The Yankees capped off their season at Camden Yards in style, as expected power hitters Gio Urshela and Kyle Highashioka led the home run barrage with two apiece as the Yankees overpowered the Baltimore Orioles, 14-2, for their 15th straight win in Baltimore and eighth straight win overall.
Although held scoreless for the first three innings, the Yankees offense opened up in the fourth inning to bludgeon John Means and the Orioles pitching staff. Following a double by Urshela and a single by Didi Gregorius, Cameron Maybin dropped an RBI single that fell between two Orioles defenders, allowing Urshela to score. Two batters later, Kyle Highashioka drilled an 0-2 pitch over the center field wall, giving the Yankees a 4-0 lead.
After scoring two more runs on a Gio Urshela home run in the fifth, the floodgates fully opened in the sixth. Mike Tauchman started the inning with a walk, before advancing to second on a groundout, to third on a wild pitch, and scoring on a DJ LeMahieu single. LeMahieu himself would then advance to second on another wild pitch and score on an RBI single by Aaron Judge. Urshela then came up and delivered his second home run of the night, notching his first career multi-home run ballgame.
Didi Gregorius and Maybin followed up with two singles, with Gregorius advancing to third on a throwing error. This allowed him to score on a fielder’s choice by Brett Gardner, who sped down the line to beat out a potential double play ball and give the Yankees an 11-1 lead.
That would not do for the Yankees, however, as Maybin capped off a four-hit night with a solo home run, followed by a two-run shot by Kyle Higashioka (also his first career multi-home run game), giving the Yankees five home runs — and a 14-1 lead.
It wasn’t all about the offense tonight in Baltimore, however. After finding success incorporating more curveballs last week against Boston, James Paxton doubled down on the strategy, throwing 30 curveballs among 108 pitches. Overpowering the Orioles lineup, he gave up only one run in 6.2 innings, striking out seven and walking only one. This is the James Paxton the Yankees need down the stretch and into October, whose sole mistake was a home run to Trey Mancini in the fourth, before passing the baton to Chance Adams — leaving to a rare standing ovation on the road — after allowing singles to Stevie Wilkerson and Jace Peterson.
Adams, called up today to provide a fresh arm in the bullpen, which saw lengthy outings by Jonathan Holder, Nestor Cortes, Jr., and Stephen Tarpley last night, came in and gave the big arms a night off. He gave up one run on one hit in 2.1 innings, striking out one and walking one.
James Paxton gets the win, improving his record to 7-6, while John Means is tagged with the loss, as he drops to 8-7. All in all, the Yankees are probably as disappointed as all of us that they will not be returning to Baltimore this season, as they have utterly dominated at Camden Yards this season. They improve to 75-39 on the year, including an outstanding 42-14 record against the AL East, and a 13-2 record against the Orioles. They continue to win the games they are supposed to, and currently enjoy a ten-game lead in the division because of it.
The Yankees head north of the border tomorrow, as they take on the youthful and surging Toronto Blue Jays. Domingo German (14-2, 3.98 ERA, 4.43 FIP) gets the ball for the Yankees; he will oppose Thomas Pannone (2-4, 5.98 ERA, 4.76 FIP). You can catch that game on the YES Network or the MLB Network (out-of-market only).