Coming into this weekend’s series in Baltimore, the Yankees seemed to have hit their stride in June. Their 7-game winning streak to open the month was snapped in the finale of a two-game series against the Nationals, but up until then they were doing it all. Their pitching was stellar, highlighted by Masahiro Tanaka‘s return with 7 strong innings against Seattle. The offense was clicking with back-to-back 8 run games against the Angels, and their defense was solid for the most part.
The script was flipped on Friday in the first game of the series with the Orioles, an 11-3 loss. Michael Pineda, who was pitching on 10 days rest in an effort to keep him fresh all season,didn’t have it. He allowed 6 runs, 5 earned, in 4.1 innings, striking out only 2 after fanning 9 in his last start. Caleb Joseph and Chris Davis each had big days against Pineda; Joseph had 3 hits and a homer while Davis had 4 hits, a homer, and 4 RBI.
The Yankees weren’t able to string much together against Ubaldo Jimenez, who allowed 3 runs in 5 innings after escaping a bases-loaded, none-out jam in the first without allowing a run. Mason Williams went yard for his first major league hit, which was one of few highlights offensively. Alex Rodriguez collected two hits to inch him closer to 3,000. The team committed two errors, one by Chase Headley, his 14th of the year, and Mark Teixeira‘s first of the season.
It was more of the same Saturday night. Starter CC Sabathia was pedestrian at best, allowing 8 hits and 4 runs in 5 innings. All 4 runs came off of two homers, one by Nolan Reimold in the third and one by Manny Machado in the 5th. The Orioles tagged the Yankees’ staff for 7 extra base hits in the game, led by Reimold’s dinger and a triple. Machado had 3 hits and 4 RBI as the Orioles collected 15 hits.
Reliever Chris Martin was credited with the loss after he allowed 3 earned runs in the 6th. He didn’t help himself, throwing 3 wild pitches in his only inning of work. Chase Headley had 3 hits and scored twice, including on Rodriguez’s two-run shot in the 6th. That homer gave him 2,000 career RBI, joining Hank Aaron as the only two members to officially surpass that milestone. The Yankees left 8 men on base and went 1-9 with RISP.
The Yankees were able to salvage the last game of the set on Sunday, taking it 5-3. Catcher John Ryan Murphy was the offensive star, going 3-for-4 with a double and 2 key RBI that gave the Yankees the lead for good. Teixeira continued to perform well in the 1st inning, driving in a run with a double after singling home a run in the opening frame in Saturday’s contest. The offense chased Orioles starter Mike Wright after just 4 innings and 5 earned runs.
Adam Warren didn’t survive the 4th inning either, leaving after 4.2 innings pitched, but kept the team in the game. Chasen Shreve earned the win in 1.1 hitless innings. Nolan Reimold had a 2-run single for Baltimore, who managed only 6 hits off of Warren and none against the Yankees’ bullpen. Dellin Betances earned his 3rd save of the season in place of injured closer Andrew Miller.
With a confidence-boosting win in the finale of this weekend’s series, they can feel more comfortable about their play going into a quirk in their schedule; two games at Miami, then hosting the Marlins for two games.