Playing the Orioles in Baltimore has made the Yankees look dominant over the last few years, but the 2021 team hasn’t been able to take anything for granted.
Saturday night’s 8-2 win turned back the clock, with Domingo German looking excellent and Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez putting runs on the board.
German turned in six efficient innings, giving up a run on four hits and 80 pitches. Bizarrely, he struck out exactly six batters — for the fifth straight game. He did walk two batters, ending a perhaps even stranger streak with precisely six whiffs and one walk over four straight starts.
After an ugly first start back from a lengthy domestic violence suspension, German has become a critical piece in the Yankees’ rotation, giving up eight earned runs in his last 30 1/3 innings. He’s lowered his ERA to 3.62.
Maybe even more encouraging for the Yankees (22-17) is that their big boys in the middle of the lineup are producing. Judge homered again Saturday night after hitting two on Friday.
Luke Voit had two hits after an 0-for-10 start to the season this week after his 2021 debut was delayed by knee surgery. And even the much-maligned Sanchez got in on the action with a two-run single in the first-inning. Sanchez was robbed of a homer in the ninth by Orioles defensive sub Ryan McKenna, who perfectly timed a jump at the left-field fence to keep Sanchez in the park.
Judge, Voit, and Sanchez knocked in two runs each; the other two runs were gifts from the Orioles. DJ LeMahieu scrambled home on a first-inning passed ball and Brett Gardner scored on a bases-loaded balk in the sixth.
Orioles starter Jorge Lopez labored through two innings, requiring 71 pitches and leaving Baltimore in a 5-0 hole.
It was the second straight win for the Yankees, who are heating up. They’ve won six out of seven and 10 out of 13. Saturday night’s win clinches their fifth straight series win and second straight on this road trip.
The Yankees had 13 hits, with every starter getting at least one except for Clint Frazier, who is off to a brutal start. Tyler Wade (three hits) and Miguel Andujar (one) each doubled their season totals on Saturday night.
Frazier was 0 for 3 Saturday and is now batting .141 with two hits in his last 22 at-bats.
Judge’s two-run blast in the second inning was his 11th of the year, giving him a share of the American League lead. Almost unbelievably, it’s more homers than he had in each of the last two years. He hit 10 in last year’s pandemic-shortened season and nine while missing most of the 2019 season with injuries.
After German, the Orioles (16-23) mostly couldn’t touch the Yankees’ relievers, either. Lucas Luetge and Justin Wilson spun one scoreless inning each before Luis Cessa gave up one run in the ninth.