NEW YORK— The Orioles came into Yankee Stadium knowing it was a big series even if many didn’t want to acknowledge it. They trailed the Yankees by four games and wanted to leave the Bronx closer to the top.
After Tuesday night’s 3-2 loss to New York before 37,993, the Orioles will need to win the remaining two games of the series to cut into the Yankees’ advantage, which now stands at five games.
There wasn’t much margin for error. Jonathan Schoop hit a foul ball down the third base line with two runners on in the fifth. Chris Parmelee sent a long fly ball to center with a runner on second.
“We took a shot at them and Parm squared up a ball there that didn't fall. I thought Jon's ball was going to be fair for sure, but hopefully some of those inches will go our way tomorrow,” manager Buck Showalter said.
Jacoby Ellsbury led off the first with a double off Wei-Yin Chen. He moved to third on a bunt by Brett Gardner and scored on Alex Rodriguez’s fly ball to center.
The Yankees (51-41) took a 2-0 lead in the second when Brian McCann and Chris Young led off with singles. McCann scored on Chase Headley’s double.
“I wasn’t able to control the situation as I wanted to in the first couple of innings and allowed a couple of extra-base hits. I allowed two runs in the first two innings, and I think that gave the team some burdens, and that’s why we lost the game today,” Chen said through his translator.
Nathan Eovaldi didn’t allow a hit until Adam Jones’ infield single in the fourth.
Eovaldi walked two in the fifth, but the Orioles (46-46) hit into three force plays. After Schoop’s ball was foul, he grounded to third.
In the sixth, Jimmy Paredes singled with one out. Jones reached second on an infield single and scored on Matt Wieters’ single. Justin Wilson (3-0) replaced Eovaldi and allowed a single to J.J. Hardy to tie the score at 2 after 5 ½. Wieters was caught off second in a rundown to end the inning.
Didi Gregorius singled with two outs in the sixth and scored on Brendan Ryan’s double and New York took a 3-2 lead.
“I wanted an outside pitch, and it was outside, but maybe it caught a little bit too much of the plate, but still that’s where I wanted it. That was a grounder, and it found a hole, and I think that’s just baseball. Sometimes a grounder will just find a hole, and you have to accept that,” Chen said.
Chen (4-6) allowed three runs on 10 hits in 6 2/3 innings. That’s the second most hits he’s allowed this season.
Wilson worked a scoreless inning. Dellin Betances recorded five outs, and Andrew Miller worked the ninth for his 21st save.
“You knew it was going to be tough, especially with Eovaldi throwing the ball as well as he is and Chen throwing the ball as well as he is. You thought it was going to be a pretty good pitching matchup coming into the game and they were able to get the lead and then turn it over to their bullpen, which is pretty good,” Wieters said.
The Orioles are at .500 for the 13th time this season.
“There’s still a lot of games left, so hopefully we can hit our stride and go through a little run, but the only way we’re going to be able to go through a big run is take it one day at a time and try to win tomorrow,” Wieters said.
The Orioles won two games in Detroit and after an off day wanted to get some big hits. It didn’t happen. Showalter said that the Orioles need to do what they did last month when they got hot.
“A little bit better timing with some hits and things go our way a little bit better. It's not from lack of effort. Unless you guys bring it up every day like most of the time you do, we know that regardless of what somebody else is doing that we're going to have to get to a little different level that we know we're capable of,” Showalter said.
NOTES: Adam Jones is the Orioles winner of the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association “Heart and Hustle” Award. Jones was cited because of his play and his community activities. The final winner will be announced on Nov. 10. … Kevin Gausman (1-1, 5.00) faces Ivan Nova (1-3, 3.42) on Wednesday night. … The game had a brief delay of 15 minutes when light rain fell after 1 ½ innings. … The Orioles are 0-7 when they don’t have an extra-base hit.