Bombers' Bats Power Yankees Past Baltimore

Max Goodman

It took two pitches for the Yankees to pick up where they left off last season against the Orioles. Then the Bombers' bats didn't look back.

From a DJ LeMahieu leadoff homer in the top of the first to insurance runs in the ninth, New York had the lead all night long, taking down Baltimore, 9-3.

The victory at Camden Yards extends New York's winning streak against the Orioles to 17 in a row, dating back to last April. That's only five wins away from setting a new franchise record.

The virtual fans hadn't even filed to their seats yet when New York jumped in front with one swing of the bat. On the second pitch of the game, DJ LeMahieu clanked a fastball from right-hander Asher Wojciechowski off the right-field foul pole to give the Bombers a 1-0 lead. 

"Been feeling really good and just kind of had a good swing my first AB and just kept the rolling," LeMahieu said.

The second baseman wound up a triple shy of the cycle, going 4-for-5 with an RBI single later on in the sixth inning. It's just his third game back after missing the vast majority of Yankees' Summer Camp with a case of the coronavirus.

"A lot of good at bats from him. Good to see," manager Aaron Boone said. "He obviously sets the tone with the homer and then keeps piling on."

After adding a second run in the top of the first on a Mike Ford sacrifice fly, New York tacked on two more big flies.

In the third inning, Aaron Judge mashed his first long ball of the regular season — a moonshot that flew for 6.6 seconds according to Statcast. Three batters later, Aaron Hicks launched a no-doubt, two-run homer to straightaway right.

From there, it was smooth sailing for New York's high-octane offense. Judge tacked on his second RBI of the night one batter after LeMahieu's run-scoring base hit in the sixth. Then in the ninth, Giancarlo Stanton stayed hot with a sharp RBI single of his own. A wild pitch bringing home Judge was the final tally of the night. 

With Gerrit Cole on the mound, however, an early lead was more than enough to seal the deal. While Cole surrendered three total runs on the evening — two coming on a home run in the seventh inning — Judge felt the one run in the top of the first was all the Yankees needed with their ace on the bump.

"Getting that one run lead, especially when you've got Cole pitching, that's all you need is one run," he said.

Three homers and nine runs scored sets the tone for another dominant season against the lowly Orioles for the Bronx Bombers. Last year, New York hit a grand total of 61 home runs (across 19 games) against Baltimore — that set a Major League record for most long balls hit against a single opponent in a single season.

In a 60-game campaign this summer, accomplishing a similar statistical feat is just a bit unlikely. That said, the Yankees can continue to build on records they've already broken. 

Wednesday night's win extended the Bombers' win streak at Camden Yards to 15 straight games (dating back to July 11, 2018). That's the longest such streak in franchise history as well.

New York will take on the Orioles one more time on Thursday — with veteran left-hander J.A. Happ on the hill — before traveling back to the Bronx for a three-game set with the Boston Red Sox.

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For more from Max Goodman, follow him on Twitter @MaxTGoodman. Follow ITP on Twitter @SI_Yankees and Facebook @SIYankees

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