Results tagged ‘ Adam Jones ’

Yanks won’t catch Orioles this weekend

The Yankees had gotten use to hopping over contenders for a wild card playoff berth in recent weeks. They did so to the Mariners and to the Royals and we’re hoping to do the same to the Orioles this weekend.

Not going to happen.

Baltimore threw nine more zeroes against the Yankees Saturday night for its second straight shutout. Not surprisingly, Orioles righthander Kevin Gausman had his way with the Yanks as he has had much of the season. Gausman is 7-10 overall but 2-1 with a 0.80 ERA in 33 2/3 inning against the Yankees. In his career against the Yanks, Gausman is 5-3 with a 1.87 ERA in 72 1/3 innings.

Gausman has pitched 13 scoreless innings with 17 strikeouts in his past two starts against the Yankees. He held them to two singles through six innings Saturday night with eight strikeouts, the biggest of which was against Starlin Castro with the bases loaded in the fourth inning. Brian McCann followed with a soft fly ball to center field that ended the only real rally the Yanks could mount in the game. They have had six hits, all singles, over the past two nights against Baltimore pitching.

It was a tough loss for CC Sabathia, who gave up two runs (one earned) over six innings. An error by rookie right fielder Aaron Judge led to the first run off Sabathia in the fourth. The next inning, Adam Jones connected with two out for his 25th home run of the season and the fifth by the Orioles in the series.

The Yankees’ third consecutive shutout loss to Baltimore dropped them 4 1/2 games behind the O’s for that second wild card spot. In addition, the Royals were in position to move ahead of the Yankees again.

Yanks rally early but need pen to secure victory

The national television audience watching Fox’s coverage of Saturday night’s Yankees-Orioles game had to be wondering about all the reports they read or heard about the Bombers’ slumbering offense.

There were the Yankees on national TV lashing out 16 hits and scoring runs in bunches. It was a throwback to the days when the Yankees loved coming to hitter-friendly Camden Yards against some weak Baltimore clubs to improve their batting averages and slugging percentages. The Orioles have had the upper hand in recent years, but the Yankees looked like the Bronx Bombers of old in building a 7-0 lead through six innings.

Ivan Nova was cruising along on a three-hit shutout until Mark Trumbo led off the seventh with his 18th home run, most in the majors. That was just the beginning of the wheels falling off for Nova, who gave up an infield hit to Matt Wieters and a two-run, opposite-field homer to Pedro Alvarez. The onslaught did not give Yankees manager Joe Girardi must time to get a reliever warm up in the bullpen and stayed with Nova, who gave up a bloop single to Jonathan Schoop and walked Ryan Flaherty on a full count.

Nova was on fumes at this point, so Girardi brought in Nick Goody, who proceeded to yield a three-run home run to Adam Jones. Suddenly, 7-0 was 7-6, and the Yankees had nine more outs to get. What for a time was a laugher became a sweat box.

With Dellin Betances, who had pitched the previous two night, unavailable, Girardi relied on Andrew Miller, who did a yeoman’s job in retiring the six batters he faced over the seventh and eighth innings. The Yankees came up with a huge insurance run in the ninth off reliever Vance Worley with one out on a double by Aaron Hicks, who entered the game in right field as a defensive replacement in the seventh, and a single by Alex Rodriguez, his third hit of the game.

Aroldis Chapman took it from there, although the ninth inning began with catcher Austin Romine having to leave the game after being cut on the left hand trying to catch a warmup pitch in the dirt. Brian McCann, who was on the bench nursing a hyperextended left elbow, took over behind the plate.

Chapman walked Jones with two out before striking out pinch hitter Nolan Reimold looking for his ninth save and put to rest any chance of an Orioles comeback. The bullpen has been leaky of late. Kirby Yates and Betances contributed to the Yankees’ blowing a 5-2 lead Friday night. Thursday night in Detroit, the Yankees were up 5-1 and held on for a 5-4 victory despite Betances, Miller and Chapman all being scored upon over the final three innings.

A serious injury to Romine would be critical. The Yankees are running out of catchers. McCann is still not 100 percent, and Triple A Scranton/Wilkes Barre’s Gary Sanchez is on the disabled list. The Yankees purchased the contract of first baseman Chris Parmelee from SWB to help fill the void of Mark Teixeira, who was placed on the 15-day DL because of torn cartilage in his right knee. Dustin Ackley, who had been Tex’s back-up at first base, had season-ending surgery on his right shoulder and was transferred to the 60-day DL. That opened a spot on the 40-man roster for Parmelee.

Girardi spoke before the game of a possible platoon at first base with Parmelee and Rob Refsnyder, yet with righthander Tyler Wilson starting for the Orioles the manager started Refsnyder, who had an RBI double in four at-bats. Parmelee took over in the field in the eighth.

After taking a 1-0 lead in the third on a sacrifice fly by Romine, the Yankees attacked Wilson for four runs and five hits in the fourth. Carlos Beltran and Rodriguez started the rally with singles. Starlin Castro, who had three hits, doubled home Beltran. A-Rod scored on an infield out. Refsnyder restarted the rally with his double that scored Castro and came home on a single by Romine.

Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner, who were a combined 4-for-10 at the top of the order, teamed on a double steal with two out in the sixth that resulted in Ellsbury’s second swipe of home this season and the third time in his career.

Everyone in the Yankees’ starting lineup plus Hicks had at least one hit. It would have been an absolute crime if the pitchers could not make all that offense hold up.

Gardner a deserving choice for 1st All-Star selection

Okay, Yankees fans, you can back off the #VOTEGARDY campaign. Brett Gardner did not know when he hit a home run in the first inning Thursday that he had been selected for the American League All-Star squad as a replacement for Royals left fielder Alex Gordon, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list and may be out for as long as two months because of a severe groin strain.

It was not until the fourth inning when word reached Yankee Stadium that AL manager Ned Yost of the Royals had picked Gardner for the team, joining Yankees mates Mark Teixeira and Dellin Betances. By then, Gardy had racked up two more hits in another top-shelf performance that was part of their 6-2 victory over the Athletics.

His teammates had gotten into the act by wearing bald caps in support of their head-shaven left fielder, who was one of five players in the Final Vote Ballot that continues Friday. Yankees fans had been urged to support Gardner, but he was running fourth in the voting. Nevertheless, Yost made the right decision in seeing that Gardner deserved his first career All-Star berth. That does not mean he will be in the starting lineup. The Orioles’ Adam Jones, who was fourth in the fans’ vote, will get that call, but Gardner has his well-earned ticket to Cincinnati for the July 14 game at Great American Ballpark.

With three more hits Thursday, Gardner has raised his season batting average to .303. He ranks fourth in the major leagues in runs (62) and stolen bases (15) and eighth in doubles (21) and on-base percentage (.382). His .489 slugging percentage is a meaty figure for a hitter who usually bats first or second in the order. In 19 games since June 18, Gardner is batting .418 in 79 at-bats with 19 runs, seven doubles, one triples, five home runs, 12 RBI and 12 walks to raise his season batting average 41 points. His 10th home run of the year Thursday lifted his first-inning batting average to .406 in 69 at-bats with 21 runs, six doubles, two triples, two homers, seven RBI, six walks and three stolen bases.

Those are All-Star caliber stats.

Mashiro Tanaka could not hold the 1-0 lead Gardner provided as the A’s struck for two runs in the second inning aided by a catcher’s interference call against Brian McCann. Yet the doubles Tanaka allowed to Billy Butler and Mark Canha that scored the runs were the only hits off the righthander in his 7 2/3 innings.

Tanaka got 19 consecutive outs (although Butler reached base in the fourth on a third-strike wild pitch, one of the rare glitches in Tanaka’s outing). He walked one batter and struck out six to post his first winning decision in five starts since June 9 and brought his ERA down from 3.94 to 3.63. Now he will get some extra rest during the All-Star break. Tanaka also gave some rest to a bullpen that was busy in the first two games in the series as Nathan Eovaldi and CC Sabathia did not get through the sixth inning either night.

With Tanaka mowing down Oakland hitters one by one, the Yankees were able to stay close and skip past the A’s. The Yanks tied the score against Jesse Chavez in the third on a leadoff walk to Jacoby Ellsbury and singles by Gardner and Teixeira.

Ellsbury put the Yankees in front with a two-run single in the fourth, a rally fortified with a double by Cole Figueroa, a Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre call-up who played third base for ailing Chase Headley (right calf inflammation). Figueroa also doubled in the eighth when the Yankees tacked on two more runs on a wild throw to first base by shortstop Marcus Semien, who has committed an astonishing 28 errors in 87 games, which puts him on a pace for 51 over a full season.

In taking the series, two games to one, from Oakland the Yankees have opened up a three-game lead in the AL East over the Orioles, who did not play Thursday. The Blue Jays and the Rays both lost and trail the Yanks by 3 ½ games and 4 ½ games, respectively.

The Yankees now head to Fenway Park for a three-game set prior to the All-Star break. The Red Sox, who once seemed buried in the division (they were 10 games out June 20), are still in last place but have won four straight games and eight of their past 10 to move to 5 ½ games of first and are only a half-game behind fourth-place Tampa Bay. Boston’s recent resurgence and the steady run by the Yankees of late will add some extra juice to the rivalry over the weekend.

CC still winless but making progress

CC Sabathia, coming back from knee surgery, has shown positive signs in his first two outings, but both have been losses. The second came Tuesday night at Baltimore as the Orioles held off a late challenge by the Yankees for a 4-3 victory.

Sabathia fell into a 3-0 hole after four innings. Adam Jones, as hot a player as there is in the major leagues these days, took CC deep in the first inning for his fourth home run and made the score 2-0 with a sacrifice fly two innings later. A wild pitch by Sabathia helped set up the third Baltimore run on a two-out single by Caleb Joseph, the Orioles catcher who got his first career triple leading off the seventh inning and scored on a sacrifice fly by Everth Cabrera.

That made the score 4-1 and ended Sabathia’s night. He was ticked for four runs and seven hits but walked only one batter and struck out seven. Mobility remains a problem for the big guy with the tender knee. He made a throwing error trying to toss the ball from his glove to first base and also failed to cover the bag on another play that fortunately did not prove costly.

Manager Joe Girardi gave Sabathia a passing grade and is still optimistic that the lefthander can be a major positive force on the staff. CC just ran into a pitcher who was better Tuesday night.

Orioles righthander Miguel Gonzalez limited the Yankees to one run, four hits and one walk in seven innings and had a career-high strikeout total of 10. Gonzalez only hurt himself in the fifth inning with a wild pitch that put Jacoby Ellsbury into scoring position, and Mark Teixeira obliged with a two-out double.

The Yanks closed to 4-3 in the eighth against reliever Kevin Gausman with left fielder Alejandro De Aza making a huge error off a drive by Teixeira. Orioles manager Buck Showalter went to his closer, Zach Britton, for a four-out save after the De Aza error made it a one-run game with the potential tying run in scoring position. Britton did his job by getting four ground-ball outs to keep the Yankees from getting their record to .500.

The Yankees were without Brett Gardner, whose left wrist is still smarting after being hit by a pitch Monday night. Chris Young played left field and had a double in four at-bats. Girardi indicated that Gardner likely won’t start again until Friday at St. Petersburg, Fla.

Yanksees get a jump start in road opener

A nice combination of speed and power brought the Yankees back from a 4-2 deficit Monday night in the seventh inning at Camden Yards on the way to an impressive 6-5 victory.

Orioles lefthander Wei-Yin Chen limited the Yankees to two runs over six innings on solo home runs by Chris Young and Mark Teixeira and was thrust into the lead when Adam Jones connected for a two-run homer off Michael Pineda in the bottom of the sixth that unlocked a 2-2 score.

Tommy Hunter, Baltimore’s hard-throwing righthander, came on in the seventh, and the Yankees were ready for him. Young started things off with a single, and John Ryan Murphy worked a walk on a full count.

Curiously, Orioles manager Buck Showalter had lefthander Brian Matusz warming in the bullpen but did not bring him on to face left-handed Garrett Jones, pinch hitting for Gregorio Petit. After Jones flied to left for the second out, Matusz remained in the pen as lefty-swinging Jacoby Ellsbury came up against Hunter.

Here was the speed part of the rally. Ellsbury hit a slow roller to second base and beat the play at first base for a single that filled the bags. Brett Gardner was due up but was held back because of a swollen right wrist.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi went with Stephen Drew as the pinch hitter and looked like a genius when Drew worked the count to 3-1 and then drove a fastball over the center field wall for a grand slam and a 6-4 Yankees advantage. That was the power part.

Michael Pineda put the lead in jeopardy when he gave up two singles in the bottom of the seventh. Dellin Betances relieved Betances with one out and gave up another single that loaded the bases. A run scored on a fielder’s choice that the Yanks failed to convert into a double play, but a fine stop at first base by Teixeira protected the lead.

Betances walked Steve Pearce, which re-loaded the bags for the Orioles, but rebounded to fit the golden sombrero on Chris Davis, who suffered his fourth strikeout of the game, this one on a nasty slider.

Pineda was more hittable than Yankees fans are accustomed to seeing. He allowed nine hits in 6 1/3 innings but did not walk a batter and struck out nine.

Nor was Betances what Yankees fans have gotten used to seeing. He gave up two hits and a couple of walks in his inning of work with only 10 of his 24 pitches going for strikes. Betances was aided in the eighth when catcher John Ryan Murphy threw out Adam Jones, who had led off with a single, trying to steal second base.

After Betances walked Travis Snider, Girardi also went against convention and brought in lefthander Andrew Miller to face two right-handed hitters, Manny Machado and Jonathan Scoop. Both struck out. Miller withstood hitting a batter with two out in the ninth to notch his second save and give the Yankees their first winning streak of the year.

It was a good night for Girardi moves.

Yanks grab early lead but lose it early, too

The Yankees are beginning to like this business of taking the lead. They were in front in only one of their first 55 innings this season but turned things around Sunday night against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium with a seven-run first inning.

It was not nearly as overwhelming Monday night at Baltimore in the opener of a three-game series at Camden Yards, but once again the Yankees took the early lead. This time, it was merely one run on a solo home run by Chris Young with two out in the second inning. It was the second homer of the season for Young, who clocked a three-run shot Saturday at the Stadium.

The early run was welcomed by Yankees starter Michael Pineda, who has not had much run support over the years. The Yankees were shut out 10 times last year, and three of those games were started by Pineda. Since Aug. 27, 2011, Pineda has a 2.79 run support average, which is the third lowest in the major leagues during that span (minimum 10 starts).

Another positive sign early was catcher John Ryan Murphy throwing out Alejandro De Aza attempting to steal second. Murphy, who started for resting regular catcher Brian McCann, has had a rough time of it back of the plate with a couple of passed balls and a throwing error.

Yet as quickly as the Yankees pulled in front, Pineda gave up the lead in the bottom of the second. Maybe it’s because he is not used to pitching with it. Adam Jones led off with an infield single and scored one out later on a double by Manny Machado.

Alex Rodriguez, making his first start of the season at his old position of third base, displayed weakened lateral movement in being unable to knock down Machado’s hot grounder inside the bag.

Jonathan Schoop followed with a hard liner off the left field wall for another double that put the Orioles up, 2-1. Schoop did not get credit for the double right away. He was originally called out at second base, but the call was reversed following a challenge by Baltimore manager Buck Showalter. Video replays revealed that second baseman Gregorio Petit’s tag was on Schoop’s chest after his left hand was on the bag.

Pineda recovered to strike out the next two hitters and had to hope the Yankees could come from behind as effectively as they had gone in front.

Yanks encouraged by Pineda’s work in tough loss

The shot in the arm the Yankees needed Wednesday night came in the right arm of Michael Pineda. Unfortunately, that was not enough to avoid another loss to the Orioles, who again overcame a two-run deficit to sweep the rain-abbreviated series.

The severe rainstorm that caused the postponement of Tuesday night’s game was the only break the Yankees had in their trip to Baltimore. The two losses shoved the Yankees eight games back of the first-place Orioles in the American League East.

Pineda’s start was an example of how important the Yankees considered this series. Originally slated to pitch a minor-league game on injury rehabilitation, Pineda started against the Orioles instead and did a fine job in his first major-league start since April 23 at Boston.The righthander showed no signs of right shoulder problems that kept him on the disabled list for 86 games. Pineda went five innings and did not allow a hit until the fifth when Nelson Cruz led off with a double. He eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Ryan Flaherty that cut the Yankees’ lead to 2-1.

Once again, the Yankees grabbed an early lead but could not build on it. Francisco Cervelli ended a 0-for-24 streak by Yankees hitters with runners in scoring position dating to last Friday night when he drove a 3-2 knuckle curve from Chris Tillman to left-center field for his second home run of the season. Scoring ahead of him was Stephen Drew, who had doubled.

But that would be the extend of the Yankees’ scoring. They were hitless from the fifth through the eighth innings. A double by Carlos Beltran led to a run in the ninth on an infield out by Chase Headley, but the Yankees could do no better. Manager Joe Girardi was ejected in the seventh inning for arguing over an interference call against Drew, who was charged with running out of the baseline on the way to first by plate umpire Gerry Davis. Drew appeared to be in the line until he neared the bag, but Girardi lost the argument.

The Yankees had to be encouraged by the work of Pineda, who allowed only two hits, did not walk a batter and struck out four.

Another sign of the value the Yanks played on this game was the appearance of Dellin Betances in an outing of more than two innings. Betances had not pitched in five days and with no game Tuesday and an open date Thursday was pushed beyond his usual limit. The righthander pitched two hitless innings with four strikeouts, then one out into the eighth he hung a breaking ball to Joseph Schoop, who slugged his 11th home run that tied the score.

Shawn Kelley put gasoline on the fire after two were out. He gave up a single to Nick Markakis, a walk to Chris Davis and a three-run home run to Adam Jones (No. 23). It was a stunning finish to a disappointing series that extended the Yankees’ losing streak to four games and cost them the chance to give the Orioles a scare.

High school play nets 2 runs for Yanks

So desperate have the Yankees been to score runs that they resorted to the old high school play in the second inning Monday night at Baltimore and came away with two runs off it, thanks to some wild throws by the Orioles.

Martin Prado was at the plate with runners on first and third and one out when the Yankees went into motion. It is possible that Prado or Chase Headley, the runner at first base, may have even missed a sign. Both are relatively new to the club, after all.

Headley broke for second base and stopped midway up the line as catcher Caleb Joseph threw to the bag. As Headley retreated toward first base, Carlos Beltran broke from third for home and scored after third baseman Manny Machado’s relay to the plate struck Beltan’s helmet.

Headley went all the way to third on that error and was able to score on pitcher Bud Norris’ errant flip. On that one broken play, the Yankees scored more runs than they did in the two games combined Saturday and Sunday against the Indians at Yankee Stadium.

The Orioles closed to 3-2 in the third on a two-out, RBI single by Adam Jones that followed a tough loss for Baltimore. Machado had to be carried off the field after he hurt his knee in the at-bat prior to Jones. Machado fell in the batter’s box and grabbed his right knee after hitting a bat-shattering ground ball to shortstop. Machado was out for half of the 2013 season because of knee surgery on his left knee.

Machado had been hot lately. He doubled and eventually scored in the first inning on a sacrifice fly by Nelson Cruz and was 8-for-16 (.500) in the current homestand. This could be a deep wound for the Orioles.

Weird inning hurts Kuroda, Yanks back at .500

On the mound at Camden Yards for the Yankees Friday night was the last survivor of their Opening Day rotation, and he gave them what they desperately needed from a starting pitcher — length.

Hiroki Kuroda is still part of the starting unit while former mates Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda, CC Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka have all gone off to the disabled list, some of whom not to return in 2014.

The Yankees departed Cleveland with a fatigued bullpen, so the seven innings Kuroda gave them was heaven sent. Only one of those innings was a clinker, but that was enough to let the Orioles tie the score.

It was a strange fourth inning for Kuroda, who blew the 2-0 lead provided by solo home runs from Brian Roberts in the second and Kelly Johnson in the third off Miguel Gonzalez, who recovered to hold the Yankees scoreless with only three more hits through the eighth.

Kuroda gave up only one hit in the fourth, a bad-hop single past Derek Jeter by Adam Jones, which came after the righthander hit Steve Pearce with a pitch leading off the inning. Kuroda then uncorked two wild pitches, one that advanced the runners and another one out later that send Pearce home. A sacrifice fly by Chris Davis tied the score.

The score stayed that way until the 10th inning when Orioles catcher Nick Hundley lined a single to center field off Adam Warren to score Manny Machado, who had led off the inning with a double. Warren followed Dellin Betances, who was brilliant once again with two hitless innings featuring three more strikeouts. The rookie All-Star’s 84 punchouts are the most for any reliever in the majors.

The Yankees’ offense sputtered as it managed only one hit over the last six innings. The Orioles’ 3-2 victory pushed the third-place Yankees five games behind first-place Baltimore in the American League East as they fell back to .500 at 46-46.

That the game went into extra innings was not what the Yankees wanted by any means, not just two nights after playing 14 innings in Cleveland. It was the Yankees’ fourth extra-inning game in their past 11 games, which is why the relief squad is so weary.

The Yankees added some pitching Friday by recalling Matt Daley from Triple A Scranton and designating Jim Miller for assignment. They also acquired Jeff Francis from Oakland for cash and a player to be named, but the lefthander was not expected to join the team until Saturday. He could be a candidate to start Sunday night in the opening created by Tanaka’s assignment to the DL because of a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.

Francis, 33, is 70-80 with a 4.95 ERA in a career covering 238 appearances (217 starts) with the Rockies, (2004-10, ’12-13), Royals (2011), Reds (2014) and Athletics (2014). This season he is a combined 0-2 with a 5.89 ERA in 10 appearances (one start) with the Reds and A’s. He last pitched July 2 for Oakland in a 9-3 loss at Detroit.

Long ball haunts Nuno at Stadium

Probably a lot that could be written about Vidal Nuno this year would be similar to what pertained to Phil Hughes last year. He may not be suited for Yankee Stadium. There is a big difference, however, and it is not favorable for Nuno. He is left-handed.

Traditionally, the Stadium has favored lefthanders, much more so many years ago when the left-center field fence at the original yard was 467 feet from the plate, much deeper than the 399-foot power alley at the current Stadium.

The Orioles smacked four home runs Saturday in a 6-1 victory over the Yankees with only one of the drives, an opposite-field job by Nelson Cruz, dipping into the right-field porch. The home runs off Nuno by Adam Jones in the first inning and Steve Pearce in the fifth both landed in the left field seats as did J.J. Hardy’s first homer of the year, in the eighth off Jose Ramirez.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi acknowledged that Nuno is “a bit of a fly-ball pitcher,” the same handle once attached to Hughes, who was often victimized by the long ball at the Stadium. Nuno is now filling that role. He has allowed 13 home runs in 39 1/3 innings at the Stadium this year compared to two in 28 innings on the road.

“He made some mistakes,” Girardi said. “Unfortunately, when he is making mistakes, they are hitting them out of the park.”

“I left fastballs up that were supposed to sink,” Nuno said. “I have no regrets about my approach, but they got to my fastball.”

Did the Orioles ever. Baltimore’s home run derby made it another dark day for Nuno, who remained winless in eight starts since May 7 at Anaheim when he earned his only victory of the season. Nuno is 0-4 with a 4.37 ERA since his last victory. His record at the Stadium this year fell to 0-3 with a 7.09 ERA.

Naturally, Girardi had to field questions about Nuno’s place in the rotation. The skipper has not changed his view. Michael Pineda’s snail-paced return from shoulder soreness creates the need for Nuno in the rotation. Pineda still has inflammation in the area and does not appear to be close to returning.

Adam Warren remains an option, but Girardi is comfortable with the righthander in the bullpen. I don’t blame him. If Warren goes into the rotation, who would do what he does in the pen? Nuno? I don’t think so.

The debate is a waste of time because Girardi is not about to make a change.

“It’s not like there are starting pitchers lying around out there,” he said. “This is our rotation and what it will be.”

A home run also accounted for the Yankees’ only scoring. Mark Teixeira clouted his 12th of the season in the fourth inning off eventual winning pitcher Bud Norris. That the Yankees could do no more damage and that Nuno could not keep the ball in the yard put an end to their four-game winning streak.