The Yanks (73-39) won their sixth game in a row, beating the Orioles 9-6 in a slugfest on Monday night to open up a nine-game lead over Tampa Bay in the AL East.
Austin Romine got it started with a second inning HR, his 5th of the season, to put the Yanks up 1-0.
The Orioles tied it in the third, and had a runner thrown out at the plate (Brett Gardner to Didi Gregorius to Romine) or else they would have taken the lead. They also could have taken the lead in the fourth on a double steal attempt, but Didi’s throw back home to Romine nailed the runner at the plate. So Didi’s arm saved Masahiro Tanaka two runs. Tanaka’s luck would not hold up.
The Yanks got three in the fifth to go up 4-1. Gardner singled, and with one out, the red-hot Mike Tauchman singled Gardner to third. Breyvic Valera tripled in two runs. The 20th hit of Valera’s MLB career was only his 2nd extra base hit—-both triples. D.J. LeMahieu grounded into a fielder’s choice. D.J. was safe at first, and Valera scored when the throw to the plate was bad for an error.
The Yanks make it 6-1 in the sixth on homers by Gardner (16) and Tauchman (8). Tauchman wasn’t finished.
Tanaka fell apart in the sixth. Double, HR made it 6-3. Single, Double and you hardly had time to get the bullpen up. SF makes it 6-4. Out goes Tanaka, in comes Tommy Kahnle. Strikeout. But then Kahnle gave up a two-run HR that tied the game before getting the last out of the inning. 6-6.
Tanaka’s recent efforts are worrisome.
The Yanks won it in the eighth. With one out, Mike Ford hit his 2nd HR of the season to make it 7-6. Gardner singled, then after an out, Tauchman hit his second HR of the game (9) to give the Yanks insurance with a 9-6 lead, which held up as the final score.
Ford solo HR (2)
Gardner 3 hits, solo HR (16)
Romine solo HR (5)
Tauchman 3 hits, 3 RBI, 2 HR (9)
Valera 2 RBI
With all the injuries, a lineup featuring Ford, Romine, Tauchman and Valera seems like a spring training lineup, but they got it done. Next man up.
The Yanks set a record for most HR ever in a season by a team in a visiting park. And they aren’t done yet.
Tanaka 5 1/3 IP, 5 R, 10 H, 2 W, 4 K. 4.93 Gave up 1 HR
Kahnle (BS, 3) 2/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.72 Gave up 1 HR.
Ottavino (W, 5-3, 1.47) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 1.47
Britton (H, 23) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K. 2.30
Chapman (S, 30) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 3 K. 2.62
The Yanks will use the “opener” tonight as Jonathan Holder is scheduled to get that role.
Gary Sanchez is scheduled for a couple of rehab games Wednesday and Thursday for SWB, then to join the Yankees this weekend in Toronto. He was slumping badly before going on the IL, maybe the stint gets him right.