BALTIMORE -- Starlin Castro hit a game-tying homer in the bottom of the ninth inning and Matt Holliday won it with a walk-off three-run blast in the 10th as the Yankees erased an eight-run deficit and grabbed a share of first place in the American League East, coming all the way back for a wild 14-11 slugfest victory over the Orioles on Friday night at Yankee Stadium.
Brad Brach blew the save in a three-run ninth and Holliday clubbed the game-winning drive into the Yanks' bullpen off Jayson Aquino, the final blows delivered after Aaron Judge homered twice off Kevin Gausman -- one measured as the hardest-hit homer in the Statcast™ era, at 119.4 mph -- and the first grand slam of Jacoby Ellsbury's career, a seventh-inning shot off Vidal Nuno that marked Ellsbury's 100th career home run.
Machado's blast was the longest homer recorded so far this season, according to Statcast™, and the longest at Yankee Stadium in the Statcast™ era (since 2015). The All-Star third baseman, who doubled in a pair of runs in his third-inning at-bat, sent Sabathia's 2-2 four-seamer screaming into deep center field, with an exit velocity of 113.9 mph.
NEW YORK -- Orioles starter Chris Tillman rejoined the O's on Friday in New York, but the right-hander isn't sure yet whether he'll make another rehab start or pitch Tuesday's game in Boston.
"I don't think there's anything to lose anywhere we go," said Tillman, who pitched for Class A Advanced Frederick on Thursday. "There is a process to it, and I think we've hit all the steps on the money. I think we've definitely seen it progress, and it's a good thing. Sometimes you get lost in it and you're not really seeing the progression of where it's going, but I've definitely seen where this is going, and it's heading in the right direction. Wherever it may be Tuesday, it's all a part of it."
NEW YORK -- Orioles closer Zach Britton is slated to return at some point next week, on Sunday at the earliest, as the left-hander made his first rehab outing on Friday night.
Britton, who walked two and gave up a homer in two-thirds of an inning at Double-A Bowie, could be added to the O's roster Sunday, or he could pitch again on rehab that day. Orioles manager Buck Showalter said the club will probably make that decision after seeing how Britton feels on Saturday. The lefty has been on the 10-day disabled list with a left forearm strain and is eligible to come off whenever he is ready.
Bill Ladson has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2002 and does a podcast, Newsmakers. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Big weekend to sort out AL East puzzle
O's visit Yankees, Rays face Blue Jays and Red Sox host defending champs
By Richard Justice
You've got questions about the American League East. Hey, we've got questions about the AL East.
Can the Blue Jays still turn things around? When will the Red Sox begin scoring runs?
The Orioles are pitching, but they're not really hitting. Most importantly, however, these O's are winning. As Baltimore enjoys an off-day before heading to New York and Boston, let's dive into the latest Inbox questions.
How concerned should fans be over this offense?
-- Peter B., Townson, Md.
By Brittany Ghiroli, Bill Chastain and Jeff Seidel
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles kept right on rolling Wednesday night, using a walk-off walk from Seth Smith to win a marathon, 11-inning series finale, 5-4 against the Rays at Camden Yards.
Down a run, Jonathan Schoop tied the game on a sacrifice fly -- his 13th RBI of the year -- to bring up Ryan Flaherty, who drew a walk to load the bases. The next batter, Smith, received four consecutive balls from Danny Farquhar to seal the win.
A young O's fan at Wednesday's Rays-Orioles game had some, um, trouble eating an ice pop in the stands. And honestly, who hasn't? They're dripping red gooey water, they're moving up and down, the bottom always gets wet and falls apart ... why can't we solve these kinds of problems in the year 2017? WHY MUST WE SUFFER SO MUCH?
BALTIMORE -- Kevin Cash made a game-time decision on Tuesday night, pulling scheduled starterErasmo Ramirez with a poor weather forecast looming. The risk paid off, as Tampa Bay's bullpen and a pair of fourth-inning runs were enough to hold off the first-place Orioles and give the Rays the 2-0 series-evening win.
The victory snapped a four-game road losing streak for the Rays, who entered the game with a 1-7 road record that was the worst in the Majors.
Ben Standig is a contributor to MLB.com who covered the Rays on Tuesday.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Means lowers ERA to 1.31
By Mike Rosenbaum
Class A Advanced Florida's offense was shut out on Sunday for the first time this season. That was anything but the case on Tuesday, however, as the Fire Frogs erupted for 10 runs in the first inning before defeating Palm Beach, 22-2. Florida pounded out 18 hits including four home runs in the victory, with each starter collecting at least one hit and scoring one run.
Braves No. 7 prospect Ronald Acuna (No. 96 overall) established season highs with three hits and five RBIs, three of which came on his three-run triple in the first inning. The 19-year-old center fielder later added his second home run of the season, a two-run shot to center field in the eighth inning, to finish 3-for-5 at the plate.
BALTIMORE -- Orioles closer Zach Britton (left forearm strain) played catch and threw off of flat ground prior to Monday's game, and said he "felt good" about the next step in his progression.
The left-hander was slated to see a hand specialist later in the day, and is scheduled to throw a regular bullpen session Wednesday. Britton was placed on the 10-day disabled list April 16, and the club hasn't said whether he will need a rehab outing.
BALTIMORE -- Tensions from Friday night between the Orioles and Red Sox spilled over again in the eighth inning of Sunday's 6-2 Boston win as Orioles third baseman Manny Machado was nearly beaned by reliever Matt Barnes.
"I wasn't expecting anything, no," Machado said of the pitch. "I thought I did a good slide [on Friday]. Everyone knows. Everyone saw the replay on that side. That's on them. Whatever happened today, I'm going to keep doing me."
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Bats quiet as O's drop finale
By Brittany Ghiroli and Ben Standig
BALTIMORE -- Struggling Orioles starter Kevin Gausman was a perfect elixir to a sluggish Boston lineup. The Sox homered three times, including Hanley Ramirez's first of the year, in Sunday afternoon's sweep-avoiding, 6-2 win over Baltimore at Camden Yards.
Boston, which had just two homers total in the previous first five games of its road trip, jumped on Gausman for four runs before he could record an out. Mookie Betts delivered the big three-run blow, with Ramirez following. Mitch Moreland also went deep in the fifth off Gausman, who lasted 5 1/3 innings and saw his season ERA rise to 7.50.
Ben Standig is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Fan asks Davis to prom, gets souvenir instead
By Chris Landers |
O's fan Mia Thomas knew that her favorite team -- and her favorite player, Chris Davis -- had a game the same day as her prom. And yet, she was reminded of the immortal words of Wayne Gretzky (and Michael Scott): "You miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take."
So, while taking in Baltimore's 4-2 win over the Red Sox on Saturday night, Thomas decided to shoot her shot anyway. Thomas recruited some friends, brought a sign and asked the question.
BALTIMORE -- The first-place Orioles continued to feast on Steven Wright's knuckleball on Saturday, with Trey Mancini and Jonathan Schoop hitting back-to-back homers for the second time this month off the Red Sox righty in a 4-2 series-clinching win.
Baltimore, the team with the best record in baseball, improved to 12-4, while Boston lost back-to-back games for just the second time this season.
BALTIMORE -- Jayson Aquino was picked for Saturday's start because of an impressive spring, and as manager Buck Showalter aptly put it, the Orioles needed to see what they had in the young left-hander.
If Saturday is any indication, the O's have another solid starting option. Aquino held Boston to two runs -- both of which came on Jackie Bradley Jr.'s homer -- over six innings in his first career start, picking up the win in the 4-2 victory.
BALTIMORE -- Orioles starter Chris Tillman went 3 2/3 innings in his second rehab start on Saturday night, allowing three runs on five hits with three strikeouts against Double-A Harrisburg.
Tillman was originally slated to pitch for the O's Class A Frederick affiliate, but with ominous weather, the team opted to keep him with Double-A Bowie, where Tillman made his first rehab start. It was a smart move as the Frederick game was rained out.
BALTIMORE -- Coming off one of their best road trips in recent years, the Orioles kept right on rolling Friday night at Camden Yards. Backed by a terrific seven-plus innings from Dylan Bundy, who is looking more and more like the frontline starter Baltimore badly needs, the O's bested Boston, 2-0, to keep a firm hold atop the American League East.
Baltimore, at 11-4, owns baseball's best record and handed Boston just its second loss in seven games. The third-place Red Sox, who also trail the Yankees, had numerous missed opportunities and went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position, including stranding a pair of runners in the eighth.
BALTIMORE -- There were many moments last season that almost screamed for Dylan Bundy to throw his cutter. But that wasn't the plan.
Because no matter how devastating the extra pitch was to Bundy's arsenal, having the right-hander -- who had Tommy John surgery in 2013 -- healthy enough to throw it for an entire big league season was most important. Nights like Friday showed why, as Bundy turned in his fourth consecutive quality outing, tossing seven-plus scoreless innings in the Orioles' 2-0 win over the Red Sox.
BALTIMORE -- Brad Brach converted his third save in as many days in Friday's 2-0 win over the Red Sox, as the right-hander has filled in for lefty closer Zach Britton without missing a beat.
Britton, who had an MRI on his elbow/forearm come back with no issues on Friday, was placed on the disabled list on Sunday and will keep progressing along. As for using Brach for the third consecutive day, which is something he typically avoids, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said:
Pedroia injured in collision with Baltimore 3B, prompting discussion about double-play rule
By Jeff Seidel
Special to MLB.com |
BALTIMORE -- The Red Sox missed on a number of good scoring chances on Friday, a big reason the Orioles handed them a 2-0 loss in the opener of a three-game series. After the game, though, the bigger subject of conversation in the Boston clubhouse was that the team nearly lost second baseman Dustin Pedroia. The play in question was, in fact, a primary topic in both clubhouses.
Pedroia hurt his left leg when Manny Machado slid into him as the second baseman was catching a throw at the bag in the eighth inning. The Red Sox needed to help Pedroia off the field after the play, but he said if he feels OK Saturday, he will try to play.
Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com based in Baltimore. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Mountcastle belts 2 in big performance
By Mike Rosenbaum
No pitcher has been more dominant than Class A Columbia's Merandy Gonzalez to begin the season. That trend continued on Friday night, as the Mets' No. 14 prospect extended his scoreless innings streak to 20 2/3 by tossing seven frames in a win against Lexington.
Gonzalez allowed just three singles and struck out a season-high seven batters en route to his third win in as many starts for the Fireflies. He retired nine consecutive batters at one point before setting down the final seven he faced to finish with 88 pitches (64 strikes).