The unforeseen twist: Yankees open door for Orioles’ comeback

Nestor Cortes failed and the Yankees collapsed in 7th inning on May 24, 2023, handing the Orioles a comeback win.

Table of Contents

During the majority of the past six years, it was highly unlikely for the Yankees to experience a defeat as their game ended on Wednesday night. However, the Orioles have shed their previous reputation as easy opponents, indicating that the Yankees will encounter few effortless evenings in the most challenging division of baseball.

The Yankees appeared poised to secure their sixth consecutive victory and maintain their upward momentum in the standings of the AL East on Wednesday. However, in a surprising turn of events, the Yankees melt down in the seventh inning giving the Orioles a chance to unleash an onslaught of eight runs that ultimately sealed their remarkable 9-6 victory in The Bronx.

Nestor Cortes undid it, bullpen fell flat

Nestor Cortes has been plagued by difficulties when facing opponents’ lineups for the third time and towards the end of his starts throughout this year. In fact, he recently referred to his struggles in such situations as “the story of my season.” On Wednesday, despite holding a 5-1 lead in the seventh inning, Cortes (4-3, 5.30 ERA) was unable to maintain control, allowing the Orioles to make a comeback in a game that should have been firmly in the Yankees’ favor.

Subsequently, Jimmy Cordero took over from Cortes, but the onslaught continued as Baltimore mercilessly hammered the Yankees, even against Albert Abreu, who entered the game in relief of Cordero, resulting in an additional five runs scored by the Orioles.

Following a rain-induced delay of ninety minutes, Nestor Cortes emerged onto the field with great intensity at the start of the game. Although he had displayed some inconsistency in two out of his last four starts, his past performance against the Orioles had been quite impressive, boasting a remarkable 1.37 ERA across eight previous appearances.

nestor-cortes-new-york-yankees
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

Building on his previous successful outing where he held the Blue Jays to just two runs in six innings, Cortes began the game against the Orioles at Yankee Stadium by consistently getting ahead in the count and promptly retiring the initial seven batters he confronted.

The Yankees starting pitcher cruised through the first six innings, allowing only one run on a solo home run by Ryan Mountcastle in the fourth. With a four-run lead, he let up a three-run homer to Adam Frazier in the seventh and was pulled from the game.

Jimmy Cordero, who belonged to a Yankees bullpen that had maintained an impressive streak of not conceding a single run across five games and 22 ¹/₃ innings, entered the game and unfortunately exacerbated the situation.

In the top of the fourth inning, the Orioles retaliated as Mountcastle delivered a home run against Cortes with one out, narrowing the score to 2-1. Consecutive hits arranged the stage for Gunnar Henderson’s impactful pinch-hit, resulting in a two-run double that propelled the Orioles to seize their initial lead. Exploiting Albert Abreu‘s presence on the mound, Baltimore capitalized on the opportunity by adding three more runs to their tally during that very inning.

Cortes faltered in the seventh inning with Anthony Santander stealing a walk and Austin Hays scoring a single. Then, Frazier, batting as a lefty, connected with a powerful hit off the foul pole in the right field, altering the score to 5-4.

Despite the Yankees maintaining a lead at that juncture, the Orioles orchestrated a remarkable comeback, amassing a total of eight runs during the seventh inning, with Jimmy Cordero and Albert Abreu taking over from Cortes in the bullpen. This offensive explosion ultimately resulted in a 9-6 victory for the Orioles, despite the Yankees holding a 5-1 advantage when the fateful inning commenced.

Upon Cordero’s entry, he relinquished consecutive singles, opening the door for Henderson’s decisive double down the right-field line, granting Baltimore the lead. As Abreu took the mound, he yielded a sacrifice fly to Mountcastle and consecutive run-scoring singles to both Santander and Hays, culminating in a catastrophic turn of events.

Torres, IKF homers heroics went in vein

The abrupt collapse overshadowed the impact of two home runs by Gleyber Torres and one by Isiah Kiner-Falefa, rendering their contributions futile.

Despite Kyle Higashioka striking out, Torres delivered a powerful blow with a two-out, two-run homer that found its way into the visitors’ bullpen situated in left-center field. With his eighth home run of the season, Torres propelled the Yankees to a 2-0 lead.

Gleyber Torres hit his 14 multi-homer game on May 24, 2023, in Yankees vs. Orioles at Yankee Stadium.

In the fifth inning, after Anthony Volpe drew a leadoff walk, Kiner-Falefa smacked his third home run of the year. Shortly thereafter, Torres showcased his prowess once again, hitting his second homer of the night during the same inning. The consecutive home runs allowed the Yankees to construct a comfortable 5-1 lead.

After five innings of play, the Yankees forced Wells out of the game, managing to score a season-high of five runs against him.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Yankees found themselves with the bases loaded and just one out. Anthony Rizzo, who had previously struck out in all three of his at-bats, finally connected with a single to the left field, reducing Baltimore’s lead to 9-6. However, the Yankees’ hopes for a comeback were diminished as DJ LeMahieu struck out, followed by Harrison Bader grounding out to end the inning.

However, the Orioles capitalized on their explosive eight-run seventh inning, resulting in a 9-6 victory over the Yankees. This remarkable inning proved to be Baltimore’s most prolific since their nine-run eighth inning during a 9-8 triumph against Kansas City on September 8, 2021.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

Related posts:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join the Pinstripes Nation!

Your Daily Dose of Yankees Magic Delivered to Your Inbox

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Don't Miss Any of the Latest Yankees News, Rumors, and Exclusive Offers!