BRONX, N.Y. — The New York Yankees earned their first series victory of the season against the Baltimore Orioles. The hapless O’s allowed for the Yanks to get some of those early season jitters out of the way. Yes, on paper, the Yankees should always sweep the Orioles but baseball is different than other sports and sometimes the ball doesn’t always bounce your way. On the whole, the Yankees had a lot of positives to take away from this series and that’s the key, win series, win the division, win the pennant, win the World Series. Let’s go!
Perhaps it was the first game under the lights or the dreadful minor-league Orioles but the Yankees were laser-focused. The Bronx Bombers pounded the O’s with a touchdown and extra point for the 7-0 victory.
Starter Jordan Montgomery provided the pinstripes with a sharp scoreless six innings with seven strikeouts. Gumby scattered four bread crumbs for the Birds as well but he had a solid mix with his fastball, curveball, and especially the changeup when it came to sitting down the O’s.
An inning later, New York slammed the door shut, literally. With the bases loaded, Aaron Hicks coaxed an RBI walk against reliever Shawn Armstrong. The ensuing batter Giancarlo Stanton drilled an 0-1 fastball to dead center for a grand slam. According to Statcast, the ball was hit 115 mph and traveled 471 feet. I guess that rest day paid off.
An RBI single from DJ LeMahieu off Paul Fry would cap off the scoring in the sixth inning.
The whiffs kept coming from the bullpen. Luis Cessa worked two scoreless stanzas and fanned three. Aroldis Chapman in his first outing worked in his new splitter and struck out the side in the ninth inning.
New York rolled on the Cole train with another football score win, 7-2.
BRUCE CUTS LOOSE
Jay Bruce got the scoring starting by popping a porch shot off Dean Kremer in the second stanza.
That’s the Gerrit Cole you expect. Paired with Kyle Higashioka as his battery mate, Cole shredded the O’s order. Who cares about a personal catcher “controversy” when your ace feels comfortable and looks this dominant?! Cole pounded the zone with 13 strikeouts and zero walks, scattering four hits across seven scoreless frames. Beautiful!
Judge and Stanton continued to have good swings at the dish. Judge had an RBI single in the fourth, off Adam Plutko, and put the cherry on the top with a three-run jolt to left in the eighth, against Wade LeBlanc.
Stanton smashed an RBI double off Tyler Wells during the seventh inning.
Why did I say for at least one more night? Well, Judge had to sit out with soreness in his side. Neat. This 4-3 loss to the Orioles was frustrating for the Yankees. Baltimore only mustered four hits. Oh and the automatic base runner rule in extra innings is still stupid.
With runners on first and second and one out in the third inning, Aaron Hicks came through with a base knock to center, plating Brett Gardner for the 1-0 edge.
Jameson Taillon looked sharp in the early going. Taillon was perfect through the first three frames. He ran into some trouble though, in the fourth, Cedric Mullins and Anthony Santander took him yard. In a vacuum, it was a nice outing for a guy who hasn’t pitched since 2019. Taillon fanned seven on the evening and had the fastball working. The only blemish was the fact that Taillon could only go 4.2 innings. Again, I completely understand it but this bullpen is going to be wiped by Memorial Day.
In the eighth inning, Sanchez singled to left on what should’ve been a double. Unbelievable.
SOLID BASE RUNNING
Luckily Aaron Boone made a wise move by pinch-running Mike Tauchman for Sanchez. With two down, Urshela smashed a double to left off Shawn Armstrong. Tauchman busted it around the bags, Phil Nevin made a good send, Gardner signaled where to slide and the Yankees tied the contest at two. Perfect execution.
The bullpen gas station was in business until along came old man Rob Manfred and his automatic base runner rule in the tenth inning. With two outs and Santander moving to third on a Maikel Franco groundout, Gleyber Torres appeared to be overthinking and bounced a grounder off the bat of Pedro Severino, past Bruce. A regular first baseman should probably make that play but still not a great throw by Torres. Hence, Santander was able to score. Poor Chad Green.
A Freddy Galvis sacrifice bunt moved Rio Ruiz to third base. Pinch-hitter Chance Sisco singled to shallow left to give the O’s a 4-3 advantage.
During the home half, the Yankees tried to follow suit. Gardner bunted Urshela over to third base. Unfortunately, Nevin proceeded to send a not so fleet of foot Urshela on a DJ LeMahieu fly out to shallow right in Yankee Stadium. Santander cut down Urshela at the dish by a good 15 feet and that was the ballgame.
At 3-3, the Yankees travel to St. Petersburg, Fla. to take on the Tampa Bay Rays for a three-game series starting Friday afternoon. The Rays were recently swept in three straight by the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park and are 2-4 overall.
Pitching Probables, Corey Kluber vs. Rich Hill, Domingo German vs. Chris Archer, Jordan Montgomery vs. TBD.