BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Orioles have not inched closer to a dubious major league record. They have rocketed toward it, much like the balls off their opponents’ bats that have this rebuilding club holding another infamous mark.
The New York Yankees hit three more home runs off Orioles pitching in Tuesday night’s 11-4 victory, making Baltimore the fastest club in major league history to allow 100 home runs. By doing so in 48 games, the Orioles beat the 2000 Kansas City Royals to the century mark by nine contests.
The first Bronx bomb of the night was almost predictable, with Gary Sanchez clubbing a three-run home run off David Hess three batters into the right-hander’s start a night after Sanchez hit a go-ahead shot off Mychal Givens. It was Sanchez’s eighth of the year off the Orioles, matching him for the most in the American League against a single opponent with teammate Gleyber Torres, who reached eight against the Orioles with two Monday.
Clint Frazier matched Torres’s multihomer feat with a two-run shot in the third and a three-run blast in the fifth, both off Hess. The 25-year-old Hess has allowed 17 home runs, the most in the majors and the most by an Oriole through nine starts in franchise history.
Hess completed five innings on a season-high 106 pitches but forfeited a career-high nine runs. Since holding the Toronto Blue Jays hitless in 6⅓ innings in his first start of the year, Hess has an 8.27 ERA, allowing a home run in all but one outing and multiple in all but three.
The Yankees, in particular, have been troublesome for Hess. He pitched two scoreless innings of relief against them on Opening Day — an outing that prompted Manager Brandon Hyde to pull him after 82 pitches in the subsequent no-hit bid — but in three starts against New York since, he has allowed 10 home runs in 16 innings and has a 9.56 ERA.
Hess isn’t the only Orioles pitcher who has struggled with the Yankees, as Baltimore has dropped seven straight games to New York since winning the season-opening series between the American League East foes. The Yankees have risen to the top of the division while the Orioles have plummeted, with Tuesday’s defeat making them losers in four straight games, seven of their past eight, 11 of their past 13 and 17 of their past 22. They are 15-33, the same record they had through 48 games in their 115-loss 2018 season.
Hyde’s lineup experimentation continued Tuesday, with Stevie Wilkerson getting plugged into the leadoff spot a night after Hanser Alberto batted there.
With right-hander Domingo German on the mound, Hyde went with the switch-hitting Wilkerson and his .344 average against righties atop the order. Wilkerson struck out in his first two at-bats against German, coming up with the bases empty both times. But when he stepped to the plate with runners on the corners in the fifth after Alberto was hit by a pitch and Austin Wynns reached on an error by German, Wilkerson drove an inside 91-mph fastball out to right field for a three-run home run.
— Baltimore Sun