BALTIMORE: Over the course of two defining games, the New York Yankees showed why they are atop the AL East and the last-place Baltimore Orioles learned they’re not even close to making up the difference.
One night after hitting five home runs, the Yankees went one better Tuesday against the Orioles’ beleaguered pitching staff, knocking six long balls in a 9-4 victory that extended their winning streak at Camden Yards to 14.
Mike Tauchman and DJ LeMahieu went back-to-back in the third inning and Brett Gardner and Cameron Maybin did the same in the ninth. Didi Gregorius also connected, and Austin Romine contributed a solo shot and a two-run double.
“We’re really executing our plans, grinding out good at-bats,” Tauchman said. “I think it’s definitely a snow ball rolling down the hill effect. The results are showing for themselves.”
New York’s seventh straight victory was marred by the third-inning departure of second baseman Gleyber Torres with what the team described as “core pain.” Torres visited a hospital for a core issue on Sunday but played Monday as the designated hitter.
In this one, he played second base and went 0 for 2.
“He’s going back to New York for more tests,” manager Aaron Boone said. “Hopefully I have more information for you guys (Wednesday).”
The teams play at Camden Yards for the final time Wednesday in what figures to be another mismatch between the well-stocked Yankees and the rebuilding Orioles, who have lost 11 straight to their division rivals.
“It just shows you how long we have to go to be a competitive team in the American League East, to have the pitching to be able to compete,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “Their guys are just way better than our guys.”
The Yankees have hit 38 home runs at Camden Yards, extending their major league single-season record for most by a visiting team in one ballpark. And their 14 straight wins at Baltimore mark their longest victory streak at an opponent’s stadium.
“Some big blows from some guys to center field and opposite field that really get your attention,” Boone said.
After the start of the game was delayed by rain for 1 hour, 12 minutes, New York’s inevitable return to the launching pad remained stalled until the third inning. Tauchman got things going with his third home run in two games , LeMahieu followed with a shot to center on an 0-2 pitch from Asher Wojciechowski (2-5) and Gregorius capped the surge with a blast that landed on Eutaw Street beyond the right-field wall.
It was 5-2 in the fourth when Tauchman robbed Pedro Severino of a home run by reaching over the 7-foot wall in left field and snaring the ball while at the high point of his jump.
A two-run homer by Anthony Santander in the fifth was the second of four straight Baltimore hits and got the Orioles to 5-4.
But Romine led off the sixth with a drive to center off Tayler Scott, and the Yankees pulled away against a pitching staff that has now yielded a whopping 229 home runs.
“This is a results business. If you’re going to pitch here, you’ve got to be able to keep the ball in the ballpark,” Hyde said. “Our numbers don’t lie. We just have a long way to go. I don’t know what else to say. It’s hard to watch.”
Nestor Cortes Jr. (5-0) pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings and Adam Ottavino got the final six outs for his first save.