It seemed like the Yankees were headed towards another frustrating loss on Friday night, but an unlikely hero rose to the occasion and delivered the team a victory. The Bombers kicked off the four-game series on the right note by beating the Orioles, 7-5.
CC Sabathia looked very much like a pitcher fresh off the disabled list in the first inning. He loaded the bases with one out, allowing singles to Cedric Mullins and Jonathan Villar, and walking Trey Mancini. That brought Chris Davis to the plate, the owner of 46 wRC+, who plated a pair of runs. He tapped an RBI single to score Mullins and Villar, and the Orioles had a quick 2-0 lead.
To his credit, Sabathia settled down shortly thereafter. He got into a rhythm and began to rack up the strikeouts. The only real trouble came in the fifth, when he had two runners on with one out. Unlike the first inning, he escaped the jam this time around. CC fired off a quick sixth before calling it a night.
The left-hander finished with a respectable line on the evening. He allowed two runs over six innings, striking out eight in the process. That’s pretty good for a first start off the DL. Plus, he rocked some great cleats for Players’ Weekend. His first pair featured Bart Simpson and Skeletor, while his second set paid homage to the Thundercats. Great choices, sir.
David Robertson took over in the seventh inning, having put last week’s shoulder discomfort behind him. Unfortunately, it wasn’t D-Rob’s best outing. The trouble began when John Andreoli reached on an error by Gleyber Torres. A groundball took a bad hop and bounced off his wrist. Robertson recovered to a couple easy outs, but then allowed a two-run homer to Villar. That resulted in the Orioles taking a 4-2 lead.
In a funny turn of events, that outing actually lowered Robertson’s season ERA. D-Rob entered the game with a 3.11 mark, and it dropped to 3.05 before he departed. The right-hander’s season stats have been fine, but it feels like a roller coaster of a year for him. He’s had a few high profile blowups, and this outing, paired with his recent shoulder pain, represents the ride’s downturn.
The Yankees, however, managed to bounce back from every deficit. After falling behind 2-0 in the first inning, the Bombers answered with a pair of their own. Those runs came courtesy of a Luke Voit, who took Alex Cobb deep in the fourth. You have to see this to believe it.
The Bombers rallied again in the eighth inning, this time against the Orioles bullpen. Relievers Mike Wright Jr. and Paul Fry combined to load the bases with one out, as Torres stepped to the plate. Mychal Givens took over on the mound, but he also struggled. Torres lined a single to right field, allowing two runs to score. They had a chance to inflict further damage, as the bases were loaded once again, but Ronald Torreyes popped up to end the inning. The game was tied though, and that put the Yankees in a position to pick up the win.
Chad Green and Dellin Betances tossed scoreless frames, sending this one to extra innings. Former Yankees farmhand Cody Carroll came on in the bottom of the 10th, and he did his old organization a favor. He allowed the go-ahead home run to Neil Walker, before surrendering a two-run shot to Voit. Yes, Voit had a two homer game! It’s strange, but it gave the Yankees a 7-4 lead.
Zach Britton then came on to close things out in his old ballpark. He allowed a solo homer to Davis, but otherwise did the job. It was a weird game, but I’ll take the win.
Because tonight’s game was so much fun, the Yankees will play two tomorrow. J.A. Happ will take on Jimmy Yacabonis in game one, with first pitch at 1:05 PM.