Roberto Carlo/ALOST

akoiki-passport2 – by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief

NEW YORK — It comes as no surprise that execution on defense proves decisive on many occasions when two evenly-matched teams square off, especially when those squads reside at the top of the standings. As regulation time turned into extra innings on Wednesday evening, the Baltimore Orioles did the “small things,” including excelling with the gloves, that allowed them to come away with a victory when their opponent dropped the ball, figuratively and literally.

Cedric Mullins blooped an RBI single in the 10th inning before scoring on a stolen base and error, with his run the difference in the Orioles’ 7-6 victory over the New York Yankees inside Yankee Stadium. Baltimore rebounded after losing a 5-1 lead in the seventh, capped when closer Craig Kimbrel allowed the tying run in the ninth, as the Orioles improved to 18-7 against American League East opponents this season.

“It’s a big win. Things were going well and then they weren’t,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “In the end, we made some plays, but really happy how we battled and competed. When you can give up the lead and continue to fight offensively, it shows a lot about our club. It was a heck of a win.”

Soon after his hit with one out in the extra frame scored automatic runner Anthony Santander, Mullins, who had advanced to second on the play a home plate, stole third base and subsequently scored when the throw from Yankees catcher Jose Trevino sailed over third baseman DJ LeMahieu and down the left field line to give Baltimore a 7-5 advantage.

As the Yankees’ defense faltered, Baltimore’s shone in the bottom of the frame to close out the game. After a single by LeMahieu off Baltimore reliever Dillon Tate to begin the inning advanced automatic runner Gleyber Torres to third, Ben Rice lifted a looping fly ball into the right-centerfield gap that was caught on a dive by Santander. Torres scored on the sacrifice fly, but pinch runner Oswaldo Cabrera had to hold at first base after the catch.

That development loomed large three pitches later, when Cabrera was thrown out trying to steal second base by Baltimore catcher Adley Rutschman, whose throw arrived right on the second base bag and allowed second baseman Jorge Mateo to catch the ball and let Cabrera slide into his glove in one motion.

“That was the throw of the year right there,” Hyde said. “Big spot, Tate’s not the quickest to the plate and for him to put it right on the money there … amazing play.”

The game between the teams with the two best records in the American League received extra juice when Gerrit Cole was activated off the injured list earlier today and made his first start of the season. The reigning American League Cy Young winner allowed two doubles in the first inning, to Gunnar Henderson and Ryan O’Hearn, that pushed home a run for the Orioles, but it was the only blemish in an otherwise successful outing for Cole. He left after four-plus innings, responsible for a runner on base at the time of his exit.

The Orioles immediately took advantage of Cole’s departure, as Ramón Urías slugged a two-run home run off reliever Ron Marinaccio — the first at-bat with Cole out of the game — to take a 3-1 lead.

That lead ballooned to 5-1 before the Yankees mounted their comeback in the seventh. Anthony Volpe and Juan Soto started the inning with singles, and after Yennier Cano was brought in from the bullpen for the Orioles, Giancarlo Stanton greeted him by scorching a line drive into the netting at Monument Park for a three-run homer, cutting the Yankees deficit to one.

*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Wednesday evening’s game, with photos taken by ALOST staff photographer Roberto Carlo. After clicking on a photo to enlarge the picture, press the left and right arrow buttons on either side of the caption to scroll through the rest of the pictures that appear on the first page. Also, click on the numbers and/or arrow appearing immediately below the picture grid to load the next set of photos. There are 20 pictures in total.

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Tags : Baltimore OriolesMajor League BaseballNew York Yankees

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