Written by Chris Slade
Today's pitching matchup pitted Wei-Yin Chen against Ivan Nova, who had a pair of dominant outings against the Orioles last September. That wasn't nearly the case today.
The Orioles jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the 1st after Chris Davis sac flied and Adam Jones hit a two-run homer, his first of the season. The Yankees responded with a Carlos Beltran RBI double in the bottom of the 1st.
After tacking on a fourth run in the top of the 2nd via Jonathan Schoop RBI double, the O's really opened things up in the 4th inning. They extended the lead to 7-1 on RBI singles by Davis and Delmon Young, aling with a sac fly by Nick Markakis.
The Yankees responded in the bottom of the 4th an Alfonso Soriano homer, Yangervis Solarte RBI double, and an RBI groundout by Brett Gardner.
The Orioles ran away with the game in the 6th, scoring four runs, highlgihted by a Delmon Young two-run bomb off Yankee lefty Vidal Nuno.
The O's tacked on three more in the 8th inning (because, why not), highlighted by a Matt Wieters two-run tank.
The Yankees scored a garbage run in the 8th off Brian Matusz but the O's ultimately cruised to an encouraging 14-5 victory to even the series in New York.
Wei-Yin Chen looked very hittable for the second consecutive start so he should consider himself lucky that the Ivan Nova from last September didn't show up to the Bronx today. He gutted his way through 5 innings, putting on baserunners each inning. His showed good control by not issuing any walks but his fastball command was poor and hitters had no difficulty sitting on the pitch as it was coming in straight as an arrow. Despite the mediocre outing, Chen picked up the win thanks to the offensive barrage.
Final: 5 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 1 HR, 0 BB, 3 K, Win
Josh Stinson took over in the 6th inning and would go on to pitch 2.1 strong innings of work, allowing just two baserunners while striking out three. The long relief role has suited him well thus far.
Brian Matusz took over with one out in the 8th to face Kelly Johnson and the left-on-left split failed him in this rare instance as Johnson hit a solo bomb off Matusz. He allowed another hit to Gardner before striking out Dean Anna to end the 8th.
Darren O'Day came on to work the 9th and pitched a scoreless inning with a strikeout.
The bats came ready to hit today. Everyone in the lineup recorded at least one hit and everyone except for Ryan Flaherty (who had three hits) had at least one RBI today. Just complete domination from the lineup from top to bottom. Just take a look at the final lines for Ivan Nova and Vidal Nuno...
Nova: 3.2 IP, 10 H, 7 ER, 1 HR, 0 BB, 3 K, Loss
Nuno: 3.1 IP, 8 H, 7 ER, 2 HR, 2 BB, 2 K
Delmon Young got the start at DH and batted 2nd and rewarded Buck's shrewd decision with a 3-for-5 day at the plate including a two run bomb off a hanging inside slider in the 6th inning.
The much maligned 7-8-9 batters in the Orioles lineup picked things up dramatically today as both Ryan Flaherty and Steve Lomardozzi had big 3-for-5 days at the plate while Jonathan Schoop went 2-for-5 with an RBI double in the 2nd.
Adam Jones hit his first home run of the season and finished 2-for-4 on the day with two RBI.
Matt Wieters had the best career number verus Nova coming into the day but was the only Orioles hitter with an 0-fer heading into the 8th inning. That changed with a two-run bomb off Vidal Nuno.
Defensive Highlights/ Lowlights
Strong day defensively for both clubs as we had an error-free ballgame.
Key Moments In The Game
Jumping out to an early lead on Ivan Nova was crucial for the offense as Chen was not on his A game today. Nova was never able to find his rhythm and the Orioles capitalized again with a huge 4th inning.
The four-run 6th inning put an end to the Yankees comeback efforts.
Other Notes/ Musings
As the offensive barrage ensued the only thing I kept thinking about was Nelson Cruz's postgame comments yesterday. He said yesterday, "every game it feels like it's there. Hopefully, tomorrow is the day we bring a bunch of runs like we're supposed to do." Boom goes the dynamite.
Adam Jones is averaging 4.59 pitches per plate appearance which is coincidentally the exact number that Mike Napoli lead the AL with in 2013. If that trend continues, Jonesy could be in for a career year.
JJ Hardy's back spasms have apparently calmed down and he may be back in the lineup tomorrow night.
Tommorow's rubber match pits Miguel Gonzalez (and his strong track record at NYY) up against highly touted Japanese import Masahiro Tanaka. Should be an interesting matchup.
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