The Yankees beat the Orioles today in the Bronx, 10-5. It was their sixth consecutive win, completing the three-game series sweep of Baltimore and a perfect 6-0 homestand. The Yankees hit well, pitched well, and received a ton of help from the Orioles’ fielders, resulting in a relatively stress-free afternoon.
The Orioles did get on the scoreboard first in the top of the second inning, as the Yankees were initially quiet against Bruce Zimmermann. Ryan McKenna hit a one-out double down the left-field line to get into scoring position for Baltimore, but after getting Anthony Bemboom to strikeout, it appeared that Yankees’ starter Jameson Taillon might escape the inning unharmed. However, a seeing-eye bouncer through the hole on the right side by light-hitting Kelvin Gutiérrez got McKenna home to give the O’s a 1-0 lead (although Gutiérrez was thrown out trying to advance to second base to end the inning).
Again without the benefit of any fireworks, the Orioles scored again in the third. Mullins led off the frame by taking a Taillon pitch off the foot, and then was able to advance to second and third on two wild pitches. A softly hit tapper back to the mound from Trey Mancini was enough to score Mullins, and the O’s had themselves a 2-0 lead after two and a half innings.
Taillon left the game with two outs in the fifth inning after allowing a single off the bat of Austin Hays (which also went off the glove of Aaron Judge in right field). Despite exiting with a two-run deficit and a runner on first, Taillon didn’t pitch poorly — some wildness got to him in the third, but he also faced 22 batters on the day and Jorge Mateo’s fourth-inning single up the middle was the only ball struck over 100 mph off an Oriole’s bat. When reliever Miguel Castro was able to strand Hays after confronting a bases-loaded jam himself, Taillon’s final line was a respectable two earned runs in 4.2 innings.
The hot bats that the Yankees took into the game finally appeared in the fifth inning which, when combined with some less than stellar Baltimore defense, got the Yankees the lead. Errors from the the third baseman Gutiérrez and shortstop Mateo combined with hits from Marwin Gonzalez, Aaron Judge, Anthony Rizzo, and Giancarlo Stanton to plate four runs for the Yankees, giving them a two-run lead after five complete.
The Yankees tacked on a run in the sixth on a Gonzalez sacrifice fly, and then another in the seventh on a Josh Donaldson RBI single to extend the lead to 6-2. Then in the bottom of the eighth, the Bombers piled on with four more runs, including a three-run shot from Aaron Judge to put the game out of reach.
Meanwhile, the Yankees’ bullpen parade of Wandy Peralta, Jonathan Loáisiga, and Chad Green held Orioles scoreless until the ninth. Each member of that trio of relievers has hit some bumps here and there in the first month of 2022, so it was nice to see them get back on track.
Baltimore was able to get to rookie Rob Marinaccio for three runs in the ninth to make the score more respectable, but 10-5 is where it would end. Lucas Luetge relieved Marinaccio and got the final out when Gutiérrez flew out to Judge, clinching the sweep.
The win is the sixth in a row for the Yankees, their eighth win in their last nine overall, and keeps them in first place in the AL East. Although much of the postgame discussion will surely be about the Orioles' horrid defense that allowed six unearned runs, don’t let that distract anyone from the fact that the Yankees played well today. The batters had 10 hits and drew four walks, while the pitching staff allowed only two runs over eight on predominantly weak contact from O’s hitters, until Marinaccio’s rough ninth. This was a good win on any day, but especially a getaway matinee (which has troubled recent Yankee teams in the past).
The Yankees will be flying west to the “Show-Me State” to take on the Royals for a three-game weekend series starting tomorrow night in Kansas City. Nestor Cortes will be toeing the slab for the Yankees in their road grays, and the first pitch is scheduled for 8:10 PM EDT.