It was the second game of a 4 game series against the Orioles, and the Yankees made another strong appearance. The last time he faced the Yankees, Miguel Gonzalez dominated, holding them to one run over 7 innings, striking out 10. This time, not so much. The Yankees got to him early and often, scoring five runs off him and chasing him after only 4 innings.
The bottom of the first started with Jacoby Ellsbury reaching on an infield single and a Brett Gardner double, followed by a sacrifice fly by Alex Rodriguez. Two batters later, Brian McCann sent a 3-0 fastball over the right field fence for his third home run of the season, staking the Yankees to a 3-0 lead. They did not stop there. In the third inning, starting with the top of the order, the Yankees loaded the bases. In what must have felt like finding Amelia Earhart’s plane, Carlos Beltran found his stroke and drove the ball to the fence for a 2-run double. The inning might have continued had Brian McCann tried to slide into home. Trying to cross the plate standing up, he became an easy target for a tag and the third out. I admire his bravado in going for that third run, but if you are going to do it, do it right. No one complained because the Yankees had a 5-0 lead and practically had the game locked up. Right?
Yeah, not really. Adam Warren did not have his best stuff tonight, though he did get help from the seven guys behind him and the guy in front of him. Oriole batters reached base in every inning, they reached base in each of the first two innings. Had it not been for Brett Gardner’s throw to nail Manny Machado at home, we might not be celebrating. By the fifth inning, the Orioles finally got to him. They scored twice off Warren before Joe Girardi went to the bullpen with two outs, just missing eligibility for the win. On the upside, Justin Wilson came in and struck out Chris Davis with men on the corners, ending the threat.
Chris Martin’s struggles continued, as the weak link of the Yankees’ stellar bullpen let the Orioles scored twice in the top of the sixth. He did get out of the sixth and held down the fort in the seventh before handing it off to Dellin Betances. Betances and Andrew Miller – the Twin Titans of the Yankees bullpen – slammed the door, retiring all seven batters they faced.
A few highlights from tonight. In a post-game interview, Girardi was asked if Andrew Miller is now the closer. After a few joking remarks, he all but conceded that Miller is the closer. It’s not like we didn’t notice. Alex Rodriguez was the latest Yankee to continue this year’s tradition of the Year of the Triple, snagging a 3-bagger in the bottom of the fifth. Tonight’s win guarantees that this series is the seventh consecutive series the Yankees will win or split, it maintains their 3-game lead in the division, and it gives them the third-best record in baseball.
Final: Yankees 5 - Orioles 4
--Ike Dimitriadis, BYB Senior Staff Writer
My blog is: Shots from Murderer's Row
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