February 2, 2023

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Odor drives in season-high 4 O's vs. old club

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NEW YORK — The Orioles continue to give the Yankees fits. But while the O’s were victorious in the series opener, New York eventually edged Baltimore, 7-6, in 11 innings at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night. It was the Orioles’ first loss in extra innings this season; they had been undefeated in their previous four extra-inning games.

The O’s had staked themselves to a 6-5 lead in the top of the 11th inning, but reliever Bryan Baker blew the save in the bottom half of the frame. The Yankees tied the score at 6 on an RBI single by Isiah Kiner-Falefa, and two batters later, Jose Trevino — who played nemesis all night in a 3-for-4 display — singled down the third-base line to score Kiner-Falefa and end the game.

Even though the Orioles lost, manager Brandon Hyde was pleased with the effort his team gave. He has often said that the 2022 Orioles have shown clear signs of improvement compared to years past.

“We had the lead; we just didn’t hold it,” Hyde said. “I thought our guys were grinding it out again. They got some big hits. We made some big plays defensively. They did a nice job. We just came up a little short tonight.

“We are playing the majority of the year where we are in most games. Our starters are giving us a chance like [left-hander Bruce Zimmermann] did tonight. We battled back. We had a really nice rally there.”

For a time, it looked like sweet revenge for Orioles second baseman Rougned Odor, who played for the Yankees last year. Odor had one of his best games of the season, driving in four of the O’s six runs.

He contributed Baltimore’s first run in the fifth inning with an RBI groundout off Yankees starter Jordan Montgomery, which scored Ryan Mountcastle. Then, in the top of the seventh, the Orioles took the lead in large part thanks to Odor. The O’s scored four unanswered runs off Montgomery and reliever Michael King.

Austin Hays led off the inning with a home run to make it a one-run game. Montgomery was taken out in favor of King, and that’s when the Orioles made things interesting.

After Adley Rutschman singled and Ramón Urías reached on a walk, Odor hit a three-run homer over the right-field fence to give Baltimore a 5-3 lead. The hit extended Odor’s streak to nine games; he has gone 10-for-33 (.303) with two home runs and nine RBIs during that stretch. He is trying to use the big part of the field to get base hits. That’s why he is feeling good at the plate these days.

“[Odor] is swinging the bat a lot better the last week,” Hyde said. “I love the way he plays. He is super competitive. He is into every pitch. It’s a battle at the plate every single at-bat. He has gotten some big hits for us as of late.”

Even though his go-ahead homer didn’t hold up in the end, Odor’s four RBIs marked a season high — and his most in a game since Sept. 27, 2020, when he was a member of the Rangers.

“Tonight was a tough game,” Odor said. “We kept battling. We kept trusting each other. I think we really did a good job. But they did a better job than us.”

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