Sunday, September 4, 2016

Yanks Avoid Sweep, Outlast O's 5-2

In what manager Joe Girardi referred to in the pregame as "the most important game of the year", the Yankees delivered with a game three victory over the Baltimore Orioles in the final game of the weekend series. Michael Pineda started for New York and got himself in and out of trouble all day long. although not pitching deep enough to qualify for a decision. Acquired from the Seattle Mariners in a deal at the deadline, Wade Miley and his subpar 2016 continued as the lefty got knocked around early and often, falling to 8-12 with his loss on a beautiful Sunday afternoon at Camden Yards.

The Yankees jumped on Miley early as they finally put some runs on the scoreboard in this series. Miley started the game by walking the first two hitters he faced, Brett Gardner and Rob Refsnyder. After getting back to back strikeouts of Gary Sanchez and Starlin Castro, Chase Headley muscled a fly ball into left field for a single that scored Gardner to put the Yankees up by one. Miley then hurled a wild pitch into the dirt that got passed the catcher during Austin Romine's at bat, advancing both Refsnyder and Headley up to second and third. The Miley miscue proved costly as Romine lined a single through the left side of the infield that scored both runners to give the Bombers a first inning three run lead.

The Yanks scored another run against Miley in the top of the third as the left-hander's starting woes continued this afternoon. Refsnyder reached base for the second time with a sharp single to left, advancing to second on a Gary Sanchez walk. After Starlin Castro grounded into a double play that advanced Refsnyder to third, Chase Headley hit a slow ground ball to third base and beat out the throw for an infield single, scoring Refsnyder to widen the Yankee lead to four.

After holding the O's scoreless through the first three frames, Pineda found himself in some trouble in the bottom of the fourth. Mark Trumbo began the fourth with a leadoff walk, advancing to third on a solid single by Chris Davis. Steve Pearce then grounded into a fielder's choice, scoring Trumbo from third to make it a 4-1 ballgame. But Big Mike wiggled out of danger as he got J.J. Hardy to ground out to short to end the threat.

Pineda's struggles continued in the bottom of the fifth as he was taken out of the ballgame. Adam Jones led off the inning with a single, scoring from first when the next batter Pedro Alvarez lined a double to left to pull the Birds back to within two. Girardi then pulled Pineda for Luis Severino, who promptly struck out the Yankee-killer Manny Machado and walked the MLB homerun leader Mark Trumbo. After a one-out walk to Chris Davis that loaded the bases, Severino struck out Pearce and got Matt Wieters to ground out to second to end the frame, preserving the Yankees lead as they headed into the sixth.

A combination of Severino, Layne, Warren, Clippard and Betances tossed three shutout innings of one-hit ball, with the one hit being an eighth inning single by Chris Davis literally off Tyler Clippard, a line drive that glanced off of the righty that allowed Davis to reach.

After the Yanks added an insurance run on a Gardner sac fly in the top of the ninth, Betances absolutely dominated by retiring the Orioles in order in the bottom of the ninth, striking out two in route to their win in the final game of the series by a score of 5-2.

The Yanks get to with in 3.5 games of the second Wild Card spot as they head home, preparing to welcome in the AL East leading Toronto Blue Jays for a crucial three-game set. Tomorrow's Labor Day afternoon affair is set to begin at 1:05 PM/EST.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)