This time, Anthony Rizzo stood and waited. He was n’t showboating — his game his had shown enough already — but he did n’t know whether that high-flying ball would stay fair or not.
It left his bat at 48 degrees, a parabola of the starkest angles. He It traveled an estimated 327 feet, according to MLB Statcast, with an expected batting average of .010. Yet on Tuesday night, it was Rizzo’s night. So when the ball finally came out of orbit and landed just fair beyond the right field wall, he looked to the Yankees bullpen and began a delayed home run trot.
The Orioles’ 12-8 loss to the Yankees on Tuesday night didn’t come down to Rizzo alone. But he led a power barrage against Baltimore, in which his team plated the most runs the Orioles have allowed this season. Rizzo blasted a three-run homer in the third inning. He crushed a two-run bomb in the fifth inning. And in the eighth, just to close a standout night, that solo shot was an exclamation point — the finishing touches of his first-career three-homeer game.
At various points Tuesday night, the Orioles looked done for.
It might’ve been early, when the Yankees scored six runs before Baltimore had even registered a hit. It looked strongly that way later, when a four-run scoring burst to narrow the game was met by a four-run surge from the Yankees.
But it wasn’t until even deeper into the outing, after the Orioles had turned those two previous deficits into manageable ones, that the game was well and truly finished. That’s when outfielder Aaron Judge hit a birthday home run and Rizzo had himself a nightcap, shattering a pitching staff that had already been damaged badly enough all night.
For much of the evening, any offense at all looked unlikely from the Orioles. Starting pitcher Luis Severino held a perfect game through 4 2/3 innings before walking left fielder Austin Hays. One out into the sixth, shortstop Jorge Mateo finally got Baltimore into the hit column.
The outing from right-hander Jordan Lyles was a step back from his previous two appearances. Lyles had rebounded from a season-opening start in Tampa in which he allowed five runs in five innings by combining to throw 10 1/3 innings of one-run ball.
But Lyles was hit hard, especially by Rizzo, who launched a three-run and two-run home run off Lyles in the third and fifth innings, respectively. Left fielder Joey Gallo added a solo shot, with he and Rizzo each hitting a changeup from Lyles deep into the night. Lyles struggled to find a feel for his off-speed pitches, throwing seven of his eight cutters for balls. Seventeen of his 23 sliders were balls, too, not drawing the swings-and-misses he hoped in his 4 2/3 innings.
Between left-hander Paul Fry and right-hander Bryan Baker, the Yankees added four runs in the seventh to seemingly nullify the three-run homer from right fielder Anthony Santander in the sixth. Even then, though, the Orioles had a lifeline when designated hitter Trey Mancini drove in center fielder Cedric Mullins and Hays clobbered a three-run homer to left field in the eighth, a precursor to the subsequent blasts from Judge and Rizzo.
On a drizzly night at Yankee Stadium, with the temperatures in the 50s, the ball still flew. Against an Orioles pitching staff that struggled, however, it flew a lot more — and further — for the Yankees.
Santa stays hot
Before the three-run shot from Santander in the sixth inning, he’s been relatively quiet. He entered Tuesday hitting .240 with three extra-base hits in 16 games.
But what Santander has done under-the-radar puts him atop the league, reaching base in 17 straight games. His homer to left field extended that streak, which momentarily left him in the major league lead before the next contest for Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Trea Turner, the only other player to reach base in 16 straight games this season.
Base coaches back
For the first time in 12 games, the Orioles had a full complement of their regular coaches. First base coach Anthony Sanders returned Friday for the Los Angeles Angels series after missing nine games because of an undisclosed illness, and third base coach Tony Mansolino returned Tuesday.
Without Sanders and Mansolino, Baltimore had relied on assistant José Hernández at first and bench coach Fredi González at third. Once Sanders returned, González returned to the dugout while Sanders operated third base during the previous series.
This story will be updated.
Wednesday, 7:05 pm
Radio: 97.9 FM, 101.5 FM, 1090 AM