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Yankees 4, Orioles 9: Yankees pitchers clubbed by vibrant Orioles bats

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Baltimore took a liking to New York's pitching staff tonight and, meanwhile, Alex Rodriguez sits pretty on a career total of 666 home runs.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

"Victory passes back and forth between men."

The Iliad (Book VI, 339)

Can baseballs speak? The answer is no, though I’d like to imagine that in our dystopian future they will; however, if they could speak I know precisely what they would have said in this game: "Weeeeeeee!" they would cry, enjoying all fun rides they were being sent on by the Orioles bats. "More!" they would cry, asking for more (which is generally what the word ‘more’ means), and the Oriole players would oblige, offering them more rides and giving them more funs (which is the plural of 'fun'). But still, balls don’t talk, so that is a fiction which I’m using to say this: Yankee pitchers got hit today, and they got hit a lot.

The middle innings were the game’s most bombastic, and where the major damage occurred. In the bottom of the 5th, Manny Machado shattered the 2-2 tie with a two-run home run off Yankees starter CC Sabathia. Nolan Reimold then tripled before Sabathia retired three, but this was just a preview of what was to come. In the bottom of the 6th, Chris Martin returned from a DL stint in relief of Sabathia. By the end of the frame he had allowed three runs to score on four hits – one of them a double by Matt Wieters – with three wild pitches to boot.

Manager Joe Girardi, who is well known for considering all leads to be insurmountable, offered Sergio Santos to the Orioles in the bottom of the 7th; they obliged accordingly, smattering Santos’ pitches around the park for a further two runs – one a home run by David Lough, the other a double by Steve Pearce which scored Wieters, who just earlier had doubled for the second time in the game.

It is not as if the Yankees’ offense was without fight. They replied to the Machado’s 5th inning tiebreaker with two runs of their own in the 6th. Chase Headley singled before Alex Rodriguez crunched a loose four-seamer from Baltimore’s Bud Norris over the center field wall. The home run represented RBI #2000 and #2001 for Rodriguez, now behind Hank Aaron on the career RBI leaderboard.

In more number fun, Rodriguez is now five hits away from 3000, and that home run was #666 of his career. Cue the devil jokes.

Norris was then sky craned out of the game after he allowed doubles to Mark Teixeira and Didi Gregorius. By that time the bases were loaded, but when Girardi subbed in Chris Young to face the lefty T. J. McFarland, Orioles manager Buck Showalter responded by trotting out righty Chaz Roe. Young flied out to center, and so ended the Yankees’ offensive efforts.

The game’s most iconic moment came in the 4th inning at the hands (or at the glove, as it may be) of Mason Williams. After Wieters sent a soft changeup long and far, Williams pranced Pegasus-like through 114 feet worth of center field and entered a slide at the track. He collected the ball with his glove but he also collected the wall with his shoulder, and as he lay there, potentially slain (but actually okay), we all stood, applauded, and lavished him with much kudos. It was a properly good catch from a properly good fielder.

Both teams’ starters performed as expected, though the Yankees will be ruing the fact that they did not take to Bud Norris as much as they could have. Norris, who has spent his time this year cultivating a 8.29 ERA, looked shaky to start the game as Teixeira and Brian McCann knocked him for run-scoring hits, but he then coasted for far too many innings before the Yankees eventually took to him again in the 6th. Sabathia issued his quotient of four runs, as he is now prone to do.

It was Sabathia's colleagues in the bullpen that let the game escape from the team. The Yankees have dropped three in a row, two against the Orioles, and are now tied for the division lead with the Tampa Bay. Toronto is one game back, and Baltimore trails by two. Hopes of breaking the slide tomorrow rest with Adam Warren as he faces off against Mike Wright.

We’ll leave you with a few choice quotes from WFAN correspondents John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman:

  • John Sterling on Bud Norris: "He gives up walks and hits."
  • John Sterling on McCann’s first inning double: "You know it’s a weird play when McCann triples."
  • John Sterling on McCann (just in general): "I’ve been thinking about Brian a lot."
  • Suzyn Waldman on the Sergio Santos home run, and the slightly bizarre review regarding the grounds crew’s shed: "It’s really hard to explain." (Which is particularly unfortunate because, to state the obvious, you are in radio, and it is your job to put pictures into words.)