BALTIMORE — Aaron Boone might have to barricade his office door Wednesday afternoon. After all, players he chooses to keep out of that night’s lineup will desperately want in.
Who wouldn’t against an Orioles team that already has exhausted just about all forms of the adjective “bad”?
The Yankees, who rallied to post a three-run victory Monday night, needed no late-inning drama Tuesday. Spurred by another Gary Sanchez three-run homer, this one in the first inning, two long blasts by Clint Frazier and an OK outing by Domingo German, the Yankees cruised to an 11-4 victory at Camden Yards.
“It’s not about me, it’s about what this team is doing,” said Frazier, who was in a 6-for-41 slump before his two-run homer in the third made it 6-0. His three-run shot in the fifth, his eighth homer, made it 9-0.
The Yankees (30-17), winners of 22 of their last 29 games, hit three homers, giving them 29 against the Orioles, who have allowed an MLB-high 100. The Yankees won their 10th straight at Camden Yards, their longest winning streak ever in Baltimore, and totaled 12 hits, three from DJ LeMahieu.
LeMahieu fouled a ball off his left foot in the sixth, then singled, but did not come out to play second base in the bottom of the inning, replaced by rookie Thairo Estrada. After the game, Boone said LeMahieu was all right and that he would have taken him out of the blowout regardless to get him off his feet.
Sanchez came in hitting .324 with a 1.320 OPS, seven homers and 13 RBIs in eight games against the Orioles (15-33). He crushed a three-run homer in the first off David Hess to get the Yankees going. Sanchez’s long three-run homer in the ninth Monday night snapped a 7-7 tie and completed a comeback from an early 6-1 deficit.
“It’s so important for him,” Boone said of Sanchez's “controlling the zone,” a common phrase of the manager. “If he does that, he’s lethal. Period. He’s as lethal as anyone.”
He and Gleyber Torres have done that in pummeling the Orioles all season. Torres homered twice Monday, giving the 22-year-old shortstop a .486/.538/1.257 slash line, with eight homers and 10 RBIs, in nine games against Baltimore. Torres had a relatively quiet night Tuesday, going 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI.
Hess saw his numbers get worse (1-6, 6.75 ERA) after allowing nine runs and eight hits over five innings of batting practice.
German, who has been among MLB’s best pitchers this season, looked as if he’d build on that resume until seeming to come undone by a self-inflicted wound. The 26-year-old righthander (9-1, 2.60) pitched four scoreless innings before throwing away a potential double-play ball to put two on in the fifth. Stevie Wilkerson made him pay with a three-run homer, the blast “cutting” the Orioles’ deficit to 9-3.
German allowed those three runs (two earned), five hits and one walk in five innings. He struck out five and hit a batter.
Speaking of the big early lead, German said, “It gives you confidence and calmness,” through his translator. “It allows you to work the game, and you know if you make a mistake you still have a chance to win. Thank God we had that many runs at the time I made my mistake tonight and it didn’t really hurt us.”
Yankees hitters have teed off on Orioles pitchers, who have a tendency to give up the long ball. The numbers:
Home runs allowed by Orioles in 48 games.
HRs hit by Yankees in 10 games against Orioles.
HRs hit by both Gary Sanchez and Gleyber Torres against Orioles.
HRs hit by Sanchez in five games at Camden Yards.