To beat one of the best pitchers in the American League, a team needs to play their A-game. Andrew Cashner did his part, but the Orioles let a few too many opportunities slip away in the nightcap against the Yankees. Domingo German held Baltimore to one run over seven innings, and New York took the second leg of the double header 3-1.
Cashner began the game in what can only be described as “the zone.” He struck out DJ LeMahieu, Luke Voit and Aaron Hicks in the first inning, before blowing away Gleyber Torres for the first out in the second. After a four-pitch walk to Kendrys Morales, Clint Frazier lined out to right and Mike Tauchman went down swinging. Cashner casually had five strike outs after only two innings.
Cashner kept Yankee hitters off balance with a tremendous mix. He used his changeup in fastball counts, and was effective with the off speed stuff throughout. The fastball did its part too, with the righty hitting 96 MPH on the gun.
The Texas native kept cruising in the bottom of the third. He got Austin Romine to ground out to short, and struck out Thairo Estrada with a sweeping curve ball for his sixth strikeout of the evening. On a 1-1 count, LeMahieu bounced a ball back to Cashner that could have ended the inning. Instead, the ball ricocheted off of Cashner’s wrist and LeMahieu reached safely.
Brandon Hyde and the Orioles trainer came out to check on Cashner, who threw one warm up pitch before saying he could continue. Still, the instance clearly broke up his rhythm. Luke Voit crushed the next pitch Cashner threw for a double off the center field wall. Stevie Wilkerson fielded the ball and fired it to the cutoff man, but Hanser Alberto’s throw sailed up the first baseline, and LeMahieu slid in before the tag could be applied.
Meanwhile, German matched Cashner every step of the way. The righty allowed only one hit in the first four innings, a double to Joey Rickard, and appeared to be in complete control.
The Yankees doubled their lead in the top of the fourth inning. Torres blasted a hanging changeup over the centerfield fence to give the Yankees a 2-0 advantage. Torres had quite the day, blasting two home runs in the matinee before taking advantage of one of Cashner’s only mistakes.
The Orioles cut the deficit in half in the top of the fifth. Stevie Wilkerson and Rio Ruiz both blasted hard hit singles to right field to put runners on the corners. Alberto put the ball in the air just deep enough into center field, and Wilkerson scored with ease as the throw went off the mark. Ruiz advanced to second base, but he never advanced. Pedro Severino was called out looking on a pitch clearly off the plate, and Rickard popped out to end the threat.
Baltimore had a few opportunities to even the score after that, but failed to produce the big hit. Jonathan Villar reached on an infield single to start the sixth, but was thrown out attempting to steal with Trey Mancini at the plate.
Baltimore’s best chance came in the top of the seventh. Chris Davis got things started with a single to left, and Ruiz followed with a one-out single of his own. Brett Gardner tracked down an Alberto line drive for the second out, but Severino worked a walk to load the bases. At this point, German was showing clear signs of fatigue, but the Yankees appeared poised to let him finish what he started. Joey Rickard bounced a 2-2 pitch to third base, and German escaped without giving up a run.
The Yankees picked up an insurance run off of Shawn Armstrong in the bottom of the seventh. Voit drove in Estrada with a two-out single to double New York’s advantage. As it turned out, the Yankees didn’t need it. Former Oriole Zach Britton worked a scoreless eighth, before Aroldis Champman picked up his second save of the day. With the win, German moved to 8-1 on the season.
Perhaps the only thing that hurts worse than losing to the Yankees twice in one day, is wasting such a strong start from Cashner. Cashner, who entered the game 4-1, had benefited from some strong run support earlier in the year. It wasn’t there today. After allowing just one run in six innings against Boston his last time out, he tossed six strong again this evening.
Baltimore will head to Cleveland tomorrow for a four game series. The Orioles hope to have better luck on the field and with the weather.