NEW YORK – Following two losses to the New York Yankees, the Orioles fell to a season-high six games out of first place. The Orioles remain optimistic that they can still be a factor in the American League East.
Before the game, executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said the Orioles would be aggressive buyers in the trade market, no matter how they perform over the next several days.
Since the All-Star break, the Orioles are 2-3 after their 4-3 loss to the Yankees before 43,887 at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday night.
Only Ryan Flaherty’s two-run home run in the third and Chris Davis’ homer with two outs in the ninth prevented the night from being a total washout.
After Manny Machado’s third inning double, the Orioles were hitless for 6 1/3 innings until Davis’ homer.
“I feel like we’re a hit or two away,” Davis said.
The problem was the Orioles were down by three runs because Kevin Gausman allowed five of the first six Yankees batters to reach.
“Obviously I’m not happy about it,” Gausman said.”I think what I did after that was pretty good, kind of kept us in the game.”
Jacoby Ellsbury led off with a double and scored on Brett Gardner’s RBI single. With one out, Mark Teixeira hit his 24th home run and New York (52-41) had three runs.
Brian McCann singled and Carlos Beltran walked, but then Gausman struck out Chase Headley and Didi Gregorius.
Gausman retired eight in a row and didn’t give up another run until Alex Rodriguez hit his 20th home run of the season, a long shot to left-center with one out in the fifth.
The Orioles (45-46) didn’t score until Flaherty hit his two-run home run in the third, his fourth of the season.
Ivan Nova (2-3) allowed two runs on three hits in six innings. He walked three, but Machado was doubled off second in the first on Adam Jones’ soft liner in the first and J.J. Hardy and Flaherty didn’t score in the fifth.
“They pitched pretty well. We just didn't put much pressure on Nova. He had a lot of in and outs in a hurry, but Kevin held them where he should have and I was proud of that. He presented himself well,” manager Buck Showalter said.
Gausman (1-2) allowed four runs on six hits in six innings.
“I knew after the first inning my stuff was good. I was going to have to mix in pitches with these guys. It’s a veteran lineup, so you can’t throw the same pitch too many times in a row. You get them out on a split the first time, they’re not going to make it easy on you the second time,” Gausman said.
Jason Shreve, Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller closed it out. Miller has 22 saves, though he did allow Davis’ 20th homer with two outs in the ninth.
Showalter watched as his team was 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position, an all-too-familiar statistic.
“It's not a matter of hanging heads, you just get frustrated because you know that you're capable of better and you realize there are games left. Those type of things are for people who live in a minute to minute world. We understand the challenge that's ahead of us for a lot of baseball,” Showalter said.
On Thursday, the Orioles will try and avoid their first three-game sweep at Yankee Stadium since June 1-3, 2010.
“You don't start getting into that woe is me and the breaks. You make them. We had a couple things go our way, too. They hit a couple line drives that we caught, too,” Showalter said. “I don't live in that world that we're not getting some breaks and somebody else is. I think that's an excuse. You've got to make them. You've got to make your breaks."
NOTES: Showalter was sorry Wesley Wright’s time with the Orioles didn’t work out. Wright was released on Wednesday.
“He’s a good young man and hopefully a fresh start somewhere will put him back on the path we thought he’d be on,” Showalter said.
…The Orioles will pick fifth in Round B of the Competitive Balance Draft next June. … Flaherty started at first base for the first time this season. … Ubaldo Jimenez (7-5, 3.29) faces Masahiro Tanaka (6-3, 3.65) on Thursday afternoon at 1 p.m. … Chris Tillman, Miguel Gonzalez and Wei-Yin Chen face Chris Archer, Erasmo Ramirez and Matt Moore in the three-game series at Tampa Bay beginning Friday. … Rodriguez has 3,024 hits and moved into 24th place on the all-time hit list passing Lou Brock. … Betances has allowed one run on 10 hits in 19 1/3 innings against the Orioles. He’s struck out 29.