After last night’s 14-inning marathon, the Yankees needed length from Sonny Gray today. He got off to the right start, getting the first six outs on just eleven pitches. Gray wasn’t able to keep up that efficiency, and the Orioles got to him in the third and fourth innings to take the lead. Despite committing a number of base-running errors today, the offense was able to put the game out of reach in the sixth. The first two losses against Baltimore were rough, but the Yankees still have a chance to split this series tomorrow.
Today’s lineup was not what the Yankees had in mind when they started the season. Miguel Andujar, Jace Peterson, Austin Romine, and Ronald Torreyes rounded out the bottom of the lineup, and surprisingly finished the day with five hits between them. Andujar started things off in the second inning with a leadoff single, which also happened to be his first hit of the season. Unfortunately, he also kicked off the team’s awful baserunning. With Andujar at second, Romine hit the ball right back to Chris Tillman. Andujar got caught between second and third and was tagged out. This mistake went on to cost the Yankees a run, as Torreyes followed with a double down the third base line. The Yankees were still able to score two runs on Brett Gardner’s RBI off Chris Davis’ glove, but Gardner made his own base-running error and was caught between first and second to end the inning. Maybe we can blame this on lack of sleep after the late night.
The Yankees’ lead didn’t last for long. In the top of the third, Pedro Alvarez worked a leadoff walk. With two outs, Trey Mancini picked up a base hit, and Manny Machado doubled to tie the game. Gray got two quick outs to start the fourth inning, then once again struggled to get the final out. After Tim Beckham singled, Pedro Alvarez hit a line drive to right field. Aaron Judge hesitated before throwing the ball to Tyler Austin at first base as the O’s waved Beckham home. Austin’s relay throw was wide and pulled Romine off the plate, allowing the run to score.
In the fifth, the Yankees tied the game back up. Torreyes singled, Gardner worked a walk, and both runners advanced on a ball in the dirt with Judge at the plate. Judge hit a groundball to Machado and Torreyes scored, but Judge was called out at first base. The Yankees tacked on a couple more runs the following inning. Didi Gregorius worked a leadoff walk, Austin singled to left, and Andujar hit a sac fly. Peterson followed with a groundball up the middle, and both runners advanced on a wild pitch. As luck would have it, Romine popped up to shallow right field and Davis got his glove on it, but the ball popped out and Austin scored.
Adam Warren, the only reliever in the bullpen who didn’t pitch last night, came out to start the seventh inning. After getting Anthony Santander to ground out, Warren worked his way into trouble. With one out and runners on second and third, the Yankees had to turn to David Robertson. He struck out Machado and Jonathan Schoop to end the threat.
The Yankees cracked the game wide open in the seventh. After Gardner worked a ten-pitch walk, Judge doubled to left and Gardner scored. The Orioles proceeded to intentionally walk Gregorius, and he stole second while Austin was batting. Two more runs scored after Austin singled, but he was thrown out at second base. That wasn’t the last of the base-running mistakes. With runners on the corners and two outs in the eighth, Gardner tried to steal second and ended up caught in a run down. Peterson then attempted to run home, but he was caught in a run down as well, and ended up being tagged out to end the inning.
Robertson tossed a scoreless eighth inning (with two more strikeouts), then the Yankees sent Luis Cessa out for the ninth. He hasn’t pitched particularly well during any of his previous stints with the team, but he looked fine today. Cessa struck out two batters to end the game. Maybe the secret to success is using him in short relief only.
Jordan Montgomery will close out the series tomorrow opposite of Mike Wright Jr. The game starts at 1:05 ET and you can follow along on YES.