It’s been tough going since the All-Star break for New York, with some ugly losses and the huge loss of Michael King for the season. On a boiling hot day in Baltimore, however, the Yankees were able to take a pretty easy win to claim the series against the resurgent Orioles. Nestor Cortes pitched a strong six innings, while the hitters were able to come through in enough scoring opportunities to make the end of the game less than stressful — minus Aaron Hicks exiting with a leg injury. Now someone get these guys some Gatorade.
Although Baltimore starter Dean Kremer had good numbers entering the game, his peripherals and hard-hit rate suggested a pitcher the Yankees should be able to score runs against. While Kremer did look strong (or the Yankees hitters looked especially sluggish) through the first two innings, in the third the New York batters broke through for three runs.
Jose Trevino singled for the first Yankee hit with one out. After Joey Gallo flew out, DJ LeMahieu hit a double to left field to score the catcher. That brought up Judge, who had struck out swinging in his first at bat. This time, he swung and connected with yet another home run, his 37th of the season.
Kremer would be removed after 5.1 innings pitched, having allowed those three runs. He departed with Rizzo on first after yet another hit-by-pitch, replaced by Keegan Akin. Unlike last night, the Yankees were able to tack on against the Baltimore bullpen. Matt Carpenter greeted Akin with a single. After Hicks struck out, Isiah Kiner-Falefa laced a two-out single into center to score Rizzo. Trevino followed up with a double to right field, scoring Carpenter to make it 5-0.
2 more courtesy of IKF and Trevi pic.twitter.com/nd4C3Zsfsx— New York Yankees (@Yankees) July 24, 2022
The heat didn’t seem to bother the Florida boy Cortes, making his first start after his scoreless All-Star Game appearance. He started out throwing strikes and getting strikeouts. He did work out of trouble in the second inning that wasn’t entirely his fault. With Adley Rutschman at the plate, the Yankees played with four outfielders, making Gleyber Torres the fourth. Rustchman hit a fly ball into the left that should have been an out, but Torres retreated all the way to the track to try to get it and it bounced off his glove. It was a ball he probably should have let Gallo take, and it was initially ruled an error before being changed to a double.
Ramón Urías followed with a single, putting runners on first and third with one out. But Cortes struck out Tyler Nevin and Robinson Chirinos to keep the O’s off the board.
Torres was involved in another odd play in the top of the fourth. He led off the inning with a walk, then tried to go from first to third on a Hicks single to right field. He should have made it easily, but the booth suggested he was trying to deke Mancini in right despite the fact that his weaker throwing arm meant he should have just ran and made it easily. He slowed down going into second as if he was going to stop, then sped up again allowing the throw to get him.
Besides that second-inning jam, the Orioles never really threatened against Cortes. He finished with six innings pitched, six hits allowed, no walks, and seven strikeouts. In bad conditions for even sitting outside, let alone playing sports, he started off his second half on a great note.
Recently recalled Clarke Schmidt pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth.
Trevino got his fourth hit of the day in the top of the eighth with a single. It should have came with an RBI but IKF, who was on second, briefly retreated back as if he thought the ball was going to be caught (it clearly wasn’t) and was only able to get to third base. Gallo and LeMahieu weren’t able to drive him in from there.
The Yankees were able to tack on in the top of the ninth. Judge walked to begin the inning, and Torres singled after Rizzo popped out. Hicks followed with an RBI single, but hobbled his way to first base with what appeared to be a leg injury, and he was removed from the game. Hopefully it was just a cramp caused by the heat.
Although Wandy Peralta was warming up, Schmidt was asked to close out the game and did so, ending the 6-0 win. Next comes a much-needed off-day for the pitching staff on Monday and then a Subway Series with the Mets at Citi Field on Tuesday. Jordan Montgomery will face Taijuan Walker at 7:10pm ET.