The Orioles lineup hasn’t shied away from any challenges this season. Hosting “Sunday Night Baseball” for the first time since 2018, against the New York Yankees of all teams, was no different.
This lineup, filled with young superstars and veterans finally finding their footing, has proved time and time again that it is the real deal. The Orioles are in first place in the American League, maintaining their standing with not one but two center fielders, both key parts of their lineup, on the injured list.
On Sunday, they showed off for the national — and local — audience. The game had 37,429 in attendance, bringing the weekend total to 114,816, the most for a three-game series at Camden Yards since 2016.
“When it’s packed out and you hear the crowd get into it, there’s no better feeling,” catcher Adley Rutschman said. “It just feels like that atmosphere you dream about playing in.”
The Orioles didn’t just beat the Yankees. They routed them, winning 9-3 to take the season series between the two clubs, also for the first time since 2016. Baltimore — with Tuesday’s 6 p.m. ET trade deadline quickly approaching — will head to Toronto to face another AL East competitor.
“It’s more of a fair fight than it’s been in the past,” manager Brandon Hyde said of their series win over the Yankees. “We are able to pitch to them, which we didn’t in the past. We were able to score runs, and we had a tough time with that in the past. We’re a lot more talented than in my first few years.”
The Orioles — who taxed Luis Severino for seven runs the last time they faced him July 6 — got off to a scorching start, scoring seven runs and sending nine batters to the plate in the first. They put up six runs before Severino even recorded an out.
The last time a team accomplished that? The Angels, against the Orioles, on April 24, 2022. Baltimore was 5-9 and in last place in the AL East at the time.
The Orioles were still an afterthought then. But, a month later, Rutschman made his MLB debut and everything changed. Since then, the Orioles are 123-90 with Rutschman in the lineup, a .575 winning percentage.
On Sunday, Rutschman started that first-inning slaughter. Hitting leadoff for the second time in his career, he smacked a single to open the game. Gunnar Henderson followed with a base hit of his own. The two, both key parts of the Orioles’ success, were featured heavily on the ESPN broadcast, with Henderson mic’d up for an inning.
The first inning taxed Severino, and, while he made it through the second and third innings cleanly, he was credited for two more runs in the fourth before he was removed. Rutschman finished his day with three hits, Henderson with two. Adam Frazier added a home run — his career-high 13th — and three RBIs.
“It’s pretty fun,” Frazier said. “Any night you can do it, it’s great. I think it shows how capable our lineup is. That’s a pretty good pitcher out there, Severino, throwing hard. Guys just getting a mistake and hitting it. We found a couple holes early, and it just snowballed from there.”
Dean Kremer wasn’t his sharpest, but he didn’t need to be. He pitched four innings plus a batter, giving up three runs on seven hits. Mike Baumann, Shintaro Fujinami, Danny Coulombe and Yennier Cano all pitched scoreless relief innings. The pitching staff struck out 18, a team record for a nine-inning game.