This is not what the doctor ordered. Coming off of a nice set against the Rays, where they took 2 out of 3, the team lost 2 out of 3 against the Orioles. Pitching was decent, offense was decent, and it all resulted in the loss of not only a series, but ground in the AL East.
Watching the first game was more like watching pinball. Balls kept flying out of the yard, 5 total dingers, and the two squads combined for 20 hits in a 8-6 Yankees victory. After Michael Pineda finished his very pedestrian start, Manny Machado hit a game-tying homer off of Justin Wilson in the 7th. This came after the Orioles bolted out to a 3-run lead with a 4-run second. In that inning, Jonathan Schoop hit a 3-run homer and Machado singled to make it a 4-1 game.
The Baltimore bullpen couldn’t hold that slim lead in the 7th, as Gregory Bird hit a 3-run bomb to put the Yankees in front 8-5. That’s all that Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller would need to close it out. The Yankees also scored 3 in the 5th thanks to 2 homers, one by Alex Rodriguez and one by John Ryan Murphy. Chris Young had the big game for the pinstripes, however, with 3 hits and 2 RBI.
Masahiro Tanaka was masterful in the middle game. He went 8, gave up 1 run, and struck out 10 in his most dominant start since he threw a complete-game 5 hitter last month. It all went to waste, however, as Chris Davis hit a homer in the top of the 9th to give Baltimore a 2-1 win. The only other Orioles run came off of a Ryan Flaherty homer in the 6th, but otherwise it was all Tanaka. Jimmy Paredes and Matt Wieters had 2 hits each for the winning club.
The only blemish against the 4-man Baltimore pitching corps was a 6th inning A-Rod homer (his 30th of the season). Other than that, the Yankees had only 5 hits. Kevin Gausman went 5 for the Orioles and gave up a run on 6 hits. A-Rod had the big day with 2 hits, but Zach Britton was able to pitch a perfect 9th for his 31st save of the season.
Baltimore was aided by the longball in the finale. It started with Chris Davis hitting a first-inning homer to put the Orioles up 1-0 and capped off by Steve Pearce, who hit a tie breaking homer in the 8th. Davis then added an RBI double to end the scoring and give Baltimore a 5-3 win. 3 runs were scored off of CC Sabathia, although only one was earned, in 4.2 innings. The bullpen let him down, giving up 3 runs in relief of the starter. Davis had the big day with 2 hits and 2 RBI.
It looked as if the Yankees were going to win the game in the early innings. They were up 3-1 early all thanks to Carlos Beltran. He homered in the bottom of the 1st, and added a 2-run single in the 3rd to put them up 3-1. That would be it though, as they were mostly held in check by Ubaldo Jimenez. He went 7 strong innings, giving up 3 runs. Baltimore’s bullpen was much more sturdy than their counterpart’s, not allowing a hit in the final 2 innings. Beltran obviously had the biggest day driving in all 3 runs with 2 hits.
The Yankees now find themselves 1.5 games back of the Blue Jays, which is very manageable. However, if they continue to play stagnant baseball like they did in the last 3 games, they could be in trouble.
Offensive MVP: Carlos Beltran- A solid 4-11 with 3 RBI.
Cold Streak: Didi Gregorius– Not a hit in this series after being hot in the last month; 0-10.
Pitcher of the Series: Masahiro Tanaka- 8 dominant innings with a vintage bullpen letdown.
Mound Misery: Michael Pineda- A very pedestrian 6 innings of 4-run ball.