It looks like the juiced ball will continue in 2020 as the the Yankees out homered the Orioles 5-3 in their 9-5 win over the Orioles, ruining the home opener for the Camden Yards sellout crowd.
The Yankees started off the scoring in the 2nd inning using a hits batsman and couple of single to go ahead 1-0.
In the 3rd though the Yankees opened up a big lead when SS Gleyber Torres, who absolutely torched the Orioles last year, took a 92 MPH John Means fastball deep to left for a 432 ft two-run homer that gave the Yankees a 3-0 lead. A walk to Giancarlo Stanton and a Luke Voit single set the stage for 2B DJ LaMahieu who took Means deep down the left field line for a three-run homer to make it 6-0 Yankees.
In the bottom of the 3rd, Rio Ruiz took a Gerrit Cole changeup down the right field line and into the flag court to put the Orioles on the board and make it 6-1.
In the 4th, The Yankees ended Mean’s outing with a one out double by RF Mike Tauchman over Austin Hays head. Means threw just 78 pitches, but allowed seven runs on seven hits, two walks and a hits batsman while striking out two in his disappointing debut.
“He just wasn’t commanding the baseball like he can,” manager Brandon Hyde concluded.
That brought in Hector Velázquez to make his Orioles debut to face the other-worldly hot Orioles killer Torres. As if last year never ended, Torres promptly hit an opposite field home run to stretch the Yankees lead to 8-1 and give him another multiple home run game against the Orioles.
The 5th brought more Yankee bombs as DH Miguel Andujar hit an absolute bomb to CF for a 458 ft home run off Velázquez to make it 9-1.
In the bottom of the 5th the Orioles begin to scratch away at the Yankees lead when Dwight Smith Jr. took a 97 MPH Cole fastball over the left field fence, plating Pedro Severino to cut the lead to 9-3.
A one out single in the top of the 6th ended Velázquez’s debut and brought on Miguel Castro who struck both batters he faced to keep the Yankees scoreless for the first time since 1st inning.
In the bottom of the 6th, DH Renato Nunez ended Geritt Cole’s Yankees debut with a one out, two-run homer to left to cut the lead to 9-5.
In the 7th, after recording two out, Castro allowed a single and with two lefties coming up, Hyde brought LHP Tanner Scott. After allowing a clean single to Brett Gardner then an infield single in front of Iglesius at SS by Trachman, it loaded the bases for no other than Torres. Scott though was up to the task and struck him out on a nasty 2-2 slider that he foul tipped into Severino’s glove to keep it 9-5.
Hunter Harvey came on to pitch 8th and struck out two of the three batters he faced in a perfect inning of work. In the bottom of the 8th, the Orioles loaded the bases before the Yankees brought in Chad Green to face Chris Davis (Davis went 0-for-4 with 3 Ks on the day) who he quickly struck out. He then got Severino to fly out to CF to end the threat.
In the 9th, Shawn Armstrong came in for an inning of work and allowed a lead off single to Torres. Severino though picked Torres off first base and Armstrong struck out the next two Yankees.
In the 9th, Ruiz chased Green with a two-out single to RF but Zach Britton came on and struck out Austin Hays to finish off the game as the Yankees win 9-5.
Orioles Player of the game: Renato Nunez (2-for-4, HR and two RBI)
Tony’s Take: Obviously not the start of the season Means wanted, but the good news was the Orioles bullpen held the Yankees scoreless after the 5th inning. As for Gleyber Torres, good Lord he kills the Orioles.