It was a tight score all game but the Yankees managed to beat the Baltimore Orioles 2-1 and return to .500. Ivan Nova was far from perfect but managed to limit the Orioles to a single run before turning the game over to the Yankees big three in the bullpen. Orioles starter Kevin Gausman pitched well but the Yankees were able to score just enough runs for a series opening victory.
Nova did not look sharp early but was effective nonetheless. Adam Jones started off the game with a single. Mark Trumbo then walked and Matt Wieters was hit by a pitch with two outs to load the bases. The Orioles couldn’t capitalize though, when Nova got Pedro Alvarez to pop up and end the inning.
The Yankees first hit of the game came in the bottom of the first when Beltran hit a booming double to center that almost went for a home run. Brian McCann hit a fly ball to right to end the inning. The Yankees inability to get a hit with runners in scoring position would be a theme for this game.
In the bottom of the second, the Yankees scored their first run of the game when Alex Rodriguez crushed a 94 mph fastball to deep left center. It was a great sign to see Rodriguez get a hold of a pitch like that. Starlin Castro followed up the home run with a double but the Yankees failed to do anything with the opportunity.
With a 1-0 lead, Nova took the mound in the top of the third and promptly gave up a home run to Jonathan Schoop. Manny Machado followed it up with a single but Nova was able to regain his composure and get three outs to end the inning.
Brett Gardner led off the bottom of the third with a single. Beltran singled with one out to move Gardner to third, and Brian McCann brought him home with a sacrifice fly to center, which was the end of scoring for the night.
It looked like the lead might not last again in the top of the fourth when Nolan Reimold walked and Ryan Flaherty hit a single to left. However, Chase Headley made a nice play to get to the ball in time to make a great throw to second and catch Reimold, who had overrun the base. Nova then got Jones to ground out and end the inning.
From then on, Nova and Gausman got fairly easy outs. Nova’s final line was one earned run over six innings. Betances, Miller, and Chapman came on to pitch the seventh, eigth, and ninth innings respectively with no real threats posed by the Orioles. Gausman’s final line was two earned runs over 6.2 innings, not a bad start but he still took the loss. The Yankees are back at .500 after two wins in a row. Tomorrow they will try to make it three in a row at 7:05pm against the Orioles again.