Orioles bash Yankees, 17-5, to win pivotal AL East series, make MLB history

Jacob Calvin Meyer, The Baltimore Sun on

Published in Baseball

NEW YORK — All the talk this week was about the Orioles’ wounded pitching staff and the “tomfoolery” around batters being plunked. Baltimore’s bats made sure Thursday against the Yankees to put the attention where it should be — on MLB’s best offense.

The Orioles’ potent lineup set aside the frustration bubbling underneath the critical American League East series and channeled it into mashing baseballs to propel Baltimore to a 17-5 triumph. Against the Bronx Bombers, it was the Orioles who hit like it, making a statement by tallying a season-high 19 hits to put up the most runs they’ve scored in a game since June 2021.

After losing Tuesday’s opener, the Orioles bounced back to win the next two games and claim the series victory, outplaying the Yankees in all three facets in a set that felt like the postseason. Well, at least until the end of Thursday’s game, when the Orioles were winning by so much that the Yankees put in catcher Jose Trevino to pitch.

Baltimore is 49-25 and a half game back of the AL East-leading Yankees (51-26). The Orioles now have the longest streak in MLB history without suffering a series loss to a divisional foe since divisions were introduced in 1969. They’ve won or split 22 straight AL East series dating to April 2023, going 49-23 versus the division in that span, including 19-7 this year.

They pounced on New York starter Luis Gil and maintained the barrage against his bullpen, scoring their most runs at Yankee Stadium since June 1986. Baltimore battered Gil, who entered with an AL-best 2.03 ERA, for seven runs in the first two innings, scoring six in the second frame before the right-hander was removed with one out.

Gunnar Henderson went 3 for 5 — reaching base in each of his first four plate appearances to extend his on-base streak to 27 games, the longest active in MLB — and accounted for four of the Orioles’ runs, scoring three and driving in one. Cedric Mullins hit his first home run since April 26, a two-run shot off Gil, to further emerge from his slump after his clutch 10th inning propelled Baltimore to a wild win Wednesday night.


Ryan Mountcastle delivered the game’s biggest hit (a bases-clearing double with the bags full to put Baltimore up 6-0) and its least consequential (an RBI single in the ninth off Trevino). Jordan Westburg, returning to the lineup after exiting Tuesday’s loss with a bruised hip from a strange collision with Juan Soto, reached base in each of his first three plate appearances, bringing home a run with a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch. After the Yankees took issue with Orioles pitchers hitting two batters Tuesday, New York hurlers plunked four over the series’ final two games, two in each loss.

Anthony Santander put the game out of reach in the fifth with a three-run homer — his 19th of the season and 10th during a balmy June — to put the Orioles up 11-3. Austin Hays clobbered Baltimore’s third and final homer, a two-run shot that traveled an estimated 432 feet, to maintain his recent hot streak at the plate after a slump to begin the year.

Adley Rutschman reached base five times, scoring thrice, and Ryan O’Hearn struck first with an RBI double in the first inning, hit a sacrifice fly in the third and drove in two more with a single in the eighth.

Baltimore is 5-2 against New York this season. The Orioles need to win only two of the next four games against the Yankees to clinch the season series, a potentially pivotal feat given the division tiebreaker is head-to-head record.

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