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Yankees turn Camden Yards into launching pad, finish sweep of Orioles

That was a good time.

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

Friends, we have a frontrunner for best win of the season. The Yankees hit seven home runs and received a strong starting pitching performance to complete the sweep of the Orioles. The 15-3 victory felt cathartic in a lot of ways, and it gets an A+ in my books.

Yesterday Gary Sanchez made the cardinal sin of baserunning errors. With bases loaded and no outs in the sixth inning, Sanchez got picked off third. He made the first out of the inning at third base. Aaron Boone defended his catcher, but indicated a conversation would follow.

The Kraken responded on Sunday afternoon by hitting three home runs in one game.

It started in the third inning, with Sanchez’s second at-bat. Orioles starter David Hess left a 94.2 mph fastball up in the zone and out over the middle of the plate. Sanchez turned on the pitch and laced a line-drive home run to left field, scoring two. Per Statcast, the ball had a 111.3 mph exit velocity. With a travel time of 3.8 seconds, it got out of the park in a hurry.

Sanchez followed that up with a moonshot home run in the seventh inning. He took a Mike Wright slider and sent it 438 feet into left field. Like his first blast, this one also accounted for two runs.

The afternoon, however, had more in store for Sanchez. Or, put another way, he had more in store for the Orioles pitching staff. In the eighth inning, the Kraken greeted a 90 mph Dan Straily fastball up in the zone and sent it out of the park. That shot scored Brett Gardner, and gave the Yankees a commanding 11-3 lead.

He even had a chance for a fourth home run in the ninth inning. The Orioles had Hanser Alberto, a position player, pitching. Sanchez just missed, however, getting underneath the ball and popping it up to left field. All told, he went he went 3-for-6 with three home runs and six RBI.

“I definitely felt better in the box. I felt I was swinging at better pitches,” he told Meredith Marakovits after the game. You’re not kidding, Gary.

When the Yankees sold off at the 2016 trade deadline, they must have had days like this mind. Sanchez, the top prospect, turning in an historic performance. Gleyber Torres and Clint Frazier, the crown jewels of the fire sale, hitting home runs in the same game to help lead the team to victory. It was a dream a few years ago. Now? It’s just a Sunday afternoon at the ballpark.

The action actually started in the top of the second inning. Hess faced off against Torres, who worked a lengthy at-bat. On the seventh pitch of the battle, Hess left a 95 mph fastball up and inside. Torres turned on it and sent it 408 feet for a solo homer.

Two batters later and Frazier stepped to the plate. The outfielder wasted little time in delivering an encore performance to his go-ahead homer last night. Frazier had a four-pitch at-bat before crushing a hanging slider to center field. It may have been a wall-scraper — the ball fell just out of the reach of Cedric Mullins’ glove — but it gave the Bombers a 2-0 lead.

The pair combined for another run in the sixth inning. Torres doubled off Wright and then moved to third after DJ LeMahieu grounded out. Frazier then hit a two-out single to score Torres and run up the score to 5-0.

Torres scored another run in run in the seventh, drawing a walk and coming home following a LeMahieu double. The eighth inning, however, belonged to Frazier. The outfielder hit his second home run of the game.

Sanchez, Torres, and Frazier bringing the pain at the plate, pummeling opposing pitchers into retreat. That’s just how the Yankees drew it up three years ago.

Domingo German pitched one of the best — if not the best — games of his career on Sunday afternoon. The 26-year-old kept the Orioles off-balance for six innings en route to his second straight win of the season.

German overwhelmed Baltimore’s lineup, retiring the first 13 batters he faced. Rio Ruiz ended the perfect game attempt by drawing a walk in the fifth inning. That marked the first time that German even allowed a three-ball count in the game. He had razor-sharp stuff.

Hanser Alberto broke up the no-hitter with one out in the sixth inning. While it wouldn’t be an historic occasion, German made sure to keep the Orioles off the board. A fielder’s choice and a fly-ball out prevented any damage from ensuing.

Fatigue appeared to have set in for German during the seventh inning. He allowed a single to Jonathan Villar to lead off the frame, then walked Trey Mancini. With two runners on and no one out, that signaled the end of his afternoon.

Credit: Baseball Savant

The final line reads: six innings pitched, two runs allowed (none earned), two hits, two walks, and three strikeouts. He pounded the zone with fastballs and curveballs, and mixed in a healthy dose (18!) of changeups. One has to take the quality of opponents German faced into account, but wow, it’s difficult to walk away from his first two starts as anything other than impressed.

A few final takeaways to note:

  • Stephen Tarpley had a rough outing in relief of German. The left-hander allowed both inherited runs to score, then coughed up an earned run of his own. He faced six batters and allowed half of them to reach base. Get well soon, Dellin Betances.
  • Austin Romine hit a garbage time home run in the ninth inning off Alberto. Gio Urshela also collected an RBI, singling home LeMahieu in the sixth inning. The club finished the day with four different batters hitting home runs and six players picking up RBI. It was a team effort all around.
  • The Luis Cessa bullpen experiment continues to work. The right-hander tossed two scoreless innings in relief, allowing one hit and picking up a strikeout.

The Yankees head to Houston now for three games against the Astros. Monday night will see Masahiro Tanaka square off against Justin Verlander. That will be a 7:10 PM start time.

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