(Photo Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports)

Orioles lose lead late on a Clint Frazier homer, drop the game 6-4

The Orioles took a lead in the seventh, but it was not enough for the victory.

April 06, 2019 - 11:59 pm

By: Kyle J. Andrews

BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Orioles hadn't yet lost a series in 2019. They weren't able to extend that stat on Saturday, losing to the New York Yankees 6-4.

Aaron Judge and Trey Mancini are the de facto faces of their respective franchises. Mancini came into the game having hit safely in his last nine games against the Yankees, hitting .395 (15-for-38) in that stretch. Judge has hit safely in six of seven games this season and has reached base safely in five games. Neither disappointed on Saturday night, especially early on in the game.
Judge homered in the first inning to center field for his first homer of the season. Not to be outdone, Mancini answered with a first-inning home run of his own to right field. Judge hit his second home run of the game and the season in the third inning to give the Yankees a 3-1 lead. Mancini doubled in the same inning.

Baltimore would get a run back off of Happ in the bottom of the fifth. Renato Nunez singled with two men on, scoring Cedric Mullins from second base. Things really got moving for the birds in the seventh inning.

After being booed on Thursday and striking out three times, Chris Davis would pinch hit for Joey Rickard. He grounded into a fielder's choice, but would be safe and scored Mullins from third base, with Greg Bird throwing home. Rio Ruiz would pinch hit for Nunez and he was able to score Jonathan Villar on a sac fly -- after he stole third. Baltimore then led 4-3 on manufactured runs.

However, things took a turn for the worst for Baltimore in the eighth inning. Miguel Castro was nearly out of the inning, but had D.J. LeMahieu and Gleyber Torres on with Clint Frazier at-bat. Frazier sent his first home run of the season deep over the left field fence to give New York a 6-4 lead. Castro threw a high slider on the homer.

"I think the pitches have been up," Castro said through translator Ramon Alarcon. "I've been missing commanding my pitches and I think that's been the main reason." He would later say "My slider is one of my best pitches, unfortunately it was up and he made a good swing."

Davis had a chance to bust out of his .000 start to the season with the bases loaded in the eighth inning. He would start of with an 0-2 count before fouling off four pitches. On the seventh, Davis grounded out on a rocket to first base to end the inning.

Baltimore had one last chance in ninth to either even things up or win, but to no avail. Aroldis Chapman came on for the Yankees to close things out. Mancini would strike out and Jesus Sucre singled when pinch hitting for Ruiz. Dwight Smith Jr. Hanser Alberto grounded out to short to end the game.

As for Orioles starting pitcher Dylan Bundy, he lasted just 3.2 innings. He gave up six hits, three earned runs, while walking two and striking out two. All three of his runs were from Judge's home runs.

"Gotta get deeper in the game," Bundy said of his outing. "I think that's the first thing. Just a lot of foul balls -- couldn't quite get 'em to bite on some two-strike pitches that I was really trying to get them to bite on. So, just kinda ran the pitch count up there again, kinda like last time."

John Means, Nate Karns and Paul Fry combined for 3.2 scoreless innings out of the bullpen with Karns allowing three hits. Means had two strikeouts and Fry had one.

Baltimore will take on the Yankees in their series finale on Sunday at 1:05 p.m.

Notes

Bundy has issued seven walks in 8.1 innings during the season. He threw 85 pitches, 57 of which were for strikes.

Mancini leads the team with four home runs. He entered play tied for seventh in the AL in slugging percentage. The first baseman/outfielder has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games against the Yankees, batting .395 (17-for-43) during this stretch. His four home runs in the teams first eight games of the season are tied for second-most in Orioles history (six other players have done this).

Villar has scored a run in six consecutive games, setting a career-high in runs scored streak. He has also extended his hitting streak to six games, having hit safely for seven of eight games this season. He stole third base in the seventh for his second steal of the year.

Smith Jr. has extended his hitting streak to eight games with a single in his second at-bat, which is a career-high. It's the sixth time (five different players) in 10 years that an Oriole has started the season by hitting safely in each one of the team's first eight games.

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