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Orioles shut out in rubber game, fall to Yankees, 2-0, in teams’ final meeting of first half of season

Orioles manager Brandon Hyde has been pleased with his team’s improved competitiveness against the teams atop the American League East. It hasn’t resulted in consistent wins.

The Orioles dropped a rubber game for only the second time this season, losing a second straight game to the New York Yankees, 2-0, to drop a third consecutive series to their American League East foe.

Right-hander Tyler Wells had held New York to one hit in three scoreless innings before Aaron Judge one-hopped the left field wall for a double to open the fourth. Back-to-back singles from Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andújar brought him home, with Torres scoring from third when Andújar stole second base and catcher Adley Rutschman’s throw went into center field, the top prospect’s first major league error.

Wells did not allow any further damage, with right fielder Anthony Santander’s dive to rob Judge of a run-scoring hit ending the fifth and Wells’ outing. In three starts against New York, Wells has a 2.57 ERA, though the Orioles (18-27) have dropped each of those games.

Baltimore’s offense was unable to capitalize on its opportunities. The Orioles put their first two runners on against left-hander JP Sears, making his third major league appearance and first start, but two of the next three batters struck out, though the third strike called on Ryan Mountcastle appeared to be low.

The Orioles again got runners into scoring position against Sears in the second and fifth, but he held them to 0-for-7 in those situations. After two hits in the ninth from Rutschman and Rougned Odor — the latter a bloop into center that gave Odor a career-high-tying 10-game hitting streak — Jorge Mateo struck to end the game and leave Baltimore’s average with runners on either second or third base this season at .198. No team has ever finished a season below .200 in that regard, though the Pittsburgh Pirates and Toronto Blue Jays also entered Wednesday under that threshold.

After winning their first season of the year against the Yankees, the Orioles have gone 2-8 against the AL East leaders. The teams don’t meet again until the first series out of the All-Star break, then face each other in the season’s penultimate series.

Rutsch in no rush

No batter has been better at working counts this season than Rutschman, and that trend continued Wednesday.

By seeing 19 pitches in his four at-bats, Rutschman is averaging 4.86 per plate appearance thus far. No player who has seen at least 100 pitches this year entered Wednesday with a better mark, and only eight have finished a season above it.

Rutschman saw 10 pitches in his first at-bat, fouling off five straight 2-2 offerings before smacking one into right field for a single. He saw half of Sears’ pitches in a four-pitch fourth inning, then lined out to third base on six pitches.

He swung at the first pitch he got from Clay Holmes in the ninth, grounding it up the middle to record his first multi-hit game in the majors. Rutschman swung at 11 fastballs Wednesday and made contact on all of them.

Around the horn

> The Orioles claimed right-hander Chris Vallimont from the Minnesota Twins and transferred left-hander Alexander Wells to the 60-day injured list. Vallimont, a 25-year-old starter, struggled immensely with the Twins’ Double-A affiliate after being added to their 40-man roster this offseason, but he’s shown a high strikeout propensity in his career.

> Hyde said it’s “definitely probable or possible” the Orioles call up a starter from Triple-A Norfolk to start during the team’s upcoming series against the Boston Red Sox, which features a doubleheader Saturday. Baltimore has an opening in its rotation after placing right-hander Spenser Watkins on the injured list.

> Meanwhile, left-handers DL Hall and Zac Lowther, who are both on the 40-man roster, are scheduled to start for Triple-A Norfolk in a doubleheader Thursday, with top prospect Grayson Rodriguez lined up to pitch Friday for the Tides.

> The Orioles’ series opener against the Boston Red Sox on Friday night will be livestreamed exclusively on Apple TV+ as part of Major League Baseball’s new partnership for its “Friday Night Baseball” package. The games are free to watch through the Apple TV app, the MLB.TV app or by logging in to tv.apple.com with an Apple ID.

ORIOLES@RED SOX

Friday, 7:10 p.m.

Stream: Apple TV+

Radio: 97.9 FM, 101.5 FM, 1090 AM

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Source: Berkshire mont

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