The Orioles are prepared to absorb some tough losses as they embark on a massive rebuilding project.
Manager Brandon Hyde, however, has emphasized the players simply cannot have fundamental breakdowns, especially against the league's upper echelon teams.
The Orioles paid a heavy price for those types of miscues in a stunning 10-7 setback to the first-place New York Yankees in the series opener at Camden Yards May 20.
"We're out early almost every single day," Hyde said. "I think we do more ground ball team fundamental stuff than I've probably ever seen in the big leagues, just because of the youth and inexperience we have at this level. When you play a game like that, with inexperience, the game speeds up on you. With the lack of experience, sometimes things happen."
A home run by Dwight Smith Jr. gave the Orioles a commanding five-run lead in the fourth. However an errant throw by Smith in left field in the seventh allowed New York to pull within two runs at 7-5.
The game unraveled for the Orioles with several more mental errors in the ninth.
First, right fielder Joey Rickard threw to the wrong base on a single by Cameron Maybin that put a pair of runners in scoring position. Second, Smith had another errant throw on game-tying sacrifice fly by Aaron Hicks that allowed Maybin to advance to third. Then, Orioles catcher Pedro Severino misjudged a pop-up in foul territory by Luke Voit, who took advantage by earning a walk.
Finally, Gary Sanchez the delivered the decisive three-run homer off reliever Mychal Givens, capping a four-run ninth inning and 10-7 lead.
The loss dampened a solid night by infielder Hanser Alberto, who went 4-for-5 with his third homer, and another solid quality start by right-hander Andrew Cashner. The final result was disappointing but not overly surprising considering the inexperience of the Orioles' roster.
"I think when you have a young team you're going to have some growing pains for sure," Cashner said. "I mean, there's a couple things we could have done better, whether it's hitting the cutoff man, whether it's throwing to a base, whether it's cutting the ball off. I think there's a lot of things you can point at and kind of pick and choose."
Nonetheless, it was a frustrating night especially with a rare win against their AL East rival in their grasp. The Orioles fell to 2-7 against the Yankees and have yet to beat them at Camden Yards this season
The Orioles have also lost 16 of their past 20 games.
"What you hope for is that guys learn from the mistakes," Hyde said. "We made a lot of mistakes in the last two innings obviously and allowed a really, really good team and a good lineup to catch up and take the lead on us. That's what's disappointing. But you've got to come back and try to get better."
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