grabbed an early lead. Leading off the game against Domingo Germán, Cedric Mullins drew a walk. After Germán retired the next two batters, Mullins ended up at third thanks to a stolen base and a throwing error by Jose Trevino as the catcher tried to get him at second. That put Mullins in the perfect spot to score, as Ryan Mountcastle dropped in a single. To add to the disappointing first inning, Judge ended up striking out.

In his second at-bat, Judge did at least boost his Triple Crown case with a single, but it would still be a little bit longer until the Yankees got on the board. Oswaldo Cabrera led off the fifth inning with a homer that just cleared the short porch in right, evening up the score.

Germán was mostly better after the first inning, but he ran into some more danger in the sixth. He started off the frame with two walks, with both runners then moving up a base on a ground out. At that point, the Yankees went to the bullpen and brought in Zack Britton.

Had the Yankees been still been playing for the division or seeding, Britton might not be the move in this situation. However, with the Yankees basically locked into their playoff situation, it seemed like a decent chance to see if Britton could be reliable in those type of situation. Well, we may have gotten an answer, and it didn’t have too much to do with how he pitched. After issuing a walk, he threw a very wild pitch that went way past Trevino and scored a run.

Pretty quickly after throwing the pitch, Britton was already motioning to the dugout, and would exit the game with the trainer. The Yankees later announced that he exited with arm fatigue. Ron Marinaccio came in for him in a tough spot, and managed to keep Baltimore to just that one run. As for Germán, after one of the runners he left on scored, he finished with a final line of two runs allowed on three hits and three walks in 5.1 innings.

After Judge walked in his third plate appearance, Marinaccio came back out for the seventh and threw another scoreless frame. Aroldis Chapman would replace him for the eighth. He allowed to two-out single to former teammate Rougned Odor (which came after a delay where Odor tried to help Trevino get something out of his eye), but Chapman would pick him off to end the inning.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa led off the bottom of the eighth with a single, leading the Orioles to bring in closer Félix Bautista. He got Trevino to strike out to start off his appearance, bringing Judge back to the plate. After a couple balls in Judge’s plate appearance, Bautista had to be briefly checked out by the trainer after a painful landing on a pitch. He eventually came back, but fell behind 3-0 in the count to Judge. At that point, the Orioles just gave Judge an automatic ball to put him on with another walk. The move ended up working, as Bautista would get out of the jam.

Scott Effross worked into and out of a bit of a jam in the ninth, leaving things up to the offense in the bottom of the ninth. However, the offense was unable to add to their 2022 walk-off total, going down in order to give the Orioles the win they needed to stay alive.

The chase for 62 will continue tomorrow, weather-permitting. Nestor Cortes is scheduled to face Austin Voth at 1:05pm ET, though the Yankees are already considering bumping the start time to midday.

Box Score