On paper, this was a much-favored matchup for the Yankees. However, you gotta play the game and see how it turns out and, boy, it didn’t really quite go the Yankees’ way. Sonny Gray was hurt by a barrage of two-out hits and the Yankee bats went silent against Ubaldo Jimenez as they dropped the series and season finale versus Baltimore. Oh well. On the other side, the Red Sox lost so the AL East deficit stays at three games. It’s the weekend so let’s do this bullet-point style.
- The back-and-forth: Gray surrendered the first run to the O’s in the top of the second. Chris Davis hit a double that should have been caught by Clint Frazier. However, Frazier thought it was going over the left field fence and attempted to make a leaping grab by the wall. Instead, the ball was falling behind him and bounced off his glove as Davis reached second. A Seth Smith grounder advanced Davis to third and Gray later allowed an RBI single to rookie Austin Hays. 1-0 O’s. However, the Yankees got one right back in the bottom of the frame. Didi Gregorius led off with No. 24 for the season. That ties the all-time single-season franchise shortstop home run record with 1999 Derek Jeter. How about that?
- More troubles: The Orioles weren’t going to go down quietly. After Gray struck out Time Beckham, Manny Machado singled to right to get on base. Gray struck out Jonathan Schoop but allowed an RBI double to Trey Mancini to give the lead right back. Things got worse in the fourth. Smith walked to lead off the inning but Gray retired Mark Trumbo and Hays to get two outs. However, Caleb Joseph singled to extend the inning and Beckham hit a 85-mph slider right down the pipe into the left field bleachers for a 3-run homer. Wasn’t a cheapie either – he crushed that for a 456-footer. Ouch. Not what you want. 5-1 Orioles. Gray’s outing today lasted for only four innings. Sometimes you get a stinker like that from someone as reliable as Gray. It was the fewest innings and most amount of runs that Gray has allowed as a member of the Yankees.
- Rallies, and falling short: Sixth inning, down 6-1, the Yankee bats were facing one of the O’s relief aces Mychal Givens. With one out, Gary Sanchez walked and a hitter later, Starlin Castro reached on an infield single to make it two outs and two runners on. Matt Holliday got a hold of one into the left field for a two-run double, cutting the deficit to three runs. Two innings later, against Brad Brach, Aaron Judge doubled to left to lead off the eighth. Sanchez struck out swinging but Didi reached on a Beckham error to make it one out with runners on corners. Castro hit a sac fly to right to make it 6-4 Orioles. After Brach walked Holliday to load the bases, Showalter brought in Britton to get a four-out save, and that’s exactly how it went. He struck out Sanchez with runners on corners to end the game after Judge was intentionally walked, putting the tying run on base.
- Leftovers: The bullpen went combined: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 7 K today. The sole run came from Bryan Mitchell‘s 3 IP outing as well. Not bad. They did what they could do to keep the Yankees in the game. The offense? Not so much. Against one of the worst starting pitchers of the MLB, they struck out 10 times in five innings while getting only three hits. Tommy Kahnle pitched in the top of the ninth and it was, by far, the most crisp he has seen in awhile. 11 pitches, 7 strikes and 2 strikeouts. So there’s something encouraging in this loss.
Here are today’s box score and updated standings from ESPN, video highlights from MLB.com and WPA chart from Fangraphs. The Yankees will host the Twins starting tomorrow for a three-game series at Bronx.