In Thursday night’s game against the Detroit Tigers, the New York Yankees scored more runs in the seventh inning than they did during the entire three game series in Toronto vs. the Blue Jays. Their 5-4 victory halted a three game slide but by no means is this team on an uptick. The Tigers themselves are not very good. The Yanks, with a record of 25-28 now find themselves trekking down to Camden Yards to face the slugging Baltimore Orioles.
The O’s, with a mark of 30-22 just came off a bruising four game series with the first place Boston Red Sox. The two teams split in Baltimore with Boston winning the first two and the Orioles taking the second pair by scoring a total of 25 runs. In the finale on Thursday, the O’s cracked seven home runs. Of course, it didn’t help that their pitching staff surrendered a total 29 runs during the series. The biggest surprise for the Birds has been the play of Mark Trumbo whose 17 home runs is tied with two other players for tops in baseball. He also leads the club in RBI’s with 42 and most stunning of all is that he is hitting .288. Manny Machado has been outstanding, hitting .318 with an on-base percentage of .386 and 39 runs scored. The stud third baseman also has 14 home runs and 34 RBI’s. Baltimore has one of the better offenses in the game, this despite the fact that All-Star center fielder Adam Jones is hitting only .242 with an OBP under .300.
On the mound, Chris Tillman has been the unquestioned ace with a 7-1 record and a 2.92 ERA in 11 starts. The Yankees will be facing him in Friday night’s opener and will counter with Nathan Eovaldi. On Saturday, the O’s call on right-hander Tyler Wilson, who started the season in the bullpen. He is 2-4 with a 3.83 ERA and will oppose Ivan Nova, who struggled in his previous outing. The finale has Kevin Gausman, winless in eight starts facing the resurgent C.C. Sabathia. Gausman has pitched better than his record indicates, with nearly a strikeout an inning and opponents hitting only .235 off him.
The Orioles’ bullpen is the strength of their staff led by closer Zach Britton. He is perfect in 15 save opportunities and opposing batters are hitting only .132 off him. Almost as impressive is setup man Brad Brach who is 5-0 with an ERA of 0.91. His WHIP (Walks plus Hits per Innings Pitched) is .91. Right-hander Mychal Givens has followed up an impressive rookie campaign with a 2.16 ERA and 36 strikeouts in only 25 innings pitched. Control can be an issue for him as he has surrendered 12 walks. Darren O’Day a key cog over the years has struggled at times, posting a 3.15 ERA, allowing 18 hits and nine walks across 20 innings.
Friday’s contest is scheduled to begin at 7:05 PM with Saturday’s tilt scheduled for 7:15 PM. Sunday’s game begins at 1:35 PM after which the Kansas City Royals come into Baltimore. The Yankees come home for a series against the Los Angeles Angels.
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