Apparently, it doesn’t matter which players are donning a Baltimore Orioles uniform this season, as they continue to give the New York Yankees fits. While the Yankees took care of business in the opener, they certainly did not help their own cause in the finale.
Facing an even more depleted O’s roster, the Yankees took full advantage with solid starting pitching and keeping their foot down on the neck of Baltimore in a 6-3 victory.
TANAKA TIME TUESDAY
Masahiro Tanaka was dialed in once again, providing the Yankees with solid stuff and length. On his line, Tanaka tossed six scoreless innings with eight K’s, yielding three hits and two walks. Tanaka joined David Cone’s 1997 feat of recording eight K’s with zero runs and three hits or fewer in two consecutive outings. Tanaka hasn’t lost a start since April 17.
A big key for the pinstripes was striking early against Yefry Ramirez. In the first, a pair of walks by Brett Gardner and Didi Gregorius set up a two-out RBI-single back up the box by Gleyber Torres, providing the Yankees with a 1-0 advantage.
In the third, Gardner singled to center and stole second. Gardner’s steal tied him with Willie Randolph for third on the franchise stolen base list at 251. After Giancarlo Stanton reached on an error by shortstop Tim Beckham, Gregorius served an RBI-single into left, doubling the New York lead to 2-0.
MIGUEL HITS ONE ANDU-FAR
Following a bases-loaded sacrifice fly RBI to center by Greg Bird, Miguel Andujar delivered the dagger in the sixth. Andujar cranked a 2-1 fastball from Ramirez into the left-field bleachers. The three-run blast was No. 13 on the campaign for Andujar and increased the Yankees lead to 6-0.
This one was about as lackluster as it gets. Facing basically Adam Jones and the Norfolk Tides, the Yankees were sloppy in the field, their starting pitcher left the mound smiling in the third inning and third base coach Phil Nevin lit into the team on the bench. On the plus side, the guy with a 5+ ERA from the Minnesota Twins looked better than their projected No. 2 starter. It all amounted to a 7-5 loss.
Mother Nature intervened but wouldn’t save New York from the ugliness in the early going. In the second inning, Danny Valencia set the table with a single to center. Trey Mancini followed a Chris Davis walk with an RBI-single to left. Catcher Caleb Joseph bunted but Torres was late to cover first and the Orioles loaded the bases. Thee Renato Nunez followed with a two-run double to right. Consecutive one-out singles by Beckham and Jace Peterson made it 5-0 Baltimore. It might’ve been even worse after “Sugar” Shane Robinson caught a liner from Jones and overthrew first after trying to double off Peterson but lucked out as Austin Romine backing up was able to double up Beckham, who strayed way too far past second base.
Sonny Gray, Hall of Famer pic.twitter.com/ByGaN7XtUN
In the third, a home run to straightaway center by Mancini, made it 6-1 O’s.
Later in the frame with Gray out of the game and two down, Gregorius was unable to record a potential force out but Torres didn’t cover second base this time, enabling the seventh run to cross the plate.
His defense didn’t help but Gray was flat-out abysmal, surrendering seven runs on eight hits and two walks.
GLEYBER GETS EVEN
Torres was only even on the afternoon because, in the home half of the second, he homered to right off Alex Cobb, getting the Bronx Bombers on the board. In the ninth inning, Torres launched a three-run shot to left off Mike Wright Jr., cutting the Baltimore advantage to 7-5.
Gleyber Torres hits his seventh three-run HR of the season, most in the Majors. It's his second HR of the game, his second career 2HR game (also 5/21 at Texas).
Lance Lynn’s pinstripe debut was solid from the bullpen and probably warrants a slot in the rotation. Lynn hurled 4.1 scoreless frames, fanning five and allowing five hits. One could say Lynn brought some sanity to the mound with his performance.
2.2 IP, 7 ER, 8 H, 3 K, 2 BB
4.1 IP, 0 ER, 5 H, 5 K, 0 BB pic.twitter.com/aA4FOoo61m
If I was voting for AL Rookie of the Year today, Andujar would receive my vote. Andujar records extra-base hits, timely hits and he’s always hustling. With two down in the sixth, Andujar busted it on a grounder to shortstop and was thusly rewarded with an infield single. During the eighth, Andujar snapped the Yankees’ 0-for-15 spell with the bases loaded, lining an RBI-single to right.
COULD’VE USED CURTIS
Perhaps the Yankees could’ve used Curtis Granderson in the outfield instead of Robinson. Alas, with one down in the eighth and the bases still loaded, manager Aaron Boone opted to pinch hit Neil Walker for Robinson. Walker wound up bouncing into an inning-ending double play to end the threat.
At, 68-38 the Yankees travel to Boston to take on the Boston Red Sox in a four-game series starting Thursday night.
Pitching probables, CC Sabathia vs. Brian Johnson, Luis Severino vs. Rick Porcello, J.A. Happ vs. Nathan Eovaldi, Masahiro Tanaka vs. David Price.