Yankees continue dominance of Orioles
NEW YORK — The New York Yankees aren’t going to go too in-depth about why they play so well against the Baltimore Orioles, especially at Yankee Stadium.
They’re just glad it’s occurring this time of the year.
Didi Gregorius, Greg Bird and Todd Frazier homered as the Yankees clinched their 25th straight winning season with a 9-3 victory over the Orioles on Saturday.
The Yankees (82-66) went a season-high 16 games over .500 by beating the Orioles for the 12th time in 18 meetings and eighth time in nine encounters in New York.
“They’re a really good team,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “They’ve been a really good team. They’ve been a playoff team, and offensively they’ve been extremely dangerous.
“They’ve had a strong back of the bullpen. This year we’ve played better against them and we’ve been able to contain their offense a little bit more. To be able to do what we did the last few days, our pitchers have done a really good job.”
New York increased its run total against Baltimore to 150, setting the major league record for the most runs scored by any team against an opponent since 1961. The previous mark was 146 set by the 2002 Arizona Diamondbacks against the Colorado Rockies.
Gregorius and Bird hit three-run homers off Jeremy Hellickson (2-5) in the third and fourth innings while Frazier slugged a long two-run homer off Donnie Hart in the seventh.
Jacoby Ellsbury contributed three hits, including an RBI single in the fifth off Chris Tillman.
Those hits gave the Yankees a sixth straight home game with at least eight runs against the Orioles. It is their longest streak at home in the last century against any opponent.
More importantly than records or statistics, the offense allowed the Yankees to mostly coast to their 12th win in 16 games since getting swept by the Cleveland Indians in New York Aug. 28-30.
Jordan Montgomery (8-7) didn’t allow a runner to reach second base and held Baltimore to four hits in six scoreless innings.
“It’s easy but you don’t want to take your foot off the gas too much with the Orioles,” Montgomery said. They can really swing it so you give them a chance to get back in the game they’re gonna take it. ... You kind of got to keep your foot on the pedal.”
The Yankees used four relievers and had closer Aroldis Chapman warming up when Giovanny Gallegos struck out Anthony Santander after balking in a run.
While the Yankees were enjoying their latest romp over the Orioles, Baltimore had little answers for another lopsided game in New York. The Orioles set a franchise record for runs allowed to an opponent since moving from St. Louis following the 1953 season.
“There’s a look of things you can look into,” Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. “We’ve made a lot of really bad pitches that should end up in bleachers and we walk the people before they hit them. It’s just a bad combination. You go back through it after every game like we do, there’s a lot of bad pitches being made, some stuff that isn’t up to what they’re capable of taking out there.”
Added shortstop J.J. Hardy: “No idea. I’m aware of it. I think we all are but I don’t know what the answer is.”
Baltimore’s latest ugly showing in New York dropped it to 1-9 in its last 10 games since Manny Machado blasted a game-winning homer off Dellin Betances on Sept. 5.
Rookie Austin Hays recorded his first hit and first homer with a two-run shot in the ninth off Chasen Shreve.
Hellickson felt some back tightness in the third and allowed six runs on four hits in three-plus innings. He was chased after Bird homered about halfway up the second deck in right field to give New York a 6-0 lead in the fourth.
Before Bird hit his fifth homer, Gregorius slugged his 23rd, sending a 1-0 pitch into the right field seats. Ellsbury made it 7-0 with a single to left and Frazier made it 9-0 by hitting a 1-0 pitch over the center field seats.
NOTES: The Yankees altered their rotation, announcing RHP Sonny Gray will start Sunday and LHP CC Sabathia will start Tuesday against Minnesota instead of Gray. New York RHP Adam Warren (back spasms) threw off flat ground before the game and said he hopes to return by the end of the season. Warren was placed on the disabled list last week. ... The Orioles will purchase the contract of LHP Tanner Scott from Double-A Bowie and add him to the active roster Sunday. ... The 2007 New York Giants, who knocked off the unbeaten New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, were honored in a pregame ceremony celebrating the 10th anniversary. ... New York recalled IF Miguel Andujar and RHP Jonathan Holder from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.