The Orioles entered Yankee Stadium after a disappointing 4-5 homestand, which included a 3 game series against the Twins where the Orioles only generated 4 runs the entire series. The hope was that the O's could find a way to rebound against an Aaron Judge-less Yankees squad. This hope dwindled after the O's dropped games 1 and 2 of the series, 3-6 and 4-8 respectively. But a spark was ignited in game 3 of the series.
Baltimore Orioles split series with New York Yankees in the Bronx
The Orioles number 2 prospect Colton Cowser was promoted from Triple-A for game 3, where he immediately made an impact. The O's would go on to win 6-3, setting up a chance to split the series in game 4. In game 4, the Orioles had an offensive explosion like no other this season, leading to a 14-1 victory over the Yankees. The offense found a way to get going against a good pitching staff, turning a potentially bleak series into a promising building block going forward.
Game 1: Yankees 6, Orioles 3
Game 1 got off to a hot start for the Orioles with 3 runs in the first 3 innings. Cedric Mullins started the scoring with an RBI single in the second inning, scoring Ryan O'Hearn. All-Star Adley Rutschman continued the scoring an inning later with an RBI double down the left field line. Ryan O'Hearn would then knock in Rutschman with an RBI single to right field later in the inning. Meanwhile, Tyler Wells held down the Yankees lineup until the bottom of the 5th inning.
In the bottom of the 5th, Wells would allow back-to-back solo homeruns to shortstop Anthony Volpe and back-up catcher Kyle Higashioka. Although Wells has had a tremendous season, the homerun ball has really given him troubles. He's allowed the 3rd most homeruns in the majors with 21 this season. The Orioles maintained the lead until the 7th inning where Yennier Cano threw a wild pitch, allowing Volpe to score once again. The Yankees had more traffic on the bases in the bottom of the 8th when Harrison Bader stepped up to the plate. With two runners on base, Danny Coulombe threw a hanging breaking ball at the top of the strike zone and Bader didn't miss it, crushing a 3-run homer.
The story of this game was the bullpens. As for the O's, their middle relievers continued to struggle allowing 4 runs in just 3 innings. The Yankees bullpen completely neutralized the Orioles offense, allowing zero runs in 4.2 innings of work.
Game 2: Yankees 8, Orioles 4
The late-inning scoring by the Yankees in game 1 seemed to carry over into game 2. Gleyber Torres (known Orioles killer) got the Yankees off to a quick start with a 2-run bomb off of Kyle Gibson in the first inning. The Yankees would tack on another run in the 4th inning with a sacrifice fly from Isiah Kiner-Falefa. The O's were held in check by Yankees righty Clarke Schmidt through the first 4 innings, but were given some life in the top of the 5th.
With one out in the inning, former Yankee Aaron Hicks hit a deep homerun amongst the Bronx boos to put the O's on the board. Adam Frazier would tie the game later in the inning with a two-run homerun. It was his 10th of the season, tying his career high. The tie wouldn't last long though thanks to a Giancarlo Stanton RBI single in the bottom half of the inning.
The Yankees would add three more runs in the 7th and another run in the 8th. The Orioles once again lost the bullpen battled, scoring just one run off of the Yankee bullpen which came in the top of the 9th inning on a ground ball from James McCann.
Game 3: Orioles 6, Yankees 3
The Orioles bounced back after two straight losses with yet another comeback win in Colton Cowser's first career game. The Orioles found themselves in another hole against a great Yankees bullpen after Dean Kremer allowed a Josh Donaldson solo homerun and a Higashioka RBI single in the bottom of the 5th inning. But the Orioles quickly rallied with a 4-run 6th inning, featuring Cowser's first career hit and RBI with a single driving in Cedric Mullins. Fellow top prospect Jordan Westburg would drive in two more runs with his first triple of his career, bringing the score to 3-2. Adam Frazier would cap off the inning with a fielder's choice, driving in Westburg to add a run.
The Yankees would make the game a little more interesting after a solo homerun by Anthony Volpe in the bottom of the 8th, bringing the score to 4-3. But the O's would get two huge insurance runs in the top of the 9th thanks to a Ryan O'Hearn screaming homerun. Felix Bautista then closed the door in the bottom of the ninth, capping off an impressive 6-3 victory.
The star of this game was certainly Kremer, who had one of his best games of his career. The Orioles needed a big start from Kremer, and he delivered with a career-high 10 strikeouts in 7 innings of 2 run ball. He collected his 9th win of the season thanks to this performance.
Game 4: Orioles 14, Yankees 1
Game 4 gave us one of the most dominant performances by the Orioles all season. The scoring started early thanks to a leadoff homerun by Gunnar Henderson that just snuck around the left field foul pole. Two innings later, the Orioles blew the game wide open with a 7 run 3rd inning, bringing the game to 8-0. But they weren't done there.
They followed up the mammoth 7-run inning with 5 additional runs in the 4th inning, bringing the game to 13-0. The inning was highlighted by a towering 3-run homerun via Gunnar Henderson, who registered 4 hits, 2 homeruns, and 5 RBI's in the first 4 innings of the game. All of those presented career highs for the budding star. The O's added an additional run in the 8th inning bringing the score to 14-0. The Yankees would eventually get their lone run in the bottom of the 9th inning on an error by Ramon Urias at first base.
This was a fantastic all around performance by the Orioles. Every Orioles batter reached base at least 1 time, and they also got a great outing from starter Kyle Bradish. Bradish went 6 shutout innings, lowering his ERA to 3.32 for the season. He has established himself as one of the most consistent starting pitchers on this staff and continues to be one of the many bright spots on this young Orioles team.
The O's did a great job of rallying in this series in order to earn the split against the 3rd place Yankees. Lets hope the offensive outburst in game 4 will carry over into the weekend series against the first place Minnesota Twins, who hold the best team ERA in baseball.