BALTIMORE — They waited and waited, and the storm they feared never came. So the Yankees and Orioles began their game on Saturday evening after a non-rain delay of 1:44.
The Yankees have been waiting and waiting for Giancarlo Stanton, too. Every good at-bat leads them to believe the struggling slugger will go on a tear like the one he had for Miami last August, when the eventual National League MVP hit 18 of his 59 homers.
Stanton believes it, too. But even he can’t guarantee that one at-bat, or one swing, is proof that his personal storm is coming.
Still, it was nice for Stanton to have that one swing on Saturday in the Yankees’ 8-5 victory over the Orioles before 32,823 at Camden Yards.
It was the first pitch of a third-inning at-bat against Kevin Gausman. The pitch was outside. Stanton (2-for-4, walk) extended his arms and hit a no-doubt two-out, two-run homer to rightfield.
It was Stanton’s 12th home run and first since May 19. It also was one of 13 hits for the Yankees (seven for extra bases) in their fourth win in a row.
Stanton, who has never been on a team with a winning record, is now on one that is 20 games over .500 (37-17).
“It’s awesome,” he said. “Games like this, where everyone contributes, makes it even better.”
Stanton is batting .248. He’s working hard on his swing, a process he called “not fun.”
“Working, working, working,” he said. “Getting it right. That’s part of it. You keep going till you can’t. That’s what I’m going to do and that’s what I’ve been doing. Anyone can put a good game or two [together]. I need good weeks, good months. But it’s all right. You’ve got to stay positive and it’s a good way to start it.”
Miguel Andujar (2-for-4, three RBIs) also had a two-out, two-run homer for the Yankees, the go-ahead blast in the second after Masahiro Tanaka allowed a homer by Adam Jones (three hits) in the first. Stanton’s homer in the following inning on a pitch that was not a strike gave the Yankees a 4-1 lead.
“You want to hit strikes,” Stanton said. “But if they’re elevated, you’ve got a better chance of getting it off the plate.”
Tanaka (7-2, 4.79 ERA), who has allowed 15 home runs in 67 2⁄3 innings, also gave up solo shots by Joey Rickard in the third and Manny Machado in the sixth but still won for the third straight start. He is 5-0 in his last eight starts. Tanaka was charged with four runs in 5 1⁄3 innings, gave up eight hits, walked one and struck out seven against the American League’s lowest-scoring team.
Didi Gregorius (two hits) and Aaron Hicks (3-for-4, two RBIs) had RBI singles in the sixth as the Yankees extended their lead to 6-2 and knocked out Gausman (3-5, 4.63). One of the runs was unearned as the Orioles made errors on three consecutive plays, one by second baseman Jonathan Schoop and the next two by centerfielder Adam Jones.
Machado’s 18th homer leading off the sixth made it 6-3. One out later, Schoop singled and Tanaka walked Trey Mancini on a 3-and-2 pitch. Manager Aaron Boone called on Jonathan Holder, who struck out Chris Davis for the second out but gave up an RBI double to Danny Valencia to shave the Yankees’ lead to 6-4. With the tying runs in scoring position, Brett Gardner ran down a drive to left by Chance Sisco to end the inning.
The Yankees expanded their lead to 8-4 in the eighth on an RBI single by Hicks and a run-scoring double by Andujar, who has six home runs and a team-high 18 doubles.