I think we're all more than happy to leave that Toronto series in our rear view. After losing two of three to the Jays, the Yanks kicked off their home series against Baltimore with a solid victory. Not only that, but there was some history on display when Alex Rodriguez launched his 661st home run.
Nathan Eovaldi was on the hill for the Yanks, and tonight he gave what appears to be a quintessential "Nathan Eovaldi" performance. At times he looked unhittable, others he looked lost, and others he did well to work himself in and out of trouble. He ran a fairly high pitch count early, but battled through. He gave up an early run after a solo shot from Jimmy Paredes, but settled down well from there. Baltimore's Caleb Joseph served as the source of his troubles for the rest of the game, as he hit a homer and a game-tying double off Eovaldi. In all, Nate threw 5.2 innings, giving up Baltimore's only 3 runs of the night on 6 hits and 3 walks. Justin Wilson, Dellin Betances, and Andrew Miller took it from there, allowing only one baserunner between them through the remainder of the game.
While the O's jumped out to an early lead, the Yanks wasted no time responding, which was refreshing to see after a couple of games in Toronto in which they only posted a single run in each. In the bottom of the first tonight, Jacoby Ellsbury singled to extend his hitting streak to 10 games, and Brett Gardner followed with a single of his own. A-Rod came to the plate and hit a fly to right field that not only would have given the Yankees an early two-run lead, but would have put him past Willie Mays. Delmon Young timed his jump perfectly at the right field wall, however, and temporarily robbed Rodriguez of the glory. A run would come in on the sacrifice fly, though, and a second would immediately follow when Mark Teixeira delivered an RBI single.
A-Rod's real moment came in the bottom of the third, when he sent a Chris Tillman changeup deep over the wall in center for his 661st career home run, bringing him past Willie Mays on the all-time home run list. Most fans were curious what it would be like if Alex delivered the controversial milestone homer at home, and few could complain with how any party reacted. His teammates congratulated him, the fans gave him a standing ovation, and the Yankees acknowledged the historic moment.
Yankees acknowledge HR 661 on scoreboard. It came down before I could get a shot. But this happened: curtain call. pic.twitter.com/KXFd3B5oEN— Sweeny Murti (@YankeesWFAN) May 8, 2015
In the bottom of the fifth, Tex picked up another RBI with a double down the right field line, and that would be all the scoring the Yankees would need as the bullpen would soon shut things down from there.
The Yankees are back at it again tomorrow night against the O's when Adam Warren and Miguel Gonzalez square off. First pitch is set for 7:05pm and can be seen on YES or MLB Network.