Orioles outfielder Anthony Santander hit a walk-off 3-run homer to quash the Yankees comeback attempt on Thursday afternoon.
The 9–6 Baltimore win helped the team from Camden Yards avoid being swept by New York for the second time this season, as the Bronx Bombers had won the previous 3 games in the series.
Despite the failure to blank their divisional rival in 4-straight games, they nonetheless secured their 9th consecutive series win, and stayed atop the MLB with a 28–10 record, while keeping a 5 game lead in the AL East.
The Yankee defeat marked the first time this season that the team scored 5-or-more runs in a losing effort.
Santander’s homer in the bottom of the 9th inning off an 87 mph cutter from Yanks righty Lucas Luetge capped Baltimore’s shootout victory during a game that saw back-and-forth offensive outbursts from both teams.
The home run to left field killed Yankee fans hopes of capping their comeback, as a clutch DJ LeMahieu RBI single in the top of the 9th scored Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who walked and stole 2nd base earlier in the inning to tie the game at 6.
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New York began the game by continuing their stellar offensive season in the 1st inning, when Aaron Judge walked and Anthony Rizzo doubled to right field, before Giancarlo Stanton hit a 2-RBI single to left off a Bruce Zimmermann changeup in the 4th at bat of the game.
They would keep that 2-run lead into the 2nd inning, but starting lefty Jordan Montgomery would give up a home run to tie the game to catcher Robinson Chirinos, which scored Tyler Nevin after he singled earlier in the inning.
The tit-for-tat scoring continued the next inning, when Baltimore batters recorded consecutive hits to take a 3–2 lead.
That wouldn’t last long, though, as the red-hot Stanton hit his 10th homer of the season to tie the game in the top of the 4th inning with a shot over the left field fence — marking the first time a visiting batter hit a homer over that controversial wall this season.
The left field fence became a topic of conversation earlier in the series, when Aaron Judge blamed the abnormally long outfield for robbing him of a 3-home run game on Tuesday.
The Yankees, seeking their 22nd win in the last 26 games, took a 5–3 lead with a 2-run 6th inning — coming off a pair of singles from Judge and Rizzo, followed by a Isiah Kiner-Falefa single that allowed both baserunners to cross the plate.
Their lead would evaporate, though with a 3-run inning in the bottom of the 6th, which saw 3 Yankee pitchers Miguel Castro, Chad Green, and Jonathan Loáisiga combine to allow 2 hits, 3 walks and an error.
In troubling news for the Yankee bullpen, Green took himself out of the game with right forearm pain, and he will be evaluated in the coming days.
With their backs against the ropes down 1 run, the Yankees failed to muster any offense in the 7th and 8th innings — until Kiner-Falefa found himself on 2nd base, and LeMahieu ushered him across the plate with a blooper to tie the game.
Meanwhile, Anthony Rizzo, who saw 2 questionable strike calls in the top of the 8th inning, was ejected from the contest in the bottom of the inning, as the umpires accused him of making inflammatory comments while in the dugout.
“Obviously I never want our guys to get thrown out. I’d rather it be me,” said manager Aaron Boone after the game. “I didn’t think it rose to that level. I thought it was a quick trigger [by the umpires]”
"I'm better than that! You know I'm better than that."
Anthony Rizzo gets ejected for the third time in his career. He watched two bad strike calls go by then argued when the same pitch was called a ball to the next batter pic.twitter.com/quddnrKvmK
— Talkin' Yanks (@TalkinYanks) May 19, 2022
Luetge took the mound in the final half inning of the game, before giving up a pair of singles, and ultimately the game-ending homer.
The Yankees will next return home to face off against the Chicago White Sox in a series beginning on Friday, May 20.