Results tagged ‘ Camden Yards ’
The awards just keep coming for Gary Sanchez. The Yankees’ catcher, who won American League Player of the Week honors in consecutive weeks last month, was named AL Player of the Month and Rookie of the Month for August after putting up a slash line of .389/.458/.832 with 20 runs, nine doubles, 11 home runs, 21 RBI and 11walks in 24 games and 95 at-bats.
Sanchez is the first Yankees catcher ever to win either award and the first catcher on any club to win each award in the same month. No Yankees player had ever won both awards in the same month, and Sanchez was the first AL player to do so since White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu in July 2014.
“It feels great to win the award, but the reality is that the focus is to keep winning games right now,” Sanchez told reporters through a translator. “We want to keep winning games, and we want to keep winning series. This is a new month now, so that’s what we want to focus on.”
The previous Yankees awards winners were Curtis Granderson as Player of the Month in August 2011 and Robinson Cano as Rookie of the Month in September 2005. Sanchez is the first AL catcher to win Player of the Month since the Twins’ Joe Mauer in May 2009, his AL Most Valuable Player Award-winning season.
Sanchez has reached base safely in each of his past 17 games, which marks the longest on-base streak by a Yankees hitter this season and the longest streak since Chase Headley reached safely in 22 consecutive games from July 23 through Aug. 15 last year. Sanchez entered play Saturday night at Baltimore with a slash line of .426/.521/.967 with 13 runs, six doubles, nine home runs, 15 RBI, 11 walks and one stolen base in his past 16 games and 61 at-bats.
The Yankees hope to follow recent history after having lost the series opener at Camden Yards Friday night. Each of the three previous times the Yankees dropped a series opener, they went on to win the series: Aug. 9-11 at Boston, Aug. 22-24 at Seattle and Aug. 29-31 at Kansas City.
Pitcher Chad Green, who came out of Friday night’s 8-0 loss in the second inning because of elbow soreness, was diagnosed with a sprained right ulnar collateral ligament and a strained flexor tendon. He is likely out for the rest of the season.
Friday night at Yankee Stadium the Yankees began a stretch in which they will play American League East opponents 30 times over the final 36 games of the regular season. A trip to Kansas City next week and an inter-league series at the Stadium next month against the Dodgers are the only games the Yanks have left against clubs outside their division.
The Yankees began play Friday night against the Orioles 5 1/2 games out of first place in the AL East and also 5 1/2 games behind for the second wild card slot. The Red Sox and the Blue Jays were tied for first in the division with the Orioles 1 1/2 games behind. The Yanks’ record against divisional opponents is 19-27 (.413).
Yankees manager Joe Girardi talked before the game about his club’s need to keep winning series to gain ground, but that alone will not get the Yankees back into serious contention for a playoff berth. Joe said that if the Yankees continue to win two out of three games they will gain ground because most of their opponents are those they are trying to catch.
Simple math explains, however, that if a team wins two of three games in a series it gains only one game in the standings. With about six weeks left on the schedule, the Yankees are going to need to pick up that pace.
Take the case of the defending World Series champion Royals, whom the Yanks will play next week. KC got back into the wild-card and AL Central races with a nine-game winning streak. That is the sort of stretch the Yankees will need to make foes tremble. The Yanks have not won more than five games in a row this year and have had only two five-game winning streaks all season.
The Orioles have presented a hurdle for the Yankees recently. The clubs have divided 10 games this season, but the Yankees have sustained five-game losing streaks against Baltimore each of the past three seasons (Sept. 8, 2015-May 3, 2016, July 13-Sept. 12, 2014, May 21-June 30, 2013) after having lost no more than four in a row to the O’s from 1998 through 2012.
The Yanks are 18-26 in the past 44 meetings since June 21, 2014. They are 199-125-2 against Baltimore since the beginning of 1998, their most victories over any opponent in that span (next: 191-134 against the Rays). In 2015, the Yankees were 9-10 against the Orioles (7-3 at the Stadium, 2-7 at Camden Yards. The Yanks won five straight games from June 14-Sept. 7 before losing their final five match-ups beginning Sept. 8.
Between 2015 and 2014 (6-13), the Yankees lost consecutive season series to Baltimore for the first time since dropping three straight from 1980-82. It follows a streak of 16 consecutive non-losing seasons against the Birds from 1998-2013 (14-0-2), which was the longest active such streak for one team over another at the time, according to the Elias Sport Bureau.
Too bad it stopped raining Sunday in Baltimore.
Had the game not been resumed, it would have been a 1-0 victory for the Yankees. The Orioles had runners on first and second with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning when a thunderstorm held up play for 1 hour, 37 minutes. Since the Yankees had scored their run in the third inning and not the top of the eighth, the game would have been considered official and not suspended.
No such luck for the Yankees as the skies cleared. Still, with previously invincible Aroldis Chapman entering the game the odds still favored the Yankees, especially after he struck out Jonathan Schoop for the second out. Francisco Pena, son of Yankees first base coach Tony Pena, kept Baltimore’s hopes alive with a sharp single to right field that loaded the bases.
Chapman got ahead in the count 0-2 to pinch hitter Matt Wieters, who turned a 99-mph fastball around on the next pitch for a single through the middle that scored the tying and go-ahead runs. An insurance run scored when center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury’s throw bounced over catcher Brian McCann with Chapman failing to back up the plate. It was the first blown save for Chapman this season in 10 opportunities.
That run proved inconsequential because Orioles closer Zach Britton retired the Yankees in order in the ninth for his 17th save. The 3-1 loss ended a 4-6 trip for the Yankees and a 12-game stretch against American League East opponents in which they were 4-8.
The bullpen, which had been considered a Yankees strength, had some holes on the trip. The relief squad had a 1-2 record with three saves and a 6.15 ERA in 26 1/3 innings. It was even worse over the final six games — an 8.40 ERA in 15 innings. In the three-game set at Camden Yards, the pen blew late-inning leads of 5-2 and 1-0 in losses and came within one run of blowing a 7-0 lead in the Yanks’ lone victory in the series.
Dellin Betances had a particularly rough ride. In four appearances on the trip, the righthander was 1-2 with a 9.53 ERA. He allowed six earned runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings, and in his one winning decision Thursday night at Detroit in a rain-makeup game he, Andrew Miller and Chapman combined to turn a 5-1 lead into a 5-4 squeaking victory.
Sunday starter CC Sabathia pitched five scoreless innings, but six walks shoved his pitch count to 111 one batter into the sixth, once again forcing manager Joe Girardi to send for reinforcements a little more than halfway through the game. CC twice struck out major-league home run leader Mark Trumbo with the bases full.
Kirby Yates finished the sixth by retiring the side. Betances withstood a leadoff single in the seventh for a clean inning but started the eighth with a walk to Mark Trumbo, who had struck out three times against Sabathia, and giving up a single to Chris Davis before striking out Nolan Reimold before the rains came.
At least the Yankees’ offense woke up in Baltimore. The Yanks had 36 hits in the series, including 10 Sunday but they left 10 on base in going 1-for-11 (.091) with runners in scoring position. Breaking out of slumps during the series were Alex Rodriguez, who had 6-for-13 (.462) with a home run and three RBI, and Brett Gardner, who had 7-for-13 (.538) with two runs, two doubles and a stolen base.
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.
Just when the Yankees’ rotation was beginning to click, a wrench has been thrown into the mix. It came in the form of a strained left groin to CC Sabathia, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list two days after he pitched seven shutout innings at Baltimore’s Camden Yards in one of only two victories the Yankees had in their nine-game trip.
Back at Yankee Stadium Friday night against the Red Sox to start a 10-game homestand, the Yankees had bad news regarding Sabathia, who joins Alex Rodriguez on the DL. The Yankees recalled lefthander Phil Coke from Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Coke, who pitched for the Yankees in 2008 and ’09, will be in the bullpen. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that Ivan Nova will fill in for Sabathia in the rotation.
Sabathia beat out Nova for the fifth starter’s spot in spring training and has a 2-2 record with a 3.81 ERA. Girardi called CC’s outing Wednesday night the best he has seen in the past two years. One of the amazing things about it is that Sabathia felt soreness in his groin in the fourth inning and was able to pitch quality ball through the seventh.
Masahiro Tanaka followed Sabathia’s effort with a gem of his own Thursday night, although the Yankees lost, 1-0, in 10 innings. Tanaka shut out the Orioles for eight innings in lowering his ERA to 2.29.
Matching Tanaka through eight was Orioles starter Kevin Gausman. It marked the major leagues’ first game in which both starters pitched at least eight scoreless innings since Aug. 24, 2015 when the Yankees’ Nathan Eovaldi and the Astros’ Scott Feldman did it in a 1-0 Yankees victory at the Stadium.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the third time in 1,028 games between the Yankees and Orioles (since the team moved to Baltimore from St. Louis in 1954) that neither team scored through nine innings. The others were June 3, 1981 at the Stadium (a 2-0 Yankees victory in 11 innings) and Sept. 12, 2014 at Camden Yards (a 2-1 Orioles victory in 11 innings).
Tanaka’s eight scoreless innings Thursday night was the longest start by a Yankees pitcher this season and the longest since Eovaldi’s game Aug. 24 last year. The last time a Yankees starter went at least eight scoreless innings on the road was exactly a year ago, by Michael Pineda May 5, 2015 at Toronto. Along with Sabathia’s start Wednesday night, Yankees starters have thrown at least seven scoreless innings in consecutive starts for the first time in exactly one year: Chase Whitley threw seven innings May 4, 2015 at Toronto and Pineda’s eight the next day.
After the three-game, weekend series against the Red Sox, the reigning World Series champion Royals come to town for four games followed by the American League Central-leading White Sox for a three-game set.
Alex Rodriguez Replica Bat Day will take place Saturday, May 14. The first 10,000 people in attendance, 14 years of age and younger, will receive a replica bat, courtesy of Bank of America.
Ticket specials will run Monday, May 9 (Military Personnel Game), Tuesday, May 10 (MasterCard $5, Military Personnel and Senior Citizen Game), Wednesday, May 11 (Military Personnel and Student Game), Thursday, May 12 (Military Personnel Game), Saturday, May 14 (Youth Game) and Sunday, May 15 (Youth Game).
For a complete list of ticket specials, including game dates, seating locations, and terms and conditions, fans should visit http://www.yankees.com/ticketspecials. Please note that all ticket specials are subject to availability.
The homestand will also feature the following promotional items and dates:
Saturday, May 7 – Yankees vs. Red Sox, 1:05 p.m.
Sunscreen Day, presented by Blue Lizard, to all in attendance.
Monday, May 9 – Yankees vs. Royals, 7:05 p.m.
Cap Night, presented by the Robin Hood Foundation, to all in attendance.
Tuesday, May 10 – Yankees vs. Royals, 7:05 p.m.
Dunkin’ Donuts Card Night, presented by Dunkin’ Donuts, to first 18,000 in attendance, 21 and older.
Thursday, May 12 – Yankees vs. Royals, 7:05 p.m.
Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center Commemorative Bookmark Night-Free Museum Admission Ticket, presented by the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center, to all in attendance.
Friday, May 13 – Yankees vs. White Sox, 7:05 p.m.
Yankees Reusable Tote Bag Night, presented by MLB Network, to first 40,000 in attendance.
Sunday, May 15 – Yankees vs. White Sox, 1:05 p.m.
MLB Play Ball Weekend-Plastic Bat and Ball Set, to first 10,000 in attendance, 14 and younger.
Tickets may be purchased online at http://www.yankees.com, http://www.yankeesbeisbol.com, at the Yankee Stadium Ticket Office, via Ticketmaster phone at 877-469-9849, Ticketmaster TTY at 800-943-4327 and at all ticket offices located within Yankees Clubhouse Shops. Tickets may also be purchased on Yankees Ticket Exchange at http://www.yankees.com/yte, the only official online resale marketplace for fans to purchase and resell tickets to Yankees games. Fans with questions may call 212-YANKEES [926-5337] or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information on parking and public transportation options to the Stadium, please visit http://www.yankees.com and click on the Yankee Stadium tab at the top of the page.
That was not the old CC Sabathia on the Camden Yards mound for the Yankees Wednesday night but rather the CC Sabathia of old, the stud they counted on to stop long losing streaks. Reaching back into his past, the 6-foot-7 lefthander provided an outing worthy of a true stopper.
With seven shutout innings, Sabathia did his part in making the Yankees’ six-game losing streak history. Mixing his best changeup of the season with sliders, sinkers and cut fastballs and aided by three double plays turned behind him, Sabathia held the Orioles at bay and kept the Yankees in the game long enough to figure a way to get to Orioles starter Tyler Wilson, who matched CC in throwing up zeroes over the first five innings.
The Yanks’ feeble offense of late awakened in the sixth with the help of some needed breaks. Baltimore center fielder Adam Jones’ failure to get the ball out of his glove after a catch of a Carlos Beltran fly ball gave the Yankees a run as Jacoby Ellsbury, who had a perfect night in his 1,000th career game, was able to score from third. Brian McCann got the first of his three RBI with a single, and a throwing error by Wilson on a Starlin Castro squib in front of the plate accounted for another run.
The Yankees turned on the juice by batting around in the eighth against the Baltimore bullpen to produce four runs on a two-run double by McCann, a two-out, RBI single by Didi Gregorius and Brett Gardner getting hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Gardner came out of the game in the ninth and may not play in Thursday night’s finale. Fortunately, X-Rays on Gardner’s right triceps were negative.
The 10-hit attack came on a needed occasion with Alex Rodriguez going on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained right hamstring. Beltran took over as the designated hitter with Adam Hicks starting in right field. Hicks was 0-for-4 and was the only Yankees player who did not get to run around the bases.
Ellsbury was 3-for-3 with two walks and two stolen bases. Gardner singled, scored a run and drove in one. Beltran had a sacrifice fly, a double and scored a run. Mark Teixeira reached base four times with a single and three walks and scored twice. McCann had two hits and three RBI. Gregorius had a hit, a run and an RBI. Even slumping Chase Headley had a single.
The 7-0 victory was the Yankees’ first shutout of the season on the winning side (they have been blanked twice).
The lone hiccup was that of Kirby Yates, who took over in the eighth inning and loaded the bases with one out on a double to Manny Machado and two walks, a cardinal sin for pitchers working with a seven-run lead. Manager Joe Girardi would have preferred to stay away from Dellin Betances or Andrew Miller in this game but had no choice but to bring in Betances, who has had a rough trip but ended the threat with a called strikeout of Chris Davis and getting Mark Trumbo on a foul pop.
Sabathia deserved every bit of run support the Yankees could give him. In his 203rd start for the Yankees, which tied him with Tommy John for 15th place on the all-time franchise list, Sabathia improved his career record against the Orioles to 19-7 with a 3.35 ERA, including 11-6 with a 3.63 ERA at Camden Yards. Much of Sabathia’s success in Baltimore was back in his prime. Since the start of the 2012 season, CC had eight winless starts at Camden Yards before Wednesday night.
Since joining the Yankees in 2009, Sabathia has won all four of his starts with the club trying to stop a losing streak of five or more games. His record on those occasions is 4-0 with an ERA of 0.86 over 31 1/3 innings in which he has allowed 21 hits and six walks with 30 strikeouts.
In his seventh start with the Yankees May 8, 2009 at Baltimore, Sabathia pitched a four-hit shutout — the 11th shutout of his career — to stop a five-game losing streak with a 4-0 victory. He ended a five-game skid May 31, 2013 with a 4-1 victory over the Red Sox, his fifth career game with at least 10 strikeouts and no walks. Two and a half weeks later June 16, 2013 at Anaheim, Sabathia halted another five-game losing streak and took a shutout bid into the ninth inning in an eventual 6-5 victory.
Wednesday night was like old times.
The Yankees have pushed themselves into a corner on this last day of the regular season. Back on Thursday night when they clinched a playoff spot, all seemed right in their world. All they needed to do to make sure that the Wild Card Game to which they were qualified would be at Yankee Stadium Tuesday was to win one of the three remaining games in Baltimore.
So what happened? The magic number for home-field advantage that was cut down to one with Thursday night’s victory is still at one. Losing both ends of the separate-admission doubleheader at Camden Yards while the Astros and the Angels keep winning has brought the Yankees to a do-or-die situation Sunday. If they should lose again and the Astros win, the Yankees will have to travel to Houston Tuesday.
In trying to give some rest for many of his regulars, Yankees manager Joe Girardi went with makeshift lineups Saturday that did not get the job done. All the regulars are in there Sunday behind Michael Pineda for this win-or-else game.
So it took a pretty weird inning Sunday to help the Yankees shake off their three-game losing streak and stop the Orioles’ six-game winning streak.
The Yankees entered the fifth inning at Camden Yards trailing, 3-2, but loaded the bases with none out on three consecutive walks by Baltimore starter Mike Wright. Reliever Brian Matusz took over and walked his first batter, Garrett Jones, to force in the tying run. Matusz recovered momentarily by striking out Stephen Drew and Didi Gregorius.
So there you have it — six batters in the inning to that point and no contact made, yet the Yankees had at least gotten even. John Ryan Murphy finally broke this contact-less string with a double off the glove of third baseman Manny Machado for two runs and a 5-3 lead that would hold up and allow the Yankees to salvage the final game of what had been an ugly series previously.
The Orioles whacked the Yankees for 20 runs and 31 hits over Friday and Saturday nights and were 13-for-31 (.419) with runners in scoring position while the Yanks were a meager 3-for-21 (.143).
In his new role as Yankees closer while Andrew Miller is on the 15-day disabled list with a strained muscle in his left forearm, Dellin Betances made good on his first save situation since his partner’s injury. Betances set down the first two batters in the ninth on ground balls, then after a walk to Machado came back to strike out pinch hitter Matt Wieters for his third save of the season to preserve a much-needed victory.
The Yankees maintain a portion of first place in the American League East and actually have a slight percentage lead over the Rays. Meanwhile, the Blue Jays remained on fire with their 11th straight victory and are just one game out of first. The Yankees’ victory Sunday pushed the also-surging Orioles to three games back. Gradually falling out of the AL East picture are the Red Sox, who were battered by Toronto again and are eight games behind.
The Yankees next head for Miami where Alex Rodriguez’s chase for 3,000 career hits will take a brief detour. With the designated hitter rule not in effect in National League ballparks, Rodriguez would have to play the field — third base or perhaps first base — to get at-bats, but manager Joe Girardi has indicated that he is not inclined to put A-Rod on the field.
Miami is Rodriguez’s home town, so there would have been a special feeling if he could accomplish the feat there. A-Rod needed a big day Sunday to be in position to get No. 3,000 in Miami where he is likely to be used only as a pinch hitter. But he was hitless with one walk in five plate appearances and stands at 2,995 hits, not nearly close enough to get to 3,000 at Miami if he does not play a position in the field.
Girardi also said he might give right fielder Carlos Beltran a rest during the Miami games. Marlins Park has a spacious outfield, and the former Gold Glover does not cover as much ground as he used to, so expect Jones and Chris Young to get outfield playing time in Miami.
Another decision facing Girardi and the Yankees’ brass is what to do next about Ivan Nova. The righthander, 28, made his second injury-rehabilitation start for Triple A Scranton/Wilkes Barre in a 5-1 victory over Rochester Saturday night. Nova allowed one run, five hits and one walk with three strikeouts in six innings. Of his 73 pitches, 50 were strikes.
Nova, who underwent Tommy John surgery to reconstruct his right elbow in April of 2014, could be declared ready to return to the Yankees later in the week. One likely scenario would be a start Friday night at Yankee Stadium against the Tigers in what would be Adam Warren’s spot in the rotation.
Interestingly, Warren was removed from Sunday’s game one out away from qualifying for a winning decision after throwing his 92nd pitch. It may have been Girardi’s way of letting it be known Warren could soon be returning to the bullpen.
The victory went to Chasen Shreve (3-1), who was part of a solid relief ensemble to atone for miserable games by the pen the two prior games at Baltimore. Yankees relievers combined for an 8.22 ERA in allowing 10 runs (seven earned) and 14 hits, including two home runs, in 7 2/3 innings. Oh, and four wild pitches.
Shreve, Justin Wilson and Betances teamed to hold the Orioles hitless Sunday in 4 1/3 innings with two walks and five strikeouts.
The Yankees got a taste of their own recent medicine over the weekend in Baltimore where their post-season hopes grew grimmer after losing three of four games to an Orioles team that has its magic number for clinching the American League East title to three. The Yankees’ last gasping hope for a trip to the playoffs lay in the second wild-card slot, and they are five games back with 14 games to play.
The Yankees started the series at Camden Yards trip on a high from consecutive comeback victories over Tampa Bay at Yankee Stadium in which they obliterated 4-0 deficits. Chris Young, who made huge contributions to both those victories, was in position to be the hero again Friday in the afternoon game of a day/night doubleheader when he homered with two outs in the 11th inning to break a scoreless tie.
Adam Warren, pitching the bottom of the 11th because closer David Robertson had already pitched 1 2/3 innings of relief, couldn’t hold the Orioles down, however, and lost the game on a bases-loaded, two-out double by pinch hitter Jimmy Paredes. The Yankees then got shut out, 5-0, on four hits in the night game, which took away any sense of momentum they had from the Rays series.
Saturday’s 4-3 victory behind Shane Greene and four relievers was a brief reprieve, but the fact that the Yankees had no runs and one hit in the eight innings other than their three-run second that included a home run by Brian McCann and a steal of home by Young was emblematic of the offensive struggles that would continue in the series.
Sunday night’s game resembled the day-game loss Friday in that the Yankees took a one-run lead in the last inning and then gave up two runs in the bottom half for another walk-off loss, their eighth of the season. McCann’s second home run of the series and 20th of the season put the Yanks up, 2-1, in the top of the ninth.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi decided to bring in Robertson for the third straight day instead of staying with Dellin Betances, who had pitched a shutout eighth with two strikeouts. That gave him 130 for the season, tying Mariano Rivera’s 1996 franchise mark for K’s by a relief pitcher.
I do not fault Girardi’s judgment here. Robertson is his closer. The manager has been careful with his relievers all year so they would be strong in September where they are needed most. Robertson’s stuff was up all inning. The Orioles quickly tied the score on successive doubles by Nelson Cruz and Steve Pearce. One out later, Kelly Johnson, of all people, drove in the winner with another double. Johnson batted .219 in 77 games and 201 at-bats for the Yankees this year before he was traded to the Red Sox July 31 for Stephen Drew, who is hitting .135 in 104 at-bats for the Yankees. The Orioles acquired Johnson in an Aug. 30 deal with Boston. Playing for his third AL East team this season, Johnson finally ended up in first place.
The crushing loss obscured a very good outing by Hiroki Kuroda, who gave up one run and six hits with no walks and five strikeouts in seven innings. Once again, Yankees pitching was not the main problem despite the two bullpen leaks.
The Yankees batted .172 and slugged .261 as a team in the series in which they totaled six runs in 38 innings. They were 2-for-20 (.100) with runners in scoring position. Jacoby Ellsbury was 2-for-17, Mark Teixeira 1-for-11, Brett Gardner 1-for-10 and Derek Jeter 0-for-11. The Captain’s slump goes beyond this series; he is hitless in his past 24 at-bats as his average has sunk to .250.
To make matters worse, the Sunday Night Baseball date means the Yankees will arrive in St. Petersburg, Fla., in the wee hours of the morning Monday where that night they open a three-game set against the Rays at Tropicana Field. The playoff outlook is equally as bleary.
The Yankees’ rotation has had an overhaul this season with four-fifths of the Opening Day starting unit gone to the disabled list. The situation has afforded opportunities to some pitchers. Shane Greene is one who has given the Yankees reason to believe they just might get through this crisis.
The Floridian righthander earned his first major-league victory earlier in the week at Cleveland and followed it up Saturday with an even more impressive performance at Baltimore. Greene’s 7 2/3 innings of shutout ball in the Yankees’ 3-0 victory was quite a showing in the hitting paradise that is Camden Yards.
Just as he did last Monday night against the Indians, Greene had his sinker working as few balls hit by the Orioles made their way to the outfield. Other than their four hits, all singles, only two other batted balls by the Birds were outfield flies. Green got 10 outs on infield grounders and another on an infield popup. Oh, yeah, he also totaled nine strikeouts. Nelson Cruz, who entered the game tied for the major league lead in home runs (28) and RBI (74), went down on strikes three times.
This was an outing similar to what we have seen this year from another rookie righthander, Masahiro Tanaka. There will be no suggestion here that Greene is the equivalent of the Japanese phenom, but the Triple A Scranton call-up has proved a worthy substitute trying to work his way into the Yankees’ plans.
Greene did not allow a hit until two outs in the fifth inning. Manny Machado broke up the no-hit bid with a single to left, and Ryan Flaherty followed with a single to center that sent Machado to third base.
The score was 1-0 at that point, so it was a juncture when Greene might have wavered. Instead, he kept the Orioles off the board with a strikeout of Nick Hundley, the same guy whose 10th-inning single Friday night did in the Yankees.
The Orioles threatened again in the sixth when Nick Markakis and Steve Pearce began the inning with well-struck singles. If Greene ever needed a ground ball, this was the time. He got it, too, in the direction of Brian Roberts, who gloved it near second base, got to the bag for the force and made an off-balanced throw to first base for a rally-injuring double play. Greene supplied the killing blow by striking out Cruz.
The Yankees then supported their young pitcher in a way they have not been doing in recent games in which they have often taken early leads but have not tacked on runs later on. Orioles starter Chris Tillman kept pace with Greene for six innings. The Yankees scored a run in the third on a double by Mark Teixeira but lost another run when Derek Jeter was thrown out at the plate.
In the seventh, a pair of two-out hits, a single by Jeter off Tillman and a double by Jacoby Ellsbury off reliever T.J. McFarland, gave the Yanks two key insurance run. Brian McCann’s third hit of the game almost got another run in, but a strong throw to the plate by center fielder Adam Jones nailed Ellsbury.
It was encouraging to see the Yankees put together a sustained attack in the late innings, but as it turned out one run was all Greene needed. After he got the first out of the eighth, Greene was removed for lefthander David Huff, who gave up a single to Nick Markakis. Shawn Kelley got the final two outs of the inning before David Robertson finished it off with a perfect ninth for his 23rd save.
So after two brilliant starts, Greene is 2-0 with a 1.32 ERA and has given the Yankees hope that there may be more good stuff to come.
“He’s stepping up; that’s for sure,” Girardi told reporters. “He’s earning starts is what he’s doing.”