It was an inconspicuous start to the game — inconspicuous in a good way. The Yankees were set down 1-2-3 in the first on 10 pitches from Andrew Cashner. Brett Gardner, a constant thorn in the Orioles’ side, was contained in his first at-bat on a fly ball to left and both Aaron Judge and Aaron Hicks were retired on ground balls.
Cashner put down the side in order again in the second, this time on two strikeouts and a groundout. The first six Yankees were retired in a row.
Jonathan Schoop was on a tear at the plate coming into the game. He had gone 14-for-32 the last seven days. To lead off the second inning, he hit a line drive home run that hit just over the top of the wall in left field — or did it? Upon further review, the umpires determined that the ball never left the park and that it hit off the top of the wall before coming back into play. The hit was ruled a double and Schoop was placed at second. He wound up stranded at third when the inning ended.
In the third, Cashner struck out the first two batters on 95 mph fastballs, showcasing his ability to reach back for a couple extra mph to finish hitters off. After another ground ball out, it was nine up, nine down. Cashner was dealing, but at the same time, the Orioles couldn’t get anything going on offense against Masahiro Tanaka besides a hit here and there.
The scoreless streak ended the very next inning, in the bottom of the fourth. Tanaka allowed his first walk, to Mancini, which was preceded by a Chris Davis single through the shift. Rickard came up big with two outs and two on with a ground ball double past a diving Miguel Andujar at third. 2-0, Orioles.
Then Caleb Joseph was safe at first on a routine ground ball when Andujar made a throwing error to first that pulled Greg Bird into the baseline, where Joseph’s shoulder knocked the ball from his glove. Through all this, Rickard stayed still at second. After that, Tim Beckham walked to load the bases on a borderline pitch up.
With two outs, Adam Jones had a chance to break things wide open. He came into the game with a .407 lifetime batting average against Tanaka. After pulling three balls foul, he swung and missed an 85 mph slider low and away to end the rally.
Didi Gregorius got the first hit of the game for the Yankees in the fifth with a single to left field, after Cashner had retired the first 13 batters in a row. Rickard almost made a spectacular diving catch in foul ground in right, but his wrist got bent up under him and the ball came loose. Andujar walked on the next pitch and then, on a 2-2 count, Greg Bird deposited a 96 mph fastball onto the flag court for a three-run home run. 3-2, Yankees.
Not to be outdone, Machado yanked a solo home run to left on the first pitch he saw in the bottom half of the inning, tying the game at 3-3. Tanaka left one batter later, after a line out by Trumbo. The right-hander’s final pitching line was six hits, three runs, two walks, five strikeouts and one home run on 80 pitches (53 strikes) over 4.1 innings. The Yankees bullpen would be relied upon to work the last 4.2 innings of the game.
Cashner came out for the seventh with his pitch count at 89. He would try to pitch through the seventh inning for only the second time this year. He went seven scoreless innings against the Toronto Blue Jays on April 10, his third start of the season. But it wasn’t meant to be this time.
Gregorius hit a double on a sinking line drive to center that Jones dove for and missed. But Rickard was right where he needed to be, backing up Jones, and Gregorius was held at second. Andujar followed with a single to left and Cashner was removed from the game in favor of Miguel Castro with runners on the corners.
The Yankees would retake the lead on a sacrifice fly to center field by Bird. 4-3, Yankees. It was Bird’s fourth RBI of the game. After Austin Romine walked, Neil Walker tacked on another run with a single through the shift and into right field. 5-3, Yankees.
In the end, Cashner allowed five runs over 6.1 innings. That included the two inherited runners that Castro allowed to score. Cashner threw a total of 96 pitches (64 strikes), including five hits, one walk, seven strikeouts and one home run. His ERA went from 4.39 at the start of the game to 4.56 by the time he exited. He has now gone 10 home starts in 2018 without a win.
Machado struck again in the bottom of the seventh, launching a two-run homer that hit the roof of the grounds crew area on top of the right field wall and bounced back onto the field of play. The ball was initially ruled in play, but after a quick review, it was ruled a home run. The game was tied again, 5-5.
The Orioles pulled out some late game magic against Dellin Betances to win this one. Caleb Joseph started off the ninth by getting hit by a pitch. After Beckham hit a sharp liner to second for the first out, Jones doubled to right and Machado was intentionally walked.
Mark Trumbo struck out with the bases loaded, which was his third strikeout to cap off an 0-for-5 night. Then Schoop was the hero, coming to the plate with two outs and lashing a single past Bird at first to drive home the winning run. The O’s won in grand fashion on the walk-off and they have now won two of the first three games in this series against the Yankees.
Brett Gardner, Oriole killer, ended the game 0-for-4. Manny Machado finished the game 3-for-4 with two home runs, two runs, three RBI and one walk. His triple slash line for the season now stands at .314/.385/.574. Jonathan Schoop was 2-for-5 with the game winning RBI, raising his average to .227. Adam Jones also had a multi-hit performance, going 2-for-5 with a run and a strikeout.
Baltimore will look to keep this momentum going in the series finale tomorrow at 7:05 PM. The Orioles’ Dylan Bundy (6-8, 4.08 ERA) will oppose the Yankees’ Sonny Gray (5-7, 5.85 ERA).
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