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Yankees 4, Orioles 1: Jhony Brito delivers an encore

A good start and a big fifth inning propelled the Yankees to victory on Saturday night.

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

As I said online, Jhony Brito might be A Guy.

After a great outing against the Giants last weekend, Brito found himself shuffled back onto the active roster with a flurry of injury news, and he did not disappoint. He wasn’t quite as overwhelming as his debut — although the Orioles lineup has more talent than the Giants — but was more than solid, throwing five innings and allowing a single run.

Once again, his changeup was the story of the start, as he threw it 34 percent of the time. He didn’t get the 11 whiffs he notched last Sunday, but still worked it effectively especially later in his start as his fastball command wavered. Terrin Vavra watched a changeup float into the zone in the fifth to strike out swinging, before Adley Rutschman whiffed on two straight breaking away into the right-handed batters box to close out the frame.

Brito did give up a run almost right away, as Cedric Mullins and Rutschman opened the bottom of the first with base hits before Anthony Santander skied a sac fly to bring in Mullins. As good as he’s been, Brito is still a rookie, and there was definitely some fear that he would let things unravel. To his credit, two quick groundballs got him out of trouble, and that was really as close as the Orioles would come to threatening all night.

The Yankees looked fine offensively early, although some of the fastballs Cole Irvin was pumping in looked awfully hittable. Anthony Rizzo got the club on the board in the fourth with a sac fly, but everyone’s swing just seemed a hair too slow the first two times through the order. Fortunately, the third time through penalty exists for a reason.

Anthony Volpe had a tough outing on Friday, but look at him fly out of the box on his first career extra-base hit and you see why the Yankees are so high on their shortstop. He didn’t even check in at third base before making the turn at second; he knows his body and knew he’d end up with a triple to open the fifth.

DJ LeMahieu brought him in with an RBI double of his own, one of three hard-hit balls from the Yankee leadoff man on the night. Rizzo’s sac fly in the fourth knotted the score at one, but DJ’s continued hot start gave the club the lead, one they would not relinquish.

LeMahieu came in on Aaron Judge’s sac fly, and after Rizzo bounced out, Irvin was pulled in favor of Austin Voth. Voth had the unenviable task of staring down Giancarlo Stanton, who’s been as locked in as anyone to start the year.

That is the hardest ball hit at Camden Yards in the Statcast era, and landed 463 feet from home plate. A lot was made about the Orioles moving the left field fence back at the start of last season, but Stanton does not care. It’s his second home run to left field since the renovations.

After that, it was nearly academic. Turn the game over to the talented relievers left in the Yankee bullpen, and Michael King started to look like himself again in two scoreless frames:

Wandy Peralta did his job as well, as while Clay Holmes did allow a walk before bouncing a wild pitch to put a man in scoring position, a soft lineout and ground ball to Gleyber Torres took care of the threat.

The Yankees have won both of their series to start the season, and can continue that trend tomorrow in the rubber match. Nestor Cortes will get the ball with a 1:35pm Eastern start time.

Box Score