NEW YORK - Jonathan Schoop didn’t look like a No. 9 hitter in his first at-bat tonight against Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka.
With two runners on base, Schoop homered into the second deck in left field to give the Orioles a 3-0 lead.
Matt Wieters singled to start the inning and Steve Lombardozzi singled with one out. Ryan Flaherty grounded into a 3-6 force, and Schoop crushed a Tanaka slider for his second career home run. Pulverized it.
The bottom part of the order really has come to life.
Wieters has hit safely in all eight games that he’s played this season. His streak grew to nine games dating back to last season.
Miguel Gonzalez threw 11 pitches in the first inning, getting a double play and groundout after Brett Gardner’s leadoff single, but he surrendered solo home runs to Carlos Beltran and Kelly Johnson in the second to reduce the Orioles’ lead to 3-2.
Gonzalez threw 20 pitches in the second.
Beltran never had faced Gonzalez before tonight. Johnson is 4-for-10 against him.
An early exit by Gonzalez could force Bud Norris into the game in long relief, altering the rotation for the Toronto series that begins Friday night at Camden Yards.
I expected a much larger crowd for Tanaka’s debut at Yankee Stadium. Lots of empty seats.
Update: The Yankees tied the game 3-3 in the fourth on Beltran’s double, a fly ball that advanced him to third and Alfonso Soriano’s grounder.
Gonzalez has thrown 58 pitches in four innings, including 37 for strikes.
Delmon Young has two more hits tonight while batting second in the order. He had three hits yesterday.