Orioles blow lead, lose to Yankees
BALTIMORE It was just like old times in Charm City on Thursday, with iron man Cal Ripken, Jr. sitting behind home plate and fellow Hall of Famers Brooks Robinson and Eddie Murray enjoying the game in a suite.
The present-day Orioles rose to the occasion early, scoring three runs in their first at-bat. But the New York Yankees scored four in the sixth to take a 5-4 lead and defeated the Orioles 8-4 in Baltimore’s home opener.
Gleyber Torres hit a three-run homer off Orioles reliever Mike Wright for the go-ahead runs in the sixth. Luke Voit added a three-run homer in the ninth for some Yankees’ insurance.
Baltimore, which lost a franchise-record 115 games last season, is 4-3 to start the season. The Yankees, who won 100 games in 2018, are 3-4.
The Orioles lost eight of 10 games to the Yankees at Camden Yards last season and Baltimore has dropped six in a row here to New York. That came after the Orioles took two of three on the road to start the year in New York and Toronto.
“We are playing an exciting brand of baseball. There is a long way to go but it is a good start,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said before the game.
The season began on a high note as Orioles leadoff hitter Jonathan Villar hit the second pitch he saw down the right field line for a home run and a 1-0 lead against starter James Paxton.
Later in the inning, the Orioles scored runs on a balk and wild pitch by the suddenly unglued Yankees, who trailed 3-0.
The Yankees cut the lead to 3-1 with the first homer by Torres, who had a career-high four hits, off starter Alex Cobb in the top of the third.
Dwight Smith, Jr. of the Orioles had a double and scored on a single by Renato Nunez for a 4-1 lead in the last of the fifth.
New York’s Gary Sanchez hit a solo homer in the sixth to trim the margin to 4-2. That was the end of the day for Cobb, who gave up two runs in 5.2 innings.
Former Orioles closer Zach Britton pitched the eighth for the Yankees and Aroldis Chapman pitched the ninth in a non-save situation.
The fast start by the Orioles has been aided by catcher Pedro Severino and pitcher Nathan Karns. The Pennsylvania native pitched two scoreless innings Wednesday and has not allowed a run this season while Severino had two hits in his first seven at-bats.
“Right now we have a lot of new guys on the team,” Severino said. “We are a young team and just playing the game right.”
Hyde had been the bench coach for the Chicago Cubs and was on the staff there in 2017 with Dave Martinez, now in his second season as the Nationals manager.
NOTES: The new general manager for the Orioles is Alexandria native Mike Elias (Thomas Jefferson High), who came over from the Houston Astros ... The struggles continued for Orioles first baseman Chris Davis, who struck out all three times. He is 0 for 17 this year with 11 strikeouts ... There will be a tribute before the game Saturday for Frank Robinson, who passed away in February. He was the 1966 MVP with the Orioles and the Hall of Famer was the first manager of the Nationals in 2005.