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Ramirez's rocky start latest for inconsistent staff

Wynns, Nunez, Stewart homers not enough to erase early deficit
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- Last Saturday, Yefry Ramirez solidified his spot in the Orioles' starting rotation with one of his best outings after a brief demotion to the bullpen. Just six nights later, the rookie right-hander couldn't make it out of the fourth inning, putting his team in an early deficit that could not be made up.

Ramirez lasted just 3 2/3 innings and allowed six runs on six hits, including two homers, that played a large part in Baltimore's 10-8 loss to New York on Friday at Yankee Stadium.

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NEW YORK -- Last Saturday, Yefry Ramirez solidified his spot in the Orioles' starting rotation with one of his best outings after a brief demotion to the bullpen. Just six nights later, the rookie right-hander couldn't make it out of the fourth inning, putting his team in an early deficit that could not be made up.

Ramirez lasted just 3 2/3 innings and allowed six runs on six hits, including two homers, that played a large part in Baltimore's 10-8 loss to New York on Friday at Yankee Stadium.

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"I think I threw too many balls today, missing in the strike zone," Ramirez said. "I think that's what hurt me tonight, and unfortunately I wasn't able to be consistent in the strike zone tonight."

Video: BAL@NYY: Gregorius smashes a 2-run home run to right

Traded from the Yankees to the Orioles in July 2017, the young hurler has struggled against his former organization, going 0-3 with a 9.19 ERA in four games (three) starts this year.

The Yankees jumped out to a quick lead on a two-run homer by Didi Gregorius in the first inning. After working two scoreless frames in the second and third, Ramirez ran into trouble in the fourth when he started to get bothered by a cut on his right thumb. Neil Walker doubled on a fly ball that went in and out of Adam Jones' glove in right field before Gleyber Torres plated him with a single up the middle. A stolen base and one of Austin Wynns' two passed balls allowed Torres to score from third on a groundout.

Video: BAL@NYY: Walker doubles as Jones misses the catch

"It was unacceptable with those passed balls," Wynns said. "We had a little hiccup with the signs, and I missed that other one. Yeah, can't happen. Just, bottom line with our pitching, we just have to get ahead early and just put them away. Right now, we're nitpicking, and we just put ourselves in situations where we don't execute. That's the one big word right there: execute. We need to get better at that. This game's on me."

Following a walk, Aaron Hicks took Ramirez deep into the second deck in right field, prompting Ramirez's night to come to an early close.

"It's just the pitching," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "We're just not quite, I don't know if you want to say 'mature enough.' We do some good things, but we can't put together a lot of sequences. You saw how good Yefry pitched last time out. Just never really got a feel. He had a little cut on his thumb, showed up. I think it probably bothered him a little bit, but they seemed to get it under control and manage it."

Video: BAL@NYY: Hicks smashes a 2-run homer to right field

Baltimore's offense did its best to fight its way back into the contest. Jones singled in two runs in the fifth before Wynns homered and Jonathan Villar scored Cedric Mullins on a single to right in the seventh. After the Yankees tacked on three more runs in the bottom half of the frame, the Orioles answered in the eighth with a pair of two-run blasts by Renato Nunez and DJ Stewart -- his second in as many games -- to cut the deficit to one. But the rally stopped there.

"It was awesome," Wynns said of the offense. "We battled. We showed that we had some fight. That's good we didn't just turn over and play dead. But it was good. It showed that we have some room to get better, which we will, and keep moving forward. Nights like this, don't let this dwell, move forward and keep getting better."

Video: BAL@NYY: Wynns drills a solo homer to left field

SOUND SMART
Baltimore's eight runs were the most the team has scored on the road since nine crossed the plate at Texas on Aug. 5.

Video: BAL@NYY: Nunez drills a solo shot to right field

HE SAID IT
"He doesn't have an off button, and those types of people have a chance to be as good as they're capable of being. And he's respectful of it. You can tell he really enjoys being here, but he's not in awe of it. He's got some confidence in his ability. It's been fun to watch." -- Showalter, on Stewart

Video: BAL@NYY: Stewart ropes a 2-run homer to right field

UP NEXT
Rookie David Hess will face the Yankees for the first time in his career in the second game of the three-game set on Saturday in New York. Hess has won just one of his past 14 starts. Last time out, he allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits in 4 1/3 innings against the White Sox. Veteran right-hander Lance Lynn will take the mound for the Yankees. First pitch is slated for 4:05 p.m. ET.

Mandy Bell is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York.

Baltimore Orioles, Renato Nunez, Yefry Ramirez, DJ Stewart, Austin Wynns