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Yankees pitching struggles in series opening loss to Orioles

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Yankees
New York Yankees starting pitcher Clarke Schmidt throws during the first inning of an opening day baseball game against against the Baltimore Orioles, Friday, April 7, 2023, in Baltimore.
AP Photo/Terrance Williams

BALTIMORE — What looked like a comeback win for the Yankees turned into a 7-6 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Friday afternoon. 

The Yankees erased a 4-0 deficit to take a brief lead before the bullpen let it slip away in the sixth and seventh innings. It was a rough afternoon for New York pitchers that began with Clarke Schmidt’s 3.1 inning start and ended with Jimmy Cordero’s relief appearance in the seventh. 

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“I think I felt good early on and then that second inning kind of trying to nibble at it,” Schmidt said about his outting. “Trying to make the perfect pitch and I think that kind of pigeonholed me a little bit sometimes when you’re trying to be too fine with it. And sometimes it’s just a matter of going, you know, it’s a mindset thing.

“Sometimes you just gotta continue to attack guys throughout the whole outing and not take some innings off where you’re just nibbling at the zone a little bit and trying to make the perfect pitch.”

New York’s offense managed to put up six runs, which was the fifth time in its first seven games that they scored at least seven runs. Friday was also just the second time that the Yankees had not scored first in a game this season. 

Franchy Cordero, who played for the Orioles during spring training, and Oswaldo Cabrera helped get the Yanks back into the game, but the lead disappeared a half-inning later. 

Adley Rutschman hit an RBI single to even things at five in the bottom of the sixth. Ron Marinaccio, who replaced reliever Ian Hamilton in the middle of the inning, was able to get Cedric Mullins to ground out, but Rutschman battled through an eight-pitch at-bat and drove Marinaccio’s fastball into left. 

The Orioles took back the lead in the seventh inning as the Yanks’ bullpen failed to contain the Orioles. After Marinaccio came out in the middle of the inning for Jimmy Cordero, who threw a ball past catcher Jose Trevino on his first pitch of the appearance and then gave up an RBI single to Urias that scored the go-ahead run. 

Cordero’s second wild pitch of the inning allowed Ramon Urias to reach home and put the Os up 7-5. 

“I just tried to work in some pitches on specific hitters. I just missed the location, so that cost the game,” Jimmy Cordero said. “We don’t want a loss. Nobody wants a loss. I tried to be my best in the game.” 

The Yankees reliever did say he did have some issues gripping the ball during the chilly afternoon. 

Cabrera helped the Yankees get back within when in the eighth when he hit his third RBI of the game to drive in Stanton, who had hit a lead-off double. However, New York stranded a runner on third to end the inning when Isiah Kiner-Falefa struck out swinging and ended the Yankee scoring threat. 

The rough day for the bullpen came after Yankee relievers had entered Friday’s game allowing just five earned runs and posting a 1.90 ERA through the first six games of the year. 

Schmidt’s day came to an end after 3.1 innings. The righty gave up four runs on five hits, while striking out three batters. 

The start marked his second consecutive this young season that Schmidt came out after 3.1 runs and allowed at least three runs on five hits. Schmidt made Friday’s start on extended five days rest.  

“Stuff seemed fine again, just the quality and too many mistakes at times,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said of Schmidt’s start. “Obviously walks hurt a little bit today. That’s where he’s got to the next level. He’s just got to keep experiencing it and obviously continue to work on the little things. Really focus on location. not always just chasing the best shape or best nastiest pitch but just the best location.” 

A big second and third inning opened up the game for the Orioles as they put up four runs over the two-inning span. Schmidt’s day started to go south in the second after he got the first batter of the inning out, but gave up a single to right to Gunnar Henderson and then walked Urias. 

Adam Frazier sent a 0-1 cutter on the ground into right to score Henderson from second. Austin Hays then hit a grounder to Gleyber Torres, who bobbled the ball allowing the runner to reach base and Urias to score to give Baltimore the 2-0 lead. 

Ryan Mountcastle’s sac fly in the third drove in a run to extend the Orioles’ lead to three and Henderson hit a sharp line drive to center that scored Santander for the fourth run. 

Cordero cut the Yankees’ deficit to just one in the fourth inning with a three-run blast that went 411 feet into center field. Oswaldo Cabrera got a two-out single to keep the inning alive and Jose Trevino walked, which set up the Cordero homer. 

Aaron Judge kept the Yankees down by one with a diving catch in the bottom of the fifth. Frazier hit a ball to right-center, which sent the Yankees superstar sprawling out to make the catch to end the inning and prevent the Orioles from putting another run on the board. 

Cabrera rewarded Judge’s effort the following inning when he drove two runs in on a double that went to the wall.

For more on the Yankees, visit AMNY.com

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