The New York Yankees finish up the season with a boatload of home games and it looks as if they intend on making the most of the favorable stretch. The Yankees will try to bolster their playoff chances and further dampen those of the Baltimore Orioles when the teams continue a four-game series at Yankee Stadium on Friday.
Behind two three-run homers by Aaron Judge and another solid start by Masahiro Tanaka, New York steamrolled to a 13-5 victory in the series opener, which kicked off a closing run in which it plays 13 of its last 16 in the Bronx. Judge, who set a current Yankee Stadium record with his 27th blast at home, is batting .472 with 11 home runs and 24 RBIs in 16 games against the Orioles. The Yankees have won five of six, continue to hold down the top spot in the American League wild-card race and remain three games behind first-place Boston in the AL East. Baltimore is 1-7 in its last eight games and sits 5 1/2 games behind Minnesota for the second wild-card.
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, MASN (Baltimore), WPIX (New York)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Orioles RH Gabriel Ynoa (1-1, 4.19 ERA) vs. Yankees RH Luis Severino (12-6, 2.96)
Ynoa made his first start for the Orioles on Saturday at Cleveland, allowing three runs and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings to get tagged with the loss. He recorded two scoreless innings in relief against the Yankees five days earlier. The 24-year-old, who has a 3.94 ERA in four career starts, owns a 7.53 mark in seven games (two starts) on the road.
Severino appears to be getting stronger as the year wears on and limited Texas to a run and just one hit in seven innings Saturday. He struck out 10 batters and has fanned at least eight in five consecutive outings to give him 211 on the season, good for fourth in the AL. The 23-year-old is 3-1 with a 3.55 ERA in his career against Baltimore, although Manny Machado has three homers and one double in 14 career at-bats against Severino.
1. Yankees 3B Todd Frazier also went deep Thursday and has four home runs and 11 RBIs in his last 10 games.
2. Tanaka had eight strikeouts and New York pitchers had 10 total in the win, giving the staff a club single-season club record of 1,401.
3. Orioles C Welington Castillo (groin) returned from a two-game layoff Thursday and went 0-for-3.
PREDICTION: Yankees 8, Orioles 1