NEW YORK - Manny Machado isn’t going to stop playing shortstop beyond this season and he won’t stop hitting in this series.
Machado’s two-out, two-run double off Yankees starter Sonny Gray in the top of the third inning tied the score 2-2. He reached base six times last night with two home runs, two singles and two walks.
It must be the hair.
Pedro Álvarez, whose grand slam last night in the 14th inning gave the Orioles a 7-3 lead, drew a leadoff walk against Gray. Trey Mancini singled with two outs and Machado lined his double down the left field line.
The Orioles were determined to pick up the pace today after last night’s 5 hour, 20 minute test of endurance, fortitude and knowledge of the rule book.
They worked Gray for a total of 11 pitches in two innings while he retired the side in order. All of them strikes, including Chris Davis’ bunt against the shift that Gray ran down and turned into an out.
The allure of the dugout heaters is most powerful with temperatures in the low 40s.
Gray’s pitch count is up to 33 after the third inning rally.
Chris Tillman escaped a jam in the first inning while the Yankees were in a more aggressive mode at the plate, but they scored twice in the second to take a 2-0 lead.
Brett Gardner doubled on the first pitch and took third base on Aaron Judge’s fly ball to deep right field on Tillman’s second pitch of the day. Giancarlo Stanton walked to put runners on the corners, but Didi Gregorius struck out on a high 90 mph fastball and Tyler Austin grounded out.
Miguel Andújar led off the second inning with a single but was caught in a rundown between second and third with one out on Austin Romine’s comebacker. The umpires got this one right on the 1-5-6 putout. Ronald Torreyes doubled and Gardner delivered a two-run single on a sharp ground ball off Davis’ glove.
Gardner, too, got into a rundown and was out 9-6-3-4. It’s almost as if the teams are taunting Jerry Meals’ crew.
Tillman threw 35 pitches in two innings, but needed only 11 in a scoreless third.
The Orioles will take a win in any fashion, of course, but they’d also like to avoid taxing their bullpen again with another 14-inning marathon.
“It was weird,” said Kevin Gausman, who worked five-plus innings last night and was out of the game longer than he was in it.
“(Dylan) Bundy came to me after midnight and was like, ‘How’d you feel yesterday.’ It was even crazier. He was like, ‘You know, you’ve got a bullpen tomorrow.’ That was kind of weird to think of.
“Yeah, it’s crazy. There are guys who might get in the game later today, pitching on the same day in two different games. But Pedro (Álvarez) came up huge right there. We had plenty of chances, so it was good to get that win. Obviously, a tough environment on Friday might against a good team, so it was a big win.”
Gausman offered his support long after he was replaced by Richard Bleier.
“I was out there in the eighth inning watching,” he said. “Just try to support those guys out there. When it gets to that point, it’s just about who can kind of stay engaged longer.”
But enough about the Kardashians ...
Gausman was charged with two runs and five hits and barely anyone remembered him in a game that featured so many strange plays and controversies. The media usually interviews the starter afterward, but both sides agreed to table it until this morning.
“It was good. Definitely something to build on,” he said of his outing, not the decision to wait.
“More than anything, I just thought it was really impressed how the bullpen came in and kind of shut the door, you know? Came in early in the game. Obviously, I wish I would have gone at least one more inning, but it’s early in the season. I think Buck (Showalter) is trying to protect us a little bit, so that’s always good. But it was a wild game.
“It had everything that you could think of. Umpire mess ups, a robbed home run, a pitcher blocking home plate. It was great and obviously a big win for us.”
Gausman wasn’t as fastball-heavy last night. He met with catcher Caleb Joseph and they decided to change up their approach, so to speak.
“I just had a really good feel for my off-speed pitches,” he said. “I kind of knew they would be a little wound up. I think every team I face, the book is out on me. Guys know I’m going throw fastballs and usually I’m going to throw a high percentage, and so me and Caleb talked before the game. We knew there were certain guys we were going to have to kind of slow down before we could speed them up. I thought we did a really good job mixing pitches and making quality pitches in big situations.”
Gausman also has been throwing his two-seam fastball more regularly in the early going.
“I know lot of people were talking about velocity stuff,” Showalter said. “He was talking to Roger (McDowell) yesterday about being a little more two-seam conscious. I was looking up his velocities last year and this year, the average velocity. There’s a difference. I’m hoping that’s what it is.”
Update: Tim Beckham singled with two outs in the fourth and scored the go-ahead run on Álvarez’s double. All three runs and four hits have come with two outs.
Update II: A single, walk, wild pitch and ground out enabled the Yankees to tie the score 3-3 in the fifth. Aaron Judge gets the RBI, though Machado made a tremendous backhanded stop and throw across his body to record the out.
Update III: Tillman allowed five runs and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings, with four walks, three strikeouts and two wild pitches. He threw 106 pitches, 58 for strikes, and the Orioles are down 5-3 in the seventh.
Austin Romine chased Tillman with an RBI bloop single down the right field line, the ball popping out of Davis’ glove as he tried to make the catch with his back to the infield.
Update IV: Jimmy Yacabonis allowed three runs in the seventh and the Orioles trail 8-3. Austin had a two-run single after Judge’s RBI double.