One of the most one sided divisional rivalries in Baseball is entering a different phase, as the Baltimore Orioles picked up another win over the New York Yankees, this time 5-3 thanks to big home runs from Jonathan Schoop and Adam Jones, improving their situation on top of the AL East.
The Orioles completed a two game sweep over the Yankees, now holding an eight game lead over them in the division (the Blue Jays are second with 7.5 games behind the Orioles). The Yankees have now lost four consecutive games, and are 3-8 this season when playing against the Orioles. From 2010 through the 2013 season, the Orioles posted only a 38.4% winning ratio against the Yankees, but things are obviously different now.
Things started out quite well for the Yankees in this game as Francisco Cervelli hit a two-run homer, his second home run of the season. Michael Pineda seemed to be doing a good job until getting in something of a jam, as a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning allowed Nelson Cruz to get a run and put the Orioles within one score. Things started falling apart only after Pineda left, when Dellin Betances came on.
It was his fourth blown lead of the season, giving up a game-tying home run to Jonathan Schoop, the first of his career. Shawn Kelley came on as relief, and he gave up the three-run homer to Adam Jones, bringing in Nick Markakis and Chris Davis, starting for the injured Manny Machado, with him. It was Jones’ first go-ahead home run in over a year, and his 12th career go-ahead in the 8th inning or later, all coming since he joined the Orioles.
Injuries are an excuse, but not enough of it. The Yankees seem simply inferior to other teams making a run for the playoffs, be it in their division or for the Wild Card spot. They were once again held to abysmal hitting numbers, finishing with only 6-for-32, as both Derek Jeter and Jacoby Elsbury finished with 0-for-8 at the plate. Chris Tillman was solid throughout his 7-inning start except for the home run he gave up, allowing five hits while striking out three batters.
The win went to Darren O’Day who avoided complications during his relief inning, while Zach Britton got his 25th save of the season despite giving up a run through a ground ball by Chase Headley in the ninth inning.