Soto and Wells’ HRs fail, poor glovework haunts Yankees in loss to Orioles

Yankees' Juan Soto and Austin Wells hit a home runs while Torres commits a defensive error against the Orioles at Camden Yards on April 30, 2024.

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The New York Yankees’ offensive woes persisted on Tuesday, suffering their second consecutive defeat at the hands of the Baltimore Orioles by a score of 4-2. Despite averting a shutout, the Yankees managed to produce only two solo home runs, one each from Austin Wells and Juan Soto, against Orioles starter Dean Kremer.

These two homers were the sole runs the Yankees could muster in 18 innings against Baltimore pitching, dating back to Monday night’s series opener, which the Orioles claimed with a 2-0 victory.

While the home runs provided a glimmer of hope, the Yankees’ offense largely struggled throughout the game. They were unable to generate consistent baserunners and failed to capitalize on their limited opportunities. The team went 0-for-1 with runners in scoring position and left four baserunners stranded, highlighting their struggles with timely hitting.

The loss drops the Yankees’ record to 19-12, but more concerning is their recent offensive slump. They’ll look to turn things around as they continue their series against the Orioles, aiming to rediscover their offensive prowess and regain their winning ways.

Yankees’ two homers go in vain

Austin-Wells-new-york-yankees
AP

The New York Yankees’ offense showcased signs of life in Tuesday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles, but ultimately fell short in a 4-2 defeat.

Austin Wells provided a spark early on, launching his first home run of the season in the third inning to tie the game at 1-1. The key moment, however, came in the sixth when Juan Soto unleashed a colossal 447-foot blast over the right-field wall, trimming the Orioles’ lead to 4-2.

Despite the deficit, Soto’s display of power and confidence, including a memorable bat flip, instilled a sense of determination in the Yankees’ dugout.

Following the game, Wells remained optimistic about the team’s hitting, acknowledging some bad luck but expressing confidence in their ability to rebound. He emphasized the importance of capitalizing on scoring opportunities in future games.

“I think we’re swinging it well, really,” Wells said. “I think they’ve had a lot of bounces go their way. I think the only thing we can do is keep going out there the next day. We got two more, [can] even the series out. But overall, we’ve had good at-bats with good plans. They’ve just had a lot of good bounces go their way. We’ve hit hard balls right at guys, so I think it’ll sway.”

Offensively, Soto and Wells paced the Yankees with four of the team’s five hits. While they generated strong contact, with nine batted balls exceeding 95 mph in exit velocity, three of those balls resulted in inning-ending double plays, highlighting some unfortunate moments.

Manager Aaron Boone echoed these sentiments, commending the team’s quality at-bats but stressing the need to convert those into runs, especially against formidable opponents.

The Yankees, still stinging from Monday’s shutout, faced further frustration as the Orioles used their athleticism to their advantage, spraying the ball to areas where the Yankees’ defense wasn’t positioned.

Despite their improved offensive showing, the Yankees were unable to overcome the Orioles’ opportunistic play, ultimately falling short at Camden Yards.

Reflecting on the loss, Soto acknowledged the competitive nature of the game but expressed disappointment with the Yankees’ lack of breaks. While they achieved solid contact with the ball, exceptional defensive plays by the Orioles ultimately frustrated their comeback effort.

Yankees’ defensive disaster

The New York Yankees’ struggles continued on Tuesday night, with three double plays further extending their league-leading total to a staggering 36 for the season. These inning-ending plays effectively stifled any momentum the Yankees tried to build throughout the game.

The turning point of the game came in the bottom of the fourth inning against Yankees starter Nestor Cortes. The Orioles erupted for three runs, effectively breaking open the 1-1 tie. Jorge Mateo and James McCann started the rally with back-to-back doubles, putting the Orioles ahead 3-1. While Anthony Volpe and Gleyber Torres made impressive diving stops on ground balls by Colton Cowser and Gunnar Henderson, respectively, both Orioles capitalized on their speed to reach base safely.

The Orioles got on the board in the second inning thanks to a combination of misfortune and a defensive miscommunication by the Yankees. Anthony Santander led off the inning with a high pop-up down the right-field line that first baseman Anthony Rizzo lost track of, resulting in a double. 

Juan Soto later revealed he believed he had a better shot at the ball but didn’t call for it due to his positioning. This miscommunication allowed the ball to drop, and a subsequent ground ball by Jordan Westburg led to a run-scoring error by Gleyber Torres. The throw to third base intended to catch Santander skipped off the runner’s back, allowing him to score and give the Orioles a 1-0 lead.

Manager Aaron Boone acknowledged the play, stating that while he appreciated the effort, it highlighted the importance of clear communication and recognizing open lanes defensively.

“We’re putting the ball in play well,” Boone said. “We’re having the right at-bats. We just got to break through. Especially when you’re playing a good team, you got to take advantage of some opportunities.”

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