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Yankees 9, Orioles 1: Offense strikes early and often as Yankees take series in Baltimore

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The Yankees hit four home runs as they win the rubber game against the Orioles.

New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Tuesday’s game saw the Yankees build up a decent lead, and then slowly lose it over the remainder of the game. On Thursday, they went out of their way to make sure that didn’t happen again.

The Yankees scored seven runs in the first four innings and never looked back after that. They got 5.2 mostly good innings from Sonny Gray, and that combined with the offense allowed the Yankees to pick up a 9-1 win and a series victory against the Orioles.

The Yankees got things going quickly, scoring in the top of the first. After Brett Gardner worked an eight-pitch walk to lead off the game, both Chase Headley and Starlin Castro both struck out. Gardner did steal second during Castro’s at bat, which came in handy, allowing him to score when Didi Gregorius doubled down the line. Aaron Judge then increased the lead when he immediately followed that with a two-run home run. Kevin Gausman got out of the inning after that, but the Yankees had already racked up 36 pitches against him.

Two innings later, they added more. With one out in the inning, Gregorius singled and Judge walked. Matt Holliday then singled, scoring Gregorius with Judge just getting in safely at third. Judge getting to third helped the Yankees push another run across in the next at bat. Jacoby Ellsbury grounded into what would be a double play ball, but he beat out the throw to first, meaning the Orioles only got Holliday out at second. Judge scored on the play, and the Yankees’ lead was up to five runs.

While Gray was getting through the first three innings fairly easily, Gausman didn’t make it to the fourth. After giving up five runs and throwing 79 pitches, Gausman was removed after the third. That didn’t stop the Yankees scoring, however. In the fourth, Gardner hit a one-out double off Baltimore reliever Mike Wright. Headley then followed that with a home run, increasing the Yankees’ lead even further.

Especially in the fifth inning, Gray had to throw a bunch of pitches, but to that point, he had continued keeping the Orioles off the board. In the sixth, Castro hit a solo home run, ending the Yankees one inning-long scoreless streak.

The bottom of the sixth saw the Orioles push across a run. Jonathan Schoop led off the inning with a single, but was erased after Adam Jones grounded into a force out at second. Grey followed that with a strikeout of Trey Mancini. Chris Davis then singled, but it looked like Grey would get out of it when Mark Trumbo grounded to Gregorius. The Yankees’ shortstop tried throwing the ball to second from an odd stance, and sent the ball over Castro’s head. Jones scored, and Grey’s day would be over.

The Yankees’ starter went 5.2 innings, allowing just the one unearned run on six hits and two walks. He was mostly good, but threw a bit too many pitches in the last couple innings. He had cruised early, but his count was up to 102 by the time he was taken out. Chad Green came in and struck out Seth Smith to end the sixth.

In the top of the seventh, a Todd Frazier home run put the Yankees’ lead right back up to eight runs.

After Grey exited, the Yankees got scoreless outings from Green, Tommy Kahnle, and Ben Heller, as the Orioles didn’t really threaten again. As much as Tuesday’s loss was deflating, this one did enough to put that air back in the balloon.