Ubaldo Jimenez pulled off a nice escape act tonight in the top of the first inning, loading the bases with no outs and returning to the dugout with the game scoreless.
Brett Gardner and Chase Headley singled, Alex Rodriguez walked with the count full and the Yankees were poised for a big inning. They didn’t get it. Mark Teixeira popped up, Brian McCann struck out and Carlos Beltran flied to right field on Jimenez’s 27th pitch.
The Orioles have gotten pretty good at escaping these bases-loaded, no-out jams.
Teixeira is 3-for-22 lifetime against Jimenez. Beltran is 6-for-16 with two home runs.
Yankees right-hander Michael Pineda didn’t issue a walk and struck out 25 batters in his first two starts against the Orioles this season. So, naturally, he walked leadoff hitter Manny Machado tonight and it led to a run.
Jimmy Paredes singled, Machado raced to third on Adam Jones’ fly ball and Chris Davis singled to right field for his 34th RBI this season. J.J. Hardy struck out, making him 6-for-12 with three home runs lifetime against Pineda, and Travis Snider grounded out on the 21st pitch of the inning.
As you know, Pineda struck out nine Orioles in his first start against them this season and 16 in his next outing. He walked seven and struck out 76 in 11 starts before tonight.
“It’s not just that he’s tall, he’s got good stuff,” said manager Buck Showalter. “It’s a cutter more than it is a fastball. He’s got great command. There’s a lot of things working for him.
“I know they were on pace for him to throw 200-something innings, which would be too much, so they backed him off. He hasn’t pitched since the 1st, which should help him, too. But it’s the angle. When you’re swinging a bat this way (level) and the ball’s coming here (downward) ...
“There’s exceptions to the rule with pitcher’s heights. You’ve got to be able to do other things. Like Sonny Gray can do other things. But he’s got great stuff. He’s got a lot of ways to get you out. He’s throwing a few more changeups. I think he gets bored and throws a few more of those in there.”
Most of today’s pregame conversation with Showalter centered on Kevin Gausman’s next start and speculation over his return to the major league roster.
Gausman will work two innings Tuesday at Single-A Frederick, his third start on his injury rehab assignment. He gave up four runs last night in 3 1/3 innings at Double-A Bowie.
“He had a very mature answer last night when they asked about the heat,” Showalter said. “He pitched about three innings and it was so sticky hot. He said, ‘It’s hot for Chris (Tillman) in Baltimore tonight, too.’ That’s a pretty mature statement.”
If I had to guess, I’d say Gausman will be on the active roster next weekend in Toronto. It wouldn’t surprise me if he gets a start against the Blue Jays, but we’ll see.
Asked about Gausman returning in a bullpen role, Showalter replied, “I didn’t say that, you did. Lots of moving parts after an off-day.”
Showalter said the club will have a better read on second baseman Jonathan Schoop within the next four or five days. They’re encouraged by his progress, but unsure whether he will begin an injury rehab assignment at Double-A Bowie next weekend or just work out.
Schoop will fly to Baltimore on Sunday after his morning workout in Sarasota.
The club is deciding where to send reliever Wesley Wright on his injury rehab assignment.
“He’s got 30 days. Hopefully, it won’t take that long,” Showalter said.
Showalter doesn’t have any immediate plans to use Matt Wieters at first base, but he won’t completely dismiss the possibility.
“You’ll see him out there taking some balls,” Showalter said. “I have no doubt he would be a good first baseman. I know his target’s going to be good.
“He’s going to give J.J. a sign before he throws it across the diamond.”
Update: Rodriguez singled in the third inning to score Brett Gardner, who was hit by a pitch, and tie the game 1-1.
Rodriguez has 2,993 career hits and 1,999 RBIs.
Update II: Adam Jones delivered an RBI single in the third after Machado reached on Headley’s two-base error and Paredes reached on an infield single, and Davis followed with a three-run homer.
Orioles 5, Yankees 1
Davis has four RBIs tonight and 37 on the season to go with 13 home runs.
Jimenez has thrown 63 pitches in three innings.
Update III: Jimenez surrendered a two-run homer to Mason Williams, making his major league debut tonight, to cut the lead to 5-3 in the fourth inning.
Williams struck out in his first at-bat.
Update IV: Jimmy Pardes collected his third hit of the night, an RBI single in the bottom of the fourth.
Orioles 6, Yankees 3
Caleb Joseph doubled and Machado singled before Paredes produced his seventh game this season with three or more hits. Machado has reached base three times tonight.
Pineda allowed five earned runs (six total) and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings, his shortest start of the season. He walked two, struck out two and allowed a home run.
Jimenez gave up three runs and six hits in five-plus innings, with two walks, six strikeouts and a home run. T.J. McFarland replaced him in the sixth and left the bases loaded.
Update V: Caleb Joseph led off the bottom of the sixth inning with his fifth home run.
Orioles 7, Yankees 3
The Orioles are 27-3 when Joseph has an RBI in his career.
Now it’s 8-3 after Machado singled, Paredes reached on Mark Teixeira’s throwing error and Esmil Rogers uncorked a wild pitch.
Teixeira hadn’t committed an error in 109 games, the longest streak of his career.
Now it’s 9-3 after Hardy’s RBI double in the sixth.
Now the Orioles finally are done scoring in the sixth.
Update VI: The Orioles defeat the Yankees 11-3 to reach .500 for the first time since May 5.
Every starter had at least one hit tonight, and the Orioles ran their winning streak to five games. They’ve won seven of their last eight.
Showalter ties Hank Bauer for third place on the all-time win list among Orioles managers with 407.