NEW YORK—After the Orioles returned from their longest road trip of the season with a 5-5 record, many of the teams’ fans were relieved.
The Orioles were just a half-game out of first place, and the schedule was full of home games and lots of contests against American League East teams.
It’s changed drastically in the past 12 games. The Orioles have lost eight of those games, and on Saturday, it was a 13-5 loss to the rejuvenated New York Yankees before 38,843 at Yankee Stadium.
Three times this season, the Orioles have given up 10 or more runs in consecutive games, and in the first two games of this series, they’ve given up 27 runs and 36 hits.
It’s the first time they’ve allowed at least 18 hits in consecutive games since Aug. 11-12, 1993, and their ERA in the last 11 games is a frightful 8.23.
“It’s just not going for us. Nothing really, really to it. Just not getting any hits, clean hits. Just outhitting us. They’re doing what they need to be doing, and we’re not. Nothing’s falling for us. No excuses,” Manny Machado said.
Dylan Bundy (7-5) allowed five runs on seven hits in four innings. T.J. McFarland, in his first game in nearly two months, gave up four on a pair of two-run homers in two-thirds of an inning, and the normally reliable Mychal Givens gave up three runs while retiring just one batter.
Givens allowed the first five New York (67-61) batters to reach in the sixth as the game got uncontrollably out of hand.
“T.J. just got back from a two-month sabbatical. Brad and Zach [Britton] and Mychal pitched some big innings for us here recently, back to the Washington series. Other teams were good, too. All pitching everywhere is a little worn down some. That’s why you see some lopsided games. That’s a tough time, August. That’s why we try to be so diligent in April, May June and July, making sure you have your bullets this time of year. We will. We were able to stay away from people getting over-extended,” manager Buck Showalter said.
Bundy was honest in assessing his outing.
“Not good. Anytime you can’t get through five or six innings, it’s not a quality start. I didn’t give my team a very good chance to win today. That’s my fault- got to get better next time,” Bundy said.
The only Oriole pitcher to not allow a run was Donnie Hart, who has pitched 9 1/3 innings in his 10 big league appearances without being scored upon.
“I can’t really pinpoint it. Obviously, I left a lot of balls up in the zone. And they were able to capitalize on it. It’s frustrating. I tried to come in and do a job there and give length to the bullpen and I wasn’t able to do that. It kind of stresses the rest of the guys down there in the pen. But you know, you get kicked down, you have to get back up and do it again tomorrow,” McFarland said.
Wunderkind Gary Sanchez hit his 11th home run in the fourth off Bundy, becoming the fastest major league player to hit 11.
Starlin Castro, who had four hits, and Aaron Hicks hit two-run home runs off McFarland.
Tommy Layne (1-1), the second of five New York pitchers got the win.
Before the game, the Orioles added Julio Borbon, who started in center field because Adam Jones was out with a strained left hamstring. The move temporarily left them with 11 pitchers, and a move could be made after the game to add another since the bullpen again had to cover major innings.
In the past two games, Orioles relievers have thrown 10 2/3 innings, and nearly all the minor league pitchers on the 40-man roster have been used in the past eight days. Two that haven’t been are Oliver Drake and Jason Garcia, but both have been up during the season.
In the third inning, the Orioles (70-59) had a 2-1 lead and thought they had something to celebrate when Chris Davis hit his 31st home run of the season to center field.
It was the Orioles’ 200th home run of the season. This team has hit 200 homers faster than any other in franchise history except for the 1996 version, which hit a record 257 home runs.
The Orioles have hit 200 or more home runs in five consecutive seasons.
Mark Trumbo hit his 39th home run with one out in the fifth. Davis followed with his 32nd.
“What’s going on right now doesn’t surprise anybody. They’ve all experienced it. The Yankees have, we have. It happens different times of the season. They’re all challenging times, and our guys always seem to respond well,” Showalter said.