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Orioles Fall In Home Opener As Struggles Continue For Chris Davis

April 4, 2019
The Orioles lost to the New York Yankees, 8-4, before an announced 44,182 in the home opener at Camden Yards. 

All eight of the Yankees' runs scored via the home run.

"It was one of those games where the long ball beat us," manager Brandon Hyde said. "I thought we played well. We just didn't execute certain pitches in bad spots. We had the tying run in the second and eighth. We continued to battle. Our at-bats were good." 

The Orioles lost their home opener for just the fifth time in 20 years. 

Woes Continue For Davis

Chris Davis received a mixed ovation during the pregame introductions. He was greeted mostly to cheers with a smattering of boos. Many fans were still not in their seats during introductions because of the long lines at security checkpoints to get into Camden Yards. 

The day got much worse for the embattled first baseman. 

Davis went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts, including once with the bases loaded, and the boos got increasingly louder each at-bat. 

"It's not something I was really expecting, but it was tough," Davis said about the catcalls. "At the same time, I heard it a lot last year, and rightfully so. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I understand the frustration. Nobody is more frustrated than I am."

Hyde made sure Davis did not have to deal with the indignity of four strikeouts by using Hanser Alberto as a pinch hitter for him in the eighth. 

"I'm seeing a guy who's giving a great effort. It's just not happening right now," Hyde said about Davis. "We wanted to get him off to a good start. It's not the start he wanted to get off to, but I'm going to continue to play him and continue to support him and find the right matchups for him to try to get him off the schneid early. But he's battling and being a great teammate and not taking his offense to his defense."

Alberto received a rousing ovation and singled to get runners on first and third, but the Oriole could not capitalize. 

Davis is now 0-for-17 skid with 11 strikeouts, four walks and an RBI. 

"It was a frustrating day for me personally and for the team collectively, but you have to move on," Davis said. 

Yankees slugger Aaron Judge was also 0-for-5 with four strikeouts. 

Cobb Solid In Debut

Alex Cobb was making his first appearance after starting the season on the injured list with a right groin strain. The right-hander was effective, allowing two runs and five hits with four strikeouts and a walk over 5.2 innings (87 pitches, 52 strikes). 

"I have to be happy with the amount of quality pitches I threw," Cobb said. "I felt like I was on the attack more often than not. A lot of times last year I thought I was only on the defense. I want to go out there and attack hitters more."

Bullpen Struggles

Hyde gave the ball to Mike Wright after Cobb allowed a solo homer to Gary Sanchez with two outs in the fifth that cut the margin to 4-2. Wright, however, could not hold the lead and allowed a pair of singles before Gleyber Torres launched a three-run homer to left field. 

"He had Gleyber 0-2 and tried to elevate and didn't get it up enough," Hyde said of Wright. "It was pretty much the same pitch he swung and missed at 0-1, 94 about at the belt. He tried to go up there a little higher and kind of left it in the same spot. Gleyber can hit a heater. Always has. He had a great game at the plate. Just an unfortunate way that the inning ended."

Torres had a career-high four hits and also homered in the third. His most previous multi-home run game occurred Aug. 1, 2018, against the Orioles … off Cobb and Wright.

Wright (0-1) allowed another single before Hyde went to lefty John Means to stop the bleeding. Wright did not record an out and his ERA ballooned to 16.88. 

Means managed to pitch 1.1 scoreless innings, but walked and hit a batter to lead off the seventh. Mychal Givens entered and got the Oriole out of the jam by picking off Sanchez at second base before getting a pair of fly outs. 

Miguel Castro gave up a three-run home run to to Luke Voit in the ninth that gave the Yankees the decisive 8-4 victory. 

"I'm going to continue to throw those bullpen guys out there to show confidence in them," Hyde said. "Those guys threw the ball well in New York. Today, it didn't happen."

Mancini Hitting Third

Trey Mancini batted third for the third time this season and went 0-for-4 with a walk and a run. Mancini has batted cleanup in the four other games this season. He is batting .357 with a team-leading three home runs and eight RBIs

Jonathan Villar stayed hot with a pair of hits, including a first-inning homer, and is batting .333.

Yankees Hampered By Injuries

The Yankees are undermanned for this series. Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, became the 11th player placed on the 10-day injured list Thursday with a left calf strain. He is joined on the injured list by Luis Severino, Aaron Hicks, Didi Gregorius, Giancarlo Stanton, Miguel Andújar, CC Sabathia, Dellin Betances and Jordan Montgomery. 

Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox