The New York Yankees went head-to-head against the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday night in the third match of a four-game series. The Yankees, who had clinched two victories in the series, found themselves unexpectedly thwarted by Dean Kremer, the Orioles’ starter who began the game with an ERA above 5.00.
Kremer allowed just one earned run across seven innings, conceding a mere four hits and striking out 10 Yankees. This put the Bombers in a precarious position toward the end of the game.
Orioles’ Strong Offense and Yankees’ Pitching Woes
The Orioles capitalized on their offensive opportunities, registering 10 hits and six runs. Most of the damage came against Yankees’ pitchers Nick Ramirez and Ian Hamilton. Despite these setbacks, Randy Vasquez had an impressive outing for the Yankees. He pitched five scoreless innings, allowed three hits, and threw 75 pitches, maintaining his excellent 1.17 ERA.
Before his sterling performance on Wednesday night, Vasquez had two previous outings where he gave up only two earned runs across 12.1 innings, including 5.2 scoreless innings against Chicago a month ago.
Uncharacteristically for their usually dominant bullpen, the Yankees surrendered six earned runs, with Ramirez and Hamilton allowing three and two, respectively. Michael King also gave up a run across 2.2 innings, though his performance was generally sound apart from this singular lapse.
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Yankees’ Offense Stumbles
Offensively, the Bombers had a tough time, but veteran Josh Donaldson made his mark with two hits, including a solo homer in the 5th inning that initiated the team’s scoring. Despite a low .149 average and a .216 OBP this season, Donaldson has hit an intriguing nine homers out of just 14 hits for the season.
The only other Yankees showing offensive productivity were Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who notched a hit, Anthony Volpe, who hit his 12th homer of the season, and Kyle Higashioka, who reached base. The top of the order, however, struggled significantly, with the leading three batters striking out five times and failing to reach base.
For the Yanks to sustain their offense, balance throughout the batting order is essential. While the lower half has been performing well recently, the top order misses the impact of Aaron Judge, whose 19 homers this season have earned him an All-Star appearance, despite two stints on the injured list.
The Yankees will look to regain their footing on Thursday night with Luis Severino on the mound to close the series. Afterward, they’ll prepare to welcome the Chicago Cubs ahead of the All-Star break.
Final note: Our thoughts and prayers go out to Pete, the Yankees’ camera operator, who was struck on the head by an errant throw. We stand with you.