A recap of Wednesday’s rubber game between the Yankees and Orioles is followed by notes highlighting the set’s first two contests.
The Baltimore Orioles scored a pair of ninth inning runs against RHP Shawn Kelley before holding off a Yankees’ rally in the bottom of the frame for a 5-4 win.
Kelley (0-1; 4.15 ERA) was ineffective on Wednesday. The Orioles (4-5) greeted him with four straight hits, including a single by RF Nick Markakis, which gave the visitors a 4-3 lead. DH Delmon Young’s ensuing sacrifice fly afforded Baltimore breathing room.
The Yankees (4-5) scored a run against RHP Tommy Hunter in the bottom of the frame, but 3B Yangervis Solarte banged into a 6-4-3 double play to end the game. Previously, LF Alfonso Soriano doubled, 1B Kelly Johnson singled, and 2B Brian Roberts hit a sacrifice fly to score Soriano.
New York wasted a solid effort from RHP Masahiro Tanaka, who showed poise in his Yankee Stadium debut. Tanaka recovered nicely after 3B Jonathan Schoop’s three-run homerun in the second inning gave the Orioles a 3-0 lead. Though his pitch count was an elevated 58 through three frames, Tanaka found a groove and struck out 10 over seven innings. He became the first Yankee pitcher since RHP Walter Beall in 1924 to record 10 strikeouts within his first two Major League appearances; Beall accomplished this feat while throwing seven innings in relief against the Philadelphia Athletics on September 6, 1924.
The Yankees used both homeruns and small ball to recover from the 3-0 hole. RF Carlos Beltran and Johnson each hit solo homeruns against RHP Miguel Gonzalez in the bottom of the second to cut the deficit to 3-2. Then, after Beltran commenced the fourth inning with a double, C Brian McCann advanced him to third with a long fly out, and Soriano earned the tying RBI on a groundout to shortstop. Beltran, who entered the game with only five hits in 27 at bats (.185) in 2014, was 3-3 with an intentional walk on Wednesday.
LHP Brian Matusz secured a couple of huge outs with the game still tied, 3-3, in the eighth inning. Entering with a runner at third base and only one out, Matusz (1-0; 9.00 ERA) induced a foul out from DH Jacoby Ellsbury and a fly out from McCann to escape trouble unscathed. McCann was hitless in four at bats on the night; he’s batting just .152 (5-33) on the year.
Notes: The Yankees called up RHP Shane Greene from AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre prior to the game; C Austin Romine was sent down.
Monday: Yankees 4 Orioles 2
1. The win was the 15th for the Yankees in their last 17 home openers dating back to 1998. New York, which dropped its 2013 home opener to the Boston Red Sox, hasn’t lost consecutive Bronx debuts since 1982-1983.
2. RHP Hiroki Kuroda seemed to have more command of his splitter and slider than he did in his first start at Houston. Kuroda (1-1; 2.92 ERA) scattered eight hits and two runs over 6.1 innings. He struck out four and walked nobody.
3. Many of the Yankees’ new additions contributed offensively; Ellsbury, Solarte and Johnson each picked up an RBI.
4. In what was likely his final home opener, SS Derek Jeter managed one hit in four at bats; the veteran shortstop launched a double off the top of the left field wall and scored a run in the fifth inning. Previously, Jeter brought home Solarte from third base by hitting into a 1-6-3 double play in the third inning.
5. RHP David Phelps, who had surrendered four runs, including three homers, over 3.1 IP entering Monday, secured what was arguably the biggest out of the game in the seventh inning. Upon entering with the tying runs in scoring position and two away, Phelps induced a comebacker from Schoop to escape trouble.
6. Kelley pitched a perfect ninth inning to earn his first career save. It was revealed after the game that RHP David Robertson, the team’s closer, would be placed on the 15-day disabled list because of a grade-one groin strain. LHP Cesar Cabral was subsequently recalled from the minors to take Robertson’s place on the 25-man roster.
7. Baltimore’s base running was suspect on the afternoon. Thinking a fly out by 2B Steve Lombardozzi had landed in the gap, DH Nelson Cruz was doubled off first base to end the second inning, and Schoop was picked off second base by McCann for the last out of the fifth.
Conversely, CF Adam Jones successfully positioned a run for the visitors when he tagged and advanced to second base on 1B Chris Davis’ long fly out in the fourth; the ensuing batter, C Matt Wieters, singled Jones home to even the score, 1-1.
Tuesday: Orioles 14 Yankees 5
1. The 14 runs were the most scored against the Yankees since June 29, 2012, when the Chicago White Sox also scored 14 runs in a 14-7 win at Yankee Stadium.
Baltimore’s 20 hits were the most in any game against New York since the Toronto Blue Jays also collected 20 knocks in a 16-7 win at Rogers Center on July 14, 2011.
2. RHP Ivan Nova, who worked around five walks to win his season debut at Houston, pounded the strike zone in this affair. He walked nobody, and he fired an impressive 47 strikes over 63 pitches.
Unfortunately for the Yankees, Nova (1-1; 8.68 ERA) had no command of his pitches on Tuesday. The Orioles slapped around his elevated sinkers and curveballs for 10 hits and seven runs in 3.2 innings. This ineffectiveness ran counter to Nova’s general performance against the Orioles last season (2-0; 2.43 ERA; 2 complete games).
3. After throwing a scoreless fifth inning, LHP Vidal Nuno imploded in the sixth. Baltimore tattooed the southpaw for four hits and as many runs in the frame to extend its lead to 11-4. Nuno (3.1 IP; 8 H; 7 ER; 2 BB; 2 K; 2 HR) was forced to remain in the game, and he surrendered three more runs in the eighth as the Orioles went up 14-4.
4. Soriano launched the Bombers’ first homerun at Yankee Stadium this season. The fourth inning dinger against LHP Wei-Yin Chen (5 IP; 9 hits; 4 ER; 3 K) brought the home team to within 7-2 and commenced a three-run rally. Kelly Johnson then homered in the eighth inning to close scoring.
5. Normally New York’s backup catcher, Francisco Cervelli made his first career start and appearance at first base. Cervelli had previously made four appearances at third base and two appearances at second base.
6. Solarte’s sixth inning double was his sixth two-bagger of the season, the most in all of baseball at the time.
The Yankees will stay home to battle the Boston Red Sox in a four-game series through Sunday. RHP Michael Pineda (0-1, 1.50 ERA) is scheduled to start Thursday’s series opener against RHP Clay Buchholz (0-0, 12.46 ERA).Published 10 Apr 2014, 08:27 IST