In the end, the Yankees leave Baltimore just as they entered: In first place in the AL East, one game up on the Orioles. The Bronx Bombers earned a series split against the Orioles with Sunday’s 13-3 drubbing of birds.
O’s fans had something to feel good about as their squad took the field against the Yankees. The Orioles had their hottest pitcher on the mound in Zach Britton. The Yankees countered with the on-and-off Freddy Garcia. Neither would last very long in this one, though.
Britton gave up one in the first, then appeared to settle in. He set the side down in order in the second and third innings, but in the fourth, Britton imploded. He walked four in the inning, and gave up three hits, and only retired one. The Yankees scored four in the inning, all of which were charged to Britton. It could’ve been far worse, too, but Jake Arrieta came on in relief with the bases loaded and one out, and struck out both Nick Swisher and Alex Rodriguez.
Down 5-0, the Orioles actually made a game of it in their half of the fourth. Nate McLouth, the Orioles’ leadoff hitter in this one, drew a walk to start the inning. Garcia then hit JJ Hardy with an 0-2 pitch. Wilson Betemit raked a double to right center, scoring McLouth and Hardy for a 5-2 Yankees lead. Matt Wieters’ single to right one out later scored Betemit, making it 5-3. Yankees manager Joe Girardi displayed a quick hook, and replaced Garcia with Joba Chamberlain. The husky right hander struck out both Mark Reynolds and Chris Davis, ending the threat. The Orioles would pick up just one more hit on the day.
Meanwhile, the Yankees just rocked the Orioles bullpen. Arrieta finished with three runs given up in three innings. Zach Phillips coughed up a run on two hits in two-thirds of an inning. Kevin Gregg was torched: Four runs on three hits and two walks.
Curtis Granderson, who didn’t even start for New York, paced the Yankees offense, going 3/3 with a pinch-hit home run, a double, and five RBIs.
The O’s get a rare off day at home Monday. Beginning Tuesday night, the third place Tampa Bay Rays come to Camden Yards. Matt Moore (10-9, 3.66) goes for the Rays. The Orioles will send Miguel Gonzalez (6-4, 3.62) to the bump. Game time is 7:05.
- Tommy Hunter was the only effective pitcher of the game for the Orioles: 1IP, 1H, 2K. His fastball was clocked as high as 97. Hunter is a guy, looking forward, who may very well find a long relief role in his future. He has a unique knack of cruising through 3-4 innings, then getting hit hard. So, why not just make 3-4 innings in relief his role?
- Nate McLouth, filling in in the leadoff spot goes 0/2, but with 2 walks, a stolen base, and a run. The Orioles will need similar production out of that spot the rest of the way.
- O’s pitching gave up 14 hits, 2 home runs, and 8 walks.
- The Yankees with RISP: 7/15.
- The Yankees bullpen has been a weak spot all year, but Sunday’s numbers against the Orioles looked like this: 5.2IP, 0R, 1H, 9K, 1BB. And that’s against the likes of Chamberlain (8.71 ERA coming in), Boone Logan (3.78 ERA before play), Cory Wade (6.17), and Derek Lowe (5.50).