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Jordan Lyles pitches deep ‘for the boys,’ but Orioles’ offense continues to struggle in sixth straight loss, 3-2 to Yankees



Jordan Lyles pitches deep ‘for the boys,’ but Orioles’ offense continues to struggle in sixth straight loss, 3-2 to Yankees

Jordan Lyles came to the Orioles with a reputation. By the standards of this rebuild, yes, he’s been an innings eater throughout his career, but his 2021 season was his only campaign truly deserving of that title by league standards.

His 2022 is trending toward joining it.

The New York Yankees’ big first inning Wednesday night ultimately handed Lyles and the Orioles a 3-2 defeat, their sixth straight overall and to their American League East foes, but the veteran left-hander bounced back from that rough start. Lyles followed the first inning with six scoreless frames, giving Baltimore’s stagnant offense at least the chance to rally against Yankees ace Gerrit Cole and a dominant New York bullpen.

Lyles said when he spoke with Orioles manager Brandon Hyde after the top of the seventh, he “asked him nicely” to work the eighth despite having thrown a season-high 106 pitches. It’s been a frequent topic of conversation between manager and veteran pitcher. Lyles, 31, tracked his desire to work an additional inning to his past work out of the bullpen, knowing how valuable starters working deeper into games is to the relievers.

“It’s for the boys,” Lyles said. “That means for the boys out in the bullpen. For the boys, always. When in doubt, try and scratch out another one for the boys.

“Such a long season, when they can count on you to get deep into games and just wear one for the boys out there, it means a lot.”

Lyles threw a career-high 180 innings last year for the Texas Rangers to qualify for the ERA title for the first time in his 11-season career. Of course, qualification does not guarantee quality, as Lyles led the majors in home runs and earned runs allowed. He has not fully reversed that course — though his ERA is now a full run lower at 4.11, including a 2.10 mark at Camden Yards — but he has been largely reliable for Hyde after being given a contract this offseason that made him Baltimore’s highest-paid pitcher.

He has gone at least five innings in all but one of his eight starts, coming an out short in the lone exception. His second start of at least seven innings gave him more than all the Orioles not named John Means collectively threw in 2021. When the outing ended, he ranked fifth in the AL in innings pitched.

“I think he’s doing what we thought he was gonna do,” Hyde said. “This is an extremely tough division to pitch in. He’s answered the bell every time. He’s given us a chance to win every time out. He did that again tonight. He’s an ultra competitor, does not want to come out of the game, feels like it’s his game, and I appreciate that about him.”

Such a performance seemed unlikely in the opening frame. Lyles allowed three straight two-out hits, with Gleyber Torres doubling in the night’s first run. Torres then scored from second on a wild pitch, with catcher Anthony Bemboom making a wild throw toward Lyles to try to get Josh Donaldson at home.

Lyles kept the deficit at three, retiring 17 of the final 18 Yankees he faced, including the last 13. He wanted to push further, but Hyde turned to a bullpen that provided another two scoreless innings.

“He was trying to talk me into going back out there,” Hyde said. “Still got four-plus months to go.”

Another quiet night for the offense

The Orioles (14-24) have gone more than a week since they last scored more than four runs. Even that output would’ve been enough for a victory Wednesday.

They managed to compete early with Cole, who didn’t record a strikeout until striking out the side in the fourth. They finally broke through in the sixth, with Cedric Mullins singling to left and scoring when Austin Hays doubled there.

After advancing to third on a ground ball, Hays scored on another, dragging his mitted left hand across home plate to avoid a tag.

Hays, though, was the only Oriole to reach base the rest of the game. He singled in the eighth for his third hit before being doubled up on Anthony Santander’s line drive to first baseman Anthony Rizzo. The ball had an expected batting average of .560, according to Statcast.

The Yankees (28-9) claimed the four-game series and will try for a sweep Thursday. New York has won 23 of 27 games since dropping a series in Baltimore in mid-April.

“We’re just a hit or two away from kind of breaking out a little bit,” Hyde said. “Santander hits that ball, Riz makes a great play. Done that 1,000 times. Possibly rattles around in the corner there.

“Just had an unfortunate first inning and got beat by a good club.”

Around the horn

  • After designating him for assignment over the weekend, the Orioles traded left-handed reliever Paul Fry, their longest-tenured pitcher, to the Arizona Diamondbacks for 19-year-old right-hander Luis Osorio. Born in Venezuela, Osorio had a 5.83 ERA in 15 games, six of them starts, in the Dominican Summer League last year. He allowed a .217 batting average and struck out 28.5% of opposing hitters.
  • Top prospect Adley Rutschman caught for Triple-A Norfolk for the second straight night, the second time he’s done so this year as he works his way back from a right tricep strain that delayed the start of his season. In a span of fewer than 10 minutes, Rutschman, Gunnar Henderson and Colton Cowser — three of Baltimore’s top six prospects — all hit opposite-field home runs for different affiliates.
  • In his first rehabilitation outing with Double-A Bowie, right-hander Dean Kremer (left oblique strain) pitched an immaculate first inning, striking out the side on nine pitches. He finished with five strikeouts and one hit allowed in two scoreless innings.
  • Shortstop Jorge Mateo was back in the Orioles’ lineup after missing two games following a collision on the base paths Sunday that left him with a sore rib cage. He went 0-for-3.

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Minnesota United gives away late lead in Miami



Minnesota United gives away late lead in Miami

For so much of the second half, Minnesota looked comfortable and ready to take a much-needed victory.

Shockingly, Inter Miami, the second-worst goal-scoring team in MLS notched two goals in the final three minutes to flip the script and take a 2-1 victory in the first MLS meeting between the two teams.

“[We] put ourselves in a great spot,” manager Adrian Heath said. “Put ourselves in a really good position. We’re not doing enough, it doesn’t look as though it’s enough to concede goals and lose games.”

Inter Miami forward Indiana Vassilev only made it into the game as a late-game bench substitution, but he made the most of his opportunity scoring in the 87th and 90th minute to give his team a victory, surpassing Minnesota’s one-goal lead it held since the 65th minute.

The Loons’ defense had kept Minnesota in the game for each chance Inter Miami had for the first 86 minutes, but the team couldn’t get the stops near the end to come up with the victory.

“At those times of the game, you need to do whatever you can to just beat your man,” Loons defender Michael Boxall said.

Minnesota’s victory looked nearly locked up as the Loons held the 1-0 difference into the final five minutes of the game. That goal followed a resilient start to the second half after many chances weren’t finished.

The Minnesota goal scorer was Luis Amarilla, who put the ball past the Inter Miami goalkeeper in tight in the 65th minute. It was his first goal in MLS play since March 19.

Amarilla was in such a position to score the goal so close to the keeper because of an acrobatic one-touch centering pass from Franco Fragapane. The play all began from Emmanuel Reynoso getting the ball on the right side of the attacking zone. He cut towards the middle and sent a lofting kick that found the airborne Fragapane for his assist.

While Minnesota finally found the back of the net in the back half of the game, there was no shortage of missed opportunities earlier in the contest.

“We’re not good enough at one end, and we’re not good enough at the other, and that’s not a good recipe,” Heath said. “We’ve got to get more and more determination to get on the things in the box and we’ve certainly got to defend the goal better.”

By the end of the game, Inter Miami had eight shots on target, while Minnesota had just one, the Amarilla goal.

The loss marks the first since Minnesota announced Heath’s two-year contract extension through 2024 on Thursday. The defeat also adds to a 1-6-1 stretch over the Loons’ last eight games, including Saturday night.

Heath said on Wednesday that the goal was to come away with four points in this road trip at Inter Miami on Saturday and on Wednesday at L.A. Galaxy. With the loss to Inter Miami, that goal is no longer possible.

The Loons must keep looking forward to get back on track and into playoff contention. After the loss on Saturday, Minnesota sits 11th in the Western Conference Standings, five points outside of the seventh spot, the cutoff for the playoffs.

“The good thing is that it’s a quick turnaround,” Boxall said. “Not quite looking ahead to L.A. just yet, we still need to process this game and figure out what we need to address, because that should be three points we’re taking home tonight.”

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Twins record second shutout in three days in win over Rockies



Twins record second shutout in three days in win over Rockies

Puffy white clouds filled the blue skies above Target Field and sunlight bounced off buildings that make up the Minneapolis skyline. It was the kind of summer night at the ballpark that Minnesotans dream about throughout the long winter months.

It was the perfect night at Target Field and the hometown team, well, they were nearly perfect, too. Twins pitchers gave up just one hit (and five walks), and the team captured a first-inning lead on its way to a 6-0 win over the Colorado Rockies on Saturday night at Target Field.

A day after getting shut out for the 10th time this season, tying the league lead, Luis Arraez and Byron Buxton made sure early on that the Twins wouldn’t suffer the same fate. Arraez snapped an 0-for-11 stretch to begin the game and Buxton, back in the lineup for the first time since Tuesday, followed that up with his first triple since 2019.

After missing time this week after his knee flared up, Buxton turned on the burners, with a sprint speed of 29.3 feet/second (30 ft/sec is elite) on the triple, losing his helmet along the way. When he reached the base, he pounded his chest a couple times, smacked his hands together and let out a roar.

While the Twins left Buxton on third, they added on throughout the game, tacking on a run in the second on Arraez’s second hit of the game, two more in the fifth and two more in the seventh.

Alex Kirilloff drove in three of those runs, one on a sacrifice fly and the other on a double off the right field wall, bringing home Max Kepler — who walked three times in the game — and Kyle Garlick. The double was his fourth in eight games since being recalled from Triple-A.

All that offense came in support of Chris Archer, who worked five innings and allowed just one hit — a single to former Twin C.J. Cron in the second inning — and a walk in his outing.  Archer pitched out of that second-inning jam, retiring the next three batters in a row, the first of 12 straight that he sent down to conclude his start.

His start was followed by a scoreless inning each from Jharel Cotton and Griffin Jax and two from Tyler Thornburg. Twins pitchers have now thrown two shutouts in their past three games, and in Friday’s loss, they gave up just one run.

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A Pride timeline: Gay rights in Minnesota from 1858-2022



A Pride timeline: Gay rights in Minnesota from 1858-2022

1858: Joseph Israel Lobdell, born Lucy Lobdell, is arrested for “impersonating a man.” A judge in the rural camp community of Forest City, Minn., sided with Lobdell, ruling that he did not act unlawfully.

1877: Minneapolis rules crossdressing as illegal, putting gender-nonconforming Minnesotans at risk for imprisonment.

1969: The Stonewall riots begin in New York City after police raids occur in the gay-friendly bars and community spaces of Lower Manhattan. These riots serve as a public turning point in American LGBTQ+ history.

May 18, 1969: University of Minnesota alumni found Fight Repression of Erotic Expression, or FREE, the first LGBTQ+ rights organization in the state. Founders Jack Baker and Michael McConnell become the first same-sex couple in the nation to apply for a marriage license, an application that is rejected by Hennepin County. Their legal case is dismissed by the U.S. Supreme Court in one sentence.

1972: The first Twin Cities Pride celebration is held in Minneapolis’ Loring Park.

Dec. 9, 1972: Minnesota state Sen. Allan Henry Spear indicates he is gay in an interview with the Minneapolis Star, making him the first openly gay state legislator in the United States.

June 1982: Bruce Brockway becomes the first documented recipient of an HIV diagnosis in Minnesota. After his diagnosis, he founded the Minnesota AIDS Project to provide resources to HIV-positive Minnesotans.

1993: Gender- and sexuality-based discrimination is outlawed in Minnesota, making it the first state in the nation to adopt the policy.

1997: Sicaŋgu Lakota man Nicholas Metcalf and his partner, Korean-American Edd Lee, found the Minnesota Men of Color, an organization that focuses on the well-being of men, women and gender-nonconforming people of color.

2012: Amendment 1, which limits marriage rights to only heterosexual couples, is rejected by the majority of Minnesota voters. Same-sex marriage is legalized in the state.

June 2015: The U.S. Supreme Court releases a decision in Obergefell v. Hodges finding that same-sex marriage cannot be banned in any state and must be recognized nationally. Gay marriage is legalized.

June 25-26, 2022: After two years of pandemic-related cancellations, the Twin Cities Pride parade and festival returns to Minneapolis.

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