These games against the Orioles are starting to feel a little bit unfair. For the third game in a row, once the Yankees’ bats got going, they never really stopped. Domingo German didn’t have his best stuff, but he was good enough to get his MLB-leading ninth win of the year. Tonight’s win keeps the Yankees atop the AL East standings and puts their record at 30-17 on the season. Let’s get into specifics:
Monday’s ninth inning rally carried over into the first inning of Tuesday’s game. The Yankees started the game with three consecutive hits, the third being another three-run homer from Gary Sanchez. It was Sanchez’s 14th home run of the season, and the scoring certainly did not end there.
More runs came in the third inning. Aaron Hicks worked a one-out walk and came around to score on a Gio Urshela double, which extended the lead to 4-0. Clint Frazier brought home Urshela with a two-run shot to center, and the game stood at 6-0. The homer was Frazier’s seventh on the year, but he soon had his eighth.
Back-to-back walks put Hicks and Gleyber Torres on base, and facing a 3-1 count, Frazier did not miss his pitch. He took a 93 mph fastball on the outside corner and put it over the center field wall. Coming into the day, Frazier owned a .384 OPS since returning from his ankle injury. If anyone needed a two-hit, five-RBI day, it was Clint Frazier.
The Yankees tacked on two more runs in the sixth inning. DJ LeMahieu and Luke Voit got things started with consecutive singles. A Sanchez ground ball brought LeMahieu in to score, but cut Voit down at second. Hicks then added a single that allowed Sanchez to move up to third. The following batter, Gleyber Torres, put a single into center field and scored Sanchez, the Yankees’ eleventh and final run of the night.
On the other side of the ball, the Yankees weren’t quite as good but were still good enough to get the job done. Domingo German was cruising early on tonight. He needed just 26 pitches to get through the first two innings but ran into some trouble in the third. A couple singles and a walk loaded the bases, but German made it out of the jam without surrendering a run. However, he did run his pitch count way up. He needed 32 pitches to make it out of the third.
Unfortunately, German wasn’t able to escape trouble in the fifth. He put Hanser Alberto on first with an HBP to lead off the inning. For a moment, it seemed as if German got Austin Wynns to ground into a 1-4-3 double play, but the Yankees’ pitcher threw the ball into center field. With two on, Stevie Wilkerson finally put the Orioles on the board with a three-run homer that just barely cleared the big wall in right field.
Overall, it’s hard to complain about German’s final line: 5 innings, 5 hits, 3 runs, 2 earned, 1 walk, and 5 strikeouts. He definitely wasn’t as sharp as we’ve seen him at times this season, but he was good enough to get the job done.
Not to discredit anything German accomplished, but David Hale really had the pitching performance of the evening. In his first big league appearance since July 2018, Hale did everything the Yankees could have asked. He surrendered one run and struck out one in four innings of relief tonight, but it’s what won’t explicitly appear on the stat sheet that made his night so great.
The Yankees are amidst a 17-day, 17-game stretch, and right now, Adam Ottavino and Tommy Kahnle are the only Yankee relievers that haven’t thrown multiple innings in the last three days. The bullpen needed a night off, and David Hale gave them exactly that.
No small ball tonight. This was a classic Yankees slugfest. Every starter except for Austin Romine collected a hit, and DJ LeMahieu, Luke Voit, and Clint Frazier all had multi-hit games. Weirdly, there wasn’t a Gleyber Torres home run this game, but there are still two more to play in this series. First pitch tomorrow is scheduled for 7:05 pm, and CC Sabathia is on the hill.