NEW YORK — These are the games the Yankees should be using to build momentum and breathing room. Facing the worst team in baseball this weekend however, they were no-hit for six innings on Saturday and managed just three hits as they lost to the Orioles, 4-3, at Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees (78-57) are just 9-6 against the Orioles, who are 50 games below .500 with Saturday’s win. Baltimore has just 42 wins this season and now six are over the Yankees, who dropped to 28-31 against American League East opponents and have lost five of their last eight games.
Aroldis Chapman’s struggles continued Saturday. The closer’s wild pitch on a strike three in the ninth put Ryan Mountcastle on base and he scored the go-ahead run on Pedro Severino’s sacrifice fly.
Joey Gallo jumped on a change-up that Jorge Lopez left up and over the plate for a two-run homer to tie the game at 3-3 and to snap his personal 0-for-17 slump. Since coming to the Yankees, in 33 games, Gallo is 16 for 116 (.138) with six home runs, six doubles, 26 walks and 55 strikeouts.
His home run was the biggest hit for the Yankees against an Orioles pitching staff that came into the game with the worst ERA and batting average against in baseball.
The Yankees hitters were no-hit for six innings by starter Chris Ellis and Tanner Scott on Saturday. They couldn’t get an earned run off the worst bullpen in baseball for five innings Friday night, needing the extra-inning rule runner on second base to manage the 11th-inning win they pulled out.
It’s not exactly a strong showing for a team that is supposedly chasing a division title and postseason success.
If you mistakenly think that early September games against the Orioles don’t matter to the Yankees, then please direct your attention to the bottom of the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. With his offense being no-hit through six by the worst pitching staff in baseball, Aaron Boone emptied his bench trying to get something going.
With runners on first and second, he pulled Gary Sanchez off the bench the day game after a night game. He got the lead runner to third and Boone went to Gleyber Torres, who was scheduled the day off having just come back from the injured list.
Torres singled off Marcos Diplan to break up the combined no-hitter and get the first Yankee run in. Then Boone went to Luke Voit to try and get back in the game. The slugger grounded into a double play to end the inning.
Jordan Montgomery had to slog through 4 2/3 innings Saturday. The big lefty wasn’t sharp, but held the Orioles to one run on six hits. He walked two and struck out five. The Orioles made him work, throwing 97 pitches to not even get through the fifth inning.
Wandy Peralta allowed two runs in the top of the seventh on four hits and recorded just one out.