Gerrit Cole Can’t Hold the Lead Against Orioles, Yankees’ Battle Continues

BALTIMORE — The dog days of summer have arrived for the Yankees.

They’re dealing with an overworked and injury-depleted bullpen and a rotation that hasn’t matched its first-half success.

The result was three losses in four games coming out of the All-Star break when they fell 6-3 to the Orioles on Saturday-evening in Camden Yards.

Gerrit Cole got a three-run lead in the fourth inning, but Baltimore grabbed him for two runs in the bottom of the fifth and he faltered again in a seventh inning two-run in which the Orioles took the lead.

It didn’t help that the Yankees didn’t score after the fourth inning, eliminated by four different Orioles relievers.

The Yankees are holding the AL East tight, but they have lost eight of their last 12 games and are now just 1 ¹/₂ games ahead of the Astros for the best record in the AL, leaving General Manager Brian Cashman some work. has to do before the August 2 trading deadline.

Speaking of the record of 4-8 since July 9, Cole said: “I didn’t know that. Thats not so good.”

Gerrit Cole
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The ace added that a lull was to be expected at some point.

“It’s probably a bit of ’50-50′ games where we got to the top early and didn’t go our way” [lately],” Cole said. “You’re constantly trying to dodge and dodge setbacks, but at some point you go through it. It’s just too long a season. How we continue to react and show up will show us what we’re made of.”

The Yankees looked early to be on their way to a second win in a row, but Cole gave up a couple of runs with two outs in the fifth.

Partly because the bullpen is in bad shape, Cole stayed in the game until seventh, despite having made 112 pitches on a steamy night, with a temperature of 97 degrees on the first pitch.

Michael King lost to a broken elbow on Friday, Wandy Peralta is battling a minor back injury and Aroldis Chapman has been pitching for the past two days, so when Cole came out manager Aaron Boone said he was up to Clarke Schmidt after Albert Abreu and Shane Greene were both used.

In the seventh inning, with the Yankees leading 3-2, Cole gave up a leadoff double to Ramon Urias. Jorge Mateo followed and singled to center right to tie the scpore and end Cole’s night.

Abreu came in and made a short pickoff throw to first base that DJ LeMahieu couldn’t handle. Mateo reached third place.

Matt Carpenter celebrates his home run against the Orioles.

Cedric Mullins followed with a sacrifice fly that scored Mateo to give Baltimore its first lead of the evening.

Greene, just called up by Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to replace the injured King, gave up a two-run homerun to Urias in the eighth to give Baltimore a cushion.

It was a surprising turn of events after the Yankees took a quick lead. LeMahieu led off the game with an infield hit and Aaron Judge followed with an RBI double down the left field line off righthander Jordan Lyles.

Matt Carpenter led off the second inning with his 14th homer of the season to make it 2-0.

Judge added an RBI single in the fourth, the lone hit of the night for the Yankees with runners in scoring position; they were 1-for-14.

Aaron Judge walks off the field after the Yankees lose to the Orioles.

Cole, meanwhile, got through four scoreless innings before faltering in the fifth.

He retired the side in the inning, but then gave up three straight hits, as the Orioles scored a few runs to get back into the game.

The Yankees had a chance to extend their lead in the top of the seventh when Anthony Rizzo doubled and Gleyber Torres walked, but Josh Donaldson grounded into a double play and Carpenter grounded out to second base to end the inning.

In the ninth, LeMahieu reached on an error by first baseman Ryan Mountcastle and Judge followed with his fourth basehit of the evening.

Rizzo grounded out and Torres lofted a flyout down the rightfield-line, where Anthony Santander made a fine running catch.

Donaldson struck out to end it.

“I think it’s inevitable, but we’re not happy,” Kyle Higashioka said of the recent trajectory.

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