Yankees winning streak snapped after dramatic 7th-inning pitching collapse

Gleyber Torres is at Yankees vs. Orioles game at Yankee Stadium on May 24, 2023.
John Allen
Thursday May 25, 2023

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New York Yankees 6, Baltimore Orioles 9

NEW YORK — As Adam Frazier connected with Nestor Cortes‘ fastball, he directed the ball down the right-field line, causing a sense of concern.

He described how the wind was pushing the ball foul, creating a sense of uneasiness until it finally made contact.

Frazier’s powerful hit collided with the foul pole in front of the second deck, transforming what seemed like an easy victory for the Yankees into an exhilarating contest against the Orioles. His three-run home run narrowed the gap between the teams to just one run, and the subsequent go-ahead, two-run double by pinch-hitter Gunnar Henderson in the eventful seventh inning resulted in an eight-run surge for Baltimore. Ultimately, the Orioles secured a 9-6 triumph on Wednesday night, effectively halting the Yankees’ impressive winning streak of five games.

According to Orioles manager Brandon Hyde, there was an abundance of fight and energy emanating from their dugout.

Out of their 32 victories this season, Baltimore has showcased their resilience by staging comebacks in 19 of those wins. During the seventh inning, the Orioles displayed their offensive prowess by sending 12 batters to the plate, marking their most productive inning since September 2021. This achievement matched the franchise record for the most runs scored in a single inning during a game against the Yankees on June 5, 1989, as well as a previous accomplishment by the St. Louis Browns on June 12, 1929, as reported by the Elias Sports Bureau.

Henderson made it clear that the team should not be underestimated, as they are ready to fight back. He emphasized their unwavering determination and the absence of any inclination to quit within the team.

Gleyber Torres displayed his power at the plate by hitting two home runs and contributing three RBIs, while Isiah Kiner-Falefa showcased his versatility with a triple and a home run. Their impressive performances helped the Yankees (30-21) establish a commanding 5-1 lead against pitcher Tyler Wells.

The bullpen of the New York Yankees, known for their stellar performance, holds the top spot in the major leagues with a remarkable 2.80 ERA. However, their ERA slightly increased to 2.94 after the recent outing.

Nestor Cortes had been relatively effective on the mound, surrendering only a solo home run to Ryan Mountcastle in the fourth inning. However, his luck took a turn when he issued a walk to Anthony Santander to lead off the seventh. Austin Hayes then hit a scorching grounder clocked at 109.6 mph, which had the potential to result in a double play. Unfortunately for the Yankees, the ball took an unexpected hop under the glove of rookie shortstop Anthony Volpe and continued rolling into left field.

Frazier’s home run forced the Yankees to replace Cortes on the mound.

Cortes acknowledged that the turn of events was due to unfortunate circumstances, noting that if the ball had been slightly different in its placement, the outcome could have been a pop-up instead.

Amid a slump, James McCann, with a batting average of just .182, and Jorge Mateo both managed to deliver crucial singles off Jimmy Cordero (3-2).

Despite going hitless in all six of his previous appearances as a pinch hitter, Henderson took the initiative to visit the indoor batting cage at the beginning of the inning. There, he faced around 10-15 fastballs, preparing himself for the crucial moment. Stepping up to the plate, Henderson connected with a sinker, directing it down the right-field line to give his team a 6-5 lead. This hit brought an end to the impressive 22 1/3-inning scoreless streak maintained by the Yankees’ relievers.

Wells’ frustration reached its peak as he unleashed a torrent of shouts directed at the television screen in the clubhouse.

Wells acknowledged his own performance, stating that he felt he hadn’t given his team much of a chance to come back when he was taken out of the game. However, he expressed appreciation for his teammates’ efforts in rallying and picking him up.

Mountcastle contributed with a sacrifice fly against Albert Abreu, while Santander and Hays followed with run-scoring singles, extending the lead for Baltimore to 9-5.

In the sixth inning, Mike Baumann took the mound and swiftly retired the Yankees’ batters in order, recording a flawless 1-2-3 inning. In the following seventh inning, New York managed to load the bases against Mychal Givens. With one out, Anthony Rizzo stepped up and delivered an RBI single off Danny Coulombe. However, Coulombe demonstrated composure by striking out DJ LeMahieu and inducing Harrison Bader to ground into a forceout, effectively leaving the bases loaded and preserving the Orioles’ advantage.

Félix Bautista successfully recorded three outs to secure his 12th save in 16 opportunities. This came as redemption for Bautista, who had surrendered a game-tying home run to Aaron Judge in the previous night’s contest, leading to a 6-5, 10-inning loss for the Orioles.

Once again, Wells found himself troubled by the power hitters as he fell victim to the long ball. With a total of 13 home runs allowed in just 10 appearances, it became evident that a significant portion of the 22 runs scored against him this season were a result of those home runs.

Wells recognized the repercussions of his pitches being located down the middle against a formidable lineup consisting of highly regarded hitters. He acknowledged that such mistakes in the major leagues, particularly against a team of that caliber, would inevitably lead to punishment and unfavorable outcomes.

Amidst a game that commenced following a rain delay of 1 hour and 36 minutes, Torres showcased his power by launching a two-run home run in the third inning, followed by a solo shot in the fifth. These impressive long balls brought his season total to nine home runs and marked his 14th career game with multiple home runs.

In the fifth inning, Kiner-Falefa contributed with a two-run home run. Despite losing the shortstop position to Volpe during spring training, Kiner-Falefa has been utilized in the outfield on occasions. In his last six games, he has shown his prowess at the plate, going 5 for 13 with a combination of a double, triple, and three home runs.

IKF expressed that there was some initial ambiguity regarding his role, but as the season progressed, he gained a better understanding of when he might have opportunities and how he can be effectively utilized by the team.


The upcoming series finale on Thursday night is set to feature New York’s right-handed pitcher, Clarke Schmidt, with a record of 2-4 and an ERA of 6.00. On the other side, Baltimore’s right-handed pitcher, Kyle Gibson, with a record of 5-3 and an ERA of 4.27, is expected to take the mound.

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