Going into Friday night’s game against the New York Yankees, the storyline seemed to be mainly focused on how Kevin Gausman would perform.
In Gausman’s first outing of the season against the Minnesota Twins on Saturday, Gausman went just 4.0 innings, allowing six runs (six earned) on seven hits, allowing three home runs, while walking two and striking out five. The biggest question was, could he follow up Andrew Cashner’s quality six-inning, one-run start, with a solid start of his own?
The answer would be yes.
Gausman would go five innings, allowing two runs (two earned), on five hits, walking one batter and striking out three batters. He also didn’t give up a home run.
Another storyline of the game was how would Baltimore’s bats respond to a solid five-run night at the office during Thursday’s game? Manny Machado would homer in the top of the first, giving the Orioles an early 1-0 lead. After Yankees outfielder Giancarlo Stanton scored Brett Gardner with a single in the bottom of the first, Machado answered with another home run.
With that second home run, Machado now would have three career multi-HR games against the Yankees. The only player with more in the Live Ball era before his 26th birthday is Jimmie Foxx, who had four multi-HR games. Machado he currently has eight home runs at Yankee Stadium, which is the most he has in any road park.
The Yankees would answer Machado’s home run again, this time from a single off of the bat of right fielder Aaron Judge, that would bring in Gardner. The game was now tied at 2-2 in the bottom of the third, but Baltimore would answer with a home run from a batter who had been struggling: Chris Davis.
Davis had struggled against left-handed pitching in the past, with just four home runs against left-handed pitchers in 144 at-bats in 2017, but he would change that narrative on Friday night. The first baseman would get his first home run of the season, with a blast to right center field off of veteran left-hander CC Sabathia in the bottom of the fourth inning. The 32-year old first baseman had been Baltimore’s leadoff man to begin the season, until Wednesday’s game against the Houston Astros, where he pinch hit for Danny Valencia in the fifth spot. The night before, Davis had racked up four strikeouts and went 0-for-5.
Another run wouldn’t be produced until the bottom of the eighth inning. This time, it would be Yankee shortstop Didi Gregorius taking Miguel Castro’s 95-mph sinker to right field for his third home run of the season. For as much fanfare as Judge and Stanton have received and deservedly so, Gregorius has quietly gotten better each season and has gotten off to a red-hot start this season, slashing .393/.514/.964, driving in ten runs and hitting the aforementioned three home runs. He currently leads the league in slugging percentage, RBI, on-base percentage and OPS (1.479).
What would have been the play of the game came during the 11th inning. Mychal Givens had two runners on second and third base. He would throw a wild pitch, getting past Caleb Joseph and bouncing off of the wall. The runner from third base would run towards home, with Joseph making a pinpoint throw to Givens at home. While receiving the throw, Givens dropped down and made the tag at the plate, preventing the Yankees from winning the game.
After Givens went two scoreless innings, the Orioles opted for Rule 5 draft pick Pedro Araujo in relief. The 24-year old would impress, bridging together another two scoreless innings.
The biggest play of the game came in the 14th inning. Designated hitter Pedro Alvarez came to the plate with the bases loaded. Trey Mancini, Machado and Schoop were on the base paths. Alvarez, who attended high school at the Horace Mann School in the Bronx, would come through in the clutch. He would belt a grand slam to right center field of Yankees reliever Jonathan Holder, to give Baltimore the 7-3 lead.
Orioles closer Brad Brach would come into the game, replacing Araujo. He would get Neil Walker to line out to left fielder Colby Rasmus for the first out. Then came Ronald Torreyes, who would line out to Schoop for the second out. Finally, Brach would get Tyler Austin to go down swinging on a 92-mph four-seam fastball to end the game. Araujo received his first win as a major league pitcher and Holder received the loss.
Baltimore outlasted New York in one of two ways yesterday. The first way is that they won the game and the second is that the Orioles avoided injuries. Sabathia was pulled out of the game after going just four innings, due to right calf soreness. Third baseman Brandon Drury was replaced by Torreyes in the sixth inning, with a migraine. Second baseman Tyler Wade had been dealing with the flu and he was pulled in the ninth. To compound things for the Yankees, catcher Gary Sanchez left the game with a right calf injury in the 14th inning, during an Adam Jones at-bat.
The Orioles will take on the Yankees for the third game of a four-game set at 1:05 p.m. on Saturday. If Baltimore wins, they will be tied with New York for third place in the American League East.
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(Photo Credit: AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)