The Yankees’ offense woke up in the 5th inning after a 45-minute rain and hail delay, with a walk, walk, single, double, homer in that order — and the Yankee pen pitched scoreless ball as usual — although there were several PHEW moments — for the 5-2 win. Josh Donaldson — whose nickname is “Bringer of Rain” — fittingly hit the game winning 2-run homer in the 5th, after the rain and hail had ended.
On a Saturday night in Baltimore.
The Yanks moved up to 5-4, tied for first place in the AL East.
1. Top 5 of Yankee Lineup Scores 4 Runs
Baltimore starter Tyler Wells pitched shutout ball through 4 innings, the Orioles were up 2-0, and Yankee Twitter was in mid-season morose mood. But in the 5th, after the 45-minute rain and hail delay, Mike Baumann was brought in. He got the first out but then leadoff batter Aaron Hicks walked to start the rally. Hicks continues to hit well in the early season, leading the Yanks in batting average (.348) and OBP (.464).
Giancarlo Stanton, batting cleanup, doubled in a run to tie the game 2-2 — but Rizzo was thrown out at home.
Then came Josh Donaldson, batting 5th, launching a 403-foot homer to right center for a 4-2 lead.
Hail? How 'bout rain. pic.twitter.com/4HqsYQgq49
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) April 17, 2022
Just like that, the top of the Yankee lineup — 1 thru 5 — had put 4 runs on the board (and it could have been 5).
2. PHEW in the 5th
Glove it, Gleyby. pic.twitter.com/n1NwVMh8zA
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) April 16, 2022
Taillon allowed a 2-run homer to Cedric Mullins in the 3rd to make it 2-0 Baltimore.
When Taillon came out to the mound for the 5th, staked to a 4-2 lead after the 45 minute rain delay, he seemed done. He allowed two Deep fly ball outs to the warning track, in between a single and a walk. Manager Aaron Boone yanked him after the walk with 2 outs and 2 on.
“I definitely haven’t come into many situations like that,” said Sears afterwards. “But I just attacked it the same way I do — try to attack the strike zone, get guys out how I can, use 3 pitches for strikes, and just try to command the zone — that was my intent.”
3. Small Ball Insurance
The Yankees aggressive small-ball activists Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Jose Trevino were at the heart of a 5th run in the 6th off Baltimore reliever Baltimore reliever Paul Fry. Kiner-Falefa led off with a single and Trevino doubled him to 3rd. Hicks hit a hard grounder to shortstop and the play was to home where Kiner-Falefa was out but Trevino moved to 3rd — like the sacrifice of a pawn on a chess board.
Trevino then scored on a wild pitch by Fry.
4. PHEW in the 6th
JP Sears allowed 2 singles in between 2 outs in the 6th, and was relieved by Michael King, who walked Austin Hays on 4 pitches to load the bases. But after a first-pitch ball, he struck out Jorge Mateo on 3 pitches — all of them wicked curveballs — for another PHEW moment.
5. PHEW in the 8th
King pitched a 1-2-3 7th but allowed 2 singles in between 2 outs in the 8th — sense a pattern with Yankee relievers here? Clay Holmes came in to get the final out of the 8th — PHEW — and then pitch a shutout, 1-2-3 9th for the old ballgame.
JP Sears got the win — his first win in MLB. “Definitely felt more comfortable tonight,” said Sears afterwards. “It was exciting to get out there and help Taillon out in the 5th, and big help from King there in the 6th. It was fun.”