The results of Friday’s doubleheader did not look like the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles were two teams vying for a playoff spot. Instead, it looked similar to numerous games between the teams from last season when the Yankees won 17 of 19 meetings.
After two of their more impressive showings in weeks, the Yankees seek a fourth straight victory Saturday afternoon when they host the Orioles.
The Yankees (24-21) are 8-15 in their last 23 games after outscoring Baltimore 16-1 in Friday’s doubleheader sweep. New York halted a five-game skid by beating the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday, won the opener 6-0 behind Gerrit Cole’s two-hitter and then rolled to a 10-1 victory in the nightcap behind two three-run homers from Luke Voit.
The Yankees hit five homers in the doubleheader and are trying to win four straight since winning six straight from Aug. 11-17 against the Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox, respectively.
“It’s good to get on a winning streak again,” Yankees infielder DJ LeMahieu said. “Everyone seemed to relax a little bit after that win against the Blue Jays. I think we’re going to keep it going.”
Voit’s big night gave him 16 homers and helped the Yankees move within a half-game behind Toronto for second place in the AL East.
“He’s been great,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said of Voit. “What an impact performer he’s been.”
Voit has been particularly effective at Yankee Stadium, where he is batting .341 (28-for-82) with 11 homers and 24 RBIs in 22 games so far.
The Orioles (20-24) won four straight and six of eight to get back into the race but are now 3 1/2 games in back of the Yankees. They dropped their third straight, were held to six hits Friday and their lone run was on D.J. Stewart’s sixth homer.
“It’s big,” Stewart said. “Everyone in that locker room knows the significance of this series. It’s a big opportunity for us and we just didn’t come out and execute today. Tomorrow is another day.”
Stewart has homered in five of his last six games and has four of those homers off the Yankees.
New York received strong showings from Cole and Masahiro Tanaka on Friday and is hoping Jordan Montgomery can reverse some of his recent struggles.
Montgomery (2-2, 5.72 ERA) is 0-1 with a 6.40 ERA in his last four starts since beating Atlanta on Aug. 11. He allowed four runs while getting two outs against the Tampa Bay Rays on Sept. 1 at Yankee Stadium and then allowed two runs while laboring through 3 1/3 innings when the Yankees took a 12-7 loss at Toronto.
The left-hander is 2-1 with a 3.45 ERA in six career starts against Baltimore.
Baltimore is hoping to avoid a repeat of Friday’s second game when Keegan Akin was unable to get through the opening inning in his second start against the Yankees.
Dean Kremer (1-0, 1.50) followed Akin Sunday in Baltimore, when he allowed one run on one hit in six innings in his major league debut. He retired 12 straight hitters and became the fourth pitcher in team history to pitch at least six innings and allow one hit or less in his debut.
“He really acted like he’d been there before,” Baltimore catcher Bryan Holaday said after Kremer’s debut. “You wouldn’t have been able to tell it was his first time out.”
–Field Level Media