An aura of inevitably hung over the Stadium Wednesday night.
Even as the Orioles took an early three-run lead, a Yankees comeback seemed only a matter of time.
Maybe it was Anthony Rizzo grinding out a 13-pitch plate appearance in the first inning against Matt Harvey, one that included him fouling off eight pitches, that resulted in a walk (speaking of inevitable, the number of foul ball rockets the first baseman hit hinted at a homer coming off his bat at some point in the night, too).
Or the Orioles not scoring more early against Jameson Taillon, the Yankees’ best pitcher of late who was not sharp out of the gate but would soon settle down.
Finally, there was the general awfulness of the Orioles, who entered with the worst record in the American League, that made a rally seem all but a certainty.
All of it, including the Rizzo homer, came to fruition, as expected.
The Yankees slowly clawed back to tie things up by the middle innings then erupted for five runs in the seventh that helped them coast to a 10-3 victory in front of 30,055 at the Stadium.
The Yankees (58-49), who got the home run from Rizzo as well as three hits and four RBIs from DJ LeMahieu, two hits and three RBIs from Giancarlo Stanton and two hits and two RBIs from Gleyber Torres, improved to 17-8 in their last 25 games. They outhit the Orioles, 12-6.
"The lineup is getting better and better," said Torres, twice mentioning the impact of the "big lefties" added at the trade deadline in Rizzo and Joey Gallo, who is off to a slower start (2-for-23).
Rizzo’s homer, his third as a Yankee and first at the Stadium, cut the Yankees’ deficit to 3-1 and gave him at least one RBI in each of his six games as a Yankee, the only player in franchise history to accomplish that feat since RBIs became an official statistic in 1920.
"Definitely special," Rizzo said of the achievement. "To be able to come in at the trade deadline and just have success right away, it’s something I’ll never take for granted, these last few games and this start. To be No. 1 at anything for a Yankee is very special. It’s very humbling because of the history here and all the success here."
Taillon, meanwhile, just named the AL Pitcher of the Month after going 4-0 with a 1.16 ERA in five July starts, wasn’t as sharp as he’s been but was still good enough. The righty allowed three runs (two earned) and four hits in 6 1⁄3 innings. He struck out a season-high 10 in lowering his season ERA to 4.04 (it was as high as 5.74 after lasting one-third of an inning June 12 in Philadelphia).
Yankees starters have allowed three runs or fewer in 23 of their last 24 starts and two earned runs or fewer in 20 of those outings.
"We’re doing a lot of things well right now," Taillon said.
Harvey, who beat the Yankees April 26 in Baltimore when he allowed one run in six innings, allowed two runs and three hits over four innings but was hit hard throughout the outing.
Rizzo’s homer got the Yankees on the board in the fourth and Torres’ RBI single later in the inning made it 3-2. Kyle Higashioka led off the fifth with a double and came in two batters later on LeMahieu’s single that tied it at 3-3.
It stayed that way until the seventh when LeMahieu opened the floodgates of the five-run inning with an RBI single that made it 4-3. Stanton’s three-run bloop double with two outs later in the frame made it 7-3.
Still, the prevailing topic afterward was Rizzo’s performance since joining the team and his 13-pitch plate appearance, even though Judge followed it by grounding into a double play.
"After an at-bat like that, I was looking forward to his next at-bat," Taillon said with a smile. "Sure enough, he hits a homer."
Apparently, it felt inevitable on the bench, too.