Between today being a doubleheader and an injury to CC Sabathia, Sonny Gray was forced back into the starting rotation for this second game. While on one hand, it’s Orioles, so you would think that should be the easiest game he could possibly get put in to. On the other hand, we’ve seen Baltimore destroy him already this season.
Gray, at least for tonight, eased any concerns we had about him, throwing 6.1 scoreless innings. He allowed just three hits and walked one in his return to the starter’s slot after the demotion to the bullpen.
As we’ve seen with him this year, you can’t start writing the “He’s back!” posts quite yet. However, his performance in the 5-1 victory over the Orioles is certainly a place to start.
As far as the offense’s side of things, the Yankees did not waste any time in getting things going in the second game. Brett Gardner got things started with a double off Andrew Cashner on the very first pitch of the game. After Giancarlo Stanton walked, Aaron Hicks brought Gardner home with a single. There was still nobody out at that time, but the Yankees couldn’t tack on any more in the first. However, it wasn’t long before they did add to their lead.
In the top of the second, it was the lower half of the order’s turn. Gleyber Torres led off the second with a single. Austin Romine followed suit two batters later, and Ronald Torreyes loaded the bases with a third single. A wild pitch then scored Torres and allowed both runners to move up. Gardner would ground into a fielder’s choice, and first baseman Trey Mancini appeared to have have plenty of time to throw Romine out at home. However, Mancini’s throw was wide, and Romine made it in safely.
In the fourth, Stanton got in on the act, singling home Romine, who had picked up his second hit of the day earlier in the inning.
Through all of this, Gray kept on mostly cruising. In the fourth, Baltimore put a pair of runners in scoring position, but Gray managed to get out of it. After allowing a one-out walk to Mancini in the seventh, Aaron Boone decided to go to the bullpen. Jonathan Holder came in and labored a bit, but kept Baltimore off the board.
The Yankees got some insurance in the top of the ninth when Romine hit a solo home run.
In the bottom of the ninth, Tommy Kahnle got two outs, but ran into some trouble, and allowed a run to ruin the shutout. He ended up not being able to finish off the game, and Dellin Betances was forced into action. It took Betances five pitches to finally end the game.
While not true, this feels like the first series win against the Orioles this year. Finishing off a sweep tomorrow wouldn’t make up for some of the dumb losses they’ve suffered to Baltimore this season, but it would help.