Game Three: Yanks 12 Orioles 3
NEW YORK — It would be a stretch to suggest that the Yankees were concerned about their recent skid, which they generally treated as an annoyance. They believed the lineup was due to break out in major fashion; it just seemed to be a matter of when.
That moment arrived with Robinson Cano’s grand slam to highlight a seven-run third inning, blowing Wednesday’s action wide open. The Yankees coasted behind a 15-hit barrage of Orioles pitching, posting a 12-3 victory and snapping their four-game losing streak.
“We don’t like losing around here,” Nick Swisher said. “This isn’t the type of team that deals with losing very well. That’s not our style. We feel like we’re a winning group of guys. Four games in a row? Joke’s over. Enough is enough.”
Derek Jeter had three hits and collected three RBIs for the Yankees, who won for just the fourth time in 13 games. Phil Hughes (11-8) pitched six innings of one-run ball for the victory as the Yankees restored their lead in the American League East to 6 1/2 games over Baltimore.
“Every game means a lot,” Cano said. “We’re now in the second half of the season, when one game means two games. You don’t have too much time, and you just want to keep the lead so that when September comes, you don’t have to wait for somebody to lose.”
The third-inning barrage was marked most by Cano’s ninth career grand slam — and second of the season — a moonshot to right off Baltimore reliever Kevin Gregg. Jeter also ripped a two-run double in the inning, part of a three-hit performance from The Captain.
New York peppered starter Zach Britton (1-1) for seven runs in 2 2/3 innings. Curtis Granderson hit his team-leading 29th homer and Andruw Jones provided a first-inning sacrifice fly to produce a quick lead, while Jeter and Swisher ripped run-scoring singles off Britton in the second.
“They started out with 11 runs in the first three innings, and it was tough to come back,” Baltimore’s Adam Jones said. “We put up  hits, we just didn’t get hits with men in scoring position, but we swung the bats fine. We got the series. We’re happy about that. We aren’t content, but we’re happy about it.”
Britton permitted three of the five batters he faced in the third inning to reach base, and Gregg was unable to close the inning, permitting two hits, a walk and Cano’s grand slam — the Yankees’ Major League-leading eighth of the year — before finally escaping…..Read More
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Game Two: Orioles 11 Yanks 5
NEW YORK — The Orioles stood pat at Tuesday’s non-waiver Trade Deadline, and despite being close to making one or two deals, executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said he was confident in the current club and the organization’s internal solutions.
A few hours later, a gutsy Orioles club lent credence to the theory that perhaps all it needs is what’s already here, a close-knit clubhouse that believes it can win every game. That moxie was on full display in front of 42,821 at Yankee Stadium as the Orioles stormed back from a five-run deficit in the first inning to clinch a series victory with an 11-5 win over the Yankees.
The win pulled the second-place O’s within 5 1/2 games of the American League East-leading Yankees and marked their fourth consecutive win in the Bronx, where Baltimore hadn’t won four games in one season since 2007. It was also the third in a row for the Orioles (55-49) after a tough series loss to the A’s, keeping Baltimore two games back in the AL Wild Card race.
But these O’s maintain that their mindset, with just under 60 regular-season games to go, is on winning the division. And Monday’s win was another step in the right direction.
“Is there another one to have?” manager Buck Showalter said of his club’s mentality following a win in which it scored 11 unanswered runs. “That’s why we get up in the morning, to try to win your division. It’s going to be hard. They’re extremely good. There are other teams trying to do the same thing, so we’ve got our work cut out for us. But we’ve had a couple good tests here and responded well.”
Orioles starter Chris Tillman’s gusto was tested early as the 24-year-old got knocked around in the first inning, yielding five runs– including three before recording the first out — in a 36-pitch frame. But Tillman — who has been sick for days and on a “Z-Pak” antibiotic — found a way to keep himself from being knocked out early. Crediting catcher Matt Wieters, who recognized from the outset that Tillman was firing less than his “A-game,” the pair switched to a steady diet of offspeed pitches, keeping the Yankees off balance and Tillman in the game for another four scoreless innings……Read More
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Game One: Orioles 5 Yanks 4
NEW YORK — Every game is important now, but for the Baltimore Orioles — in unfamiliar territory with a late-July meaningful divisional matchup — Monday’s win was particularly sweet.
Coming off a series loss to the Oakland A’s, a plucky O’s team — that has rebounded from several rough stretches already this season — continued to fight, hanging on for a 5-4 win over the American League East-leading Yankees to kick off a six-game road trip. The victory puts the second-place Orioles 6 1/2 games back for the division and two games back, tied with the Detroit Tigers, in the Wild Card standings.
“We know where we stand and we know who we’re up against,” said right fielder Nick Markakis, who agreed that Monday’s win was “absolutely” a big one for the Orioles.
“We won that last game at home, and to come in here and take one to start off the series is definitely big. We’re starting off on the right foot, and now we just need to come in tomorrow and duplicate it.”
The Orioles, who have had a woefully inconsistent starting rotation, would sign up for another outing like the one they got from Miguel Gonzalez on Monday. Coming off his worst outing this season, Gonzalez was impressive over 6 2/3 innings, and held the Yankees’ top five batters to 1-for-15 with seven K’s en route to a career-high eight strikeouts.
“I thought he was outstanding,” manager Buck Showalter said of Gonzalez, who improved to 3-0 with a 2.93 ERA in three road starts. “We talked a little bit [on Sunday] about attacking them and just being aggressive. You fiddle around with the strike zone, you’re going to have some problems, but he showed [catcher Matt Wieters] that he had command of some other pitches that he could slow them down a little bit, and they couldn’t sit on one pitch.”
Added Yankees manager Joe Girardi: “I think the kid did a nice job of mixing in his offspeed when he was behind in the count, expanding [the strike zone] when he was ahead in the count, [and] using his fastball on both sides of the plate.”
While Gonzalez — who has established more confidence in his changeup with each successive outing — was working on slowing down the Yankees, the Orioles’ offense continued to show signs of getting back on track. After scoring more than four runs in three of their first 13 games after the All-Star break, the O’s have scored more than four in four of their last five, with Monday’s output including a pair of key two-out seventh-inning scores.
In that frame, Markakis doubled in No. 9 batter Omar Quintanilla for his second RBI of the night, and shortstop J.J. Hardy scored Markakis with a single off reliever David Phelps to give the Orioles a three-run lead……Read More
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