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Yankees make most of schedule change, defeat Orioles 9-3

Yankees make most of schedule change, defeat Orioles 9-3
Yankees Orioles Baseball - AP Photo/Julio Cortez

BALTIMORE (AP) — Baseball’s weird season reached another level of strange Wednesday night when the New York Yankees stepped in for the Miami Marlins and ruined Baltimore’s home opener, hitting three home runs to back right-hander Gerrit Cole in a 9-3 victory.

The Orioles were originally slated to launch the home portion of the abbreviated 60-game schedule against Miami, but the Marlins were ordered to take a hiatus after several players and coaches contracted COVID-19 over the weekend.

New York was scheduled to play Philadelphia on Wednesday, but the Phillies’ season was put on hold as a precaution because they were Miami’s opponent in the opening series.

So Major League Baseball thrust the Yankees and Orioles together while the Marlins and Phillies recover.

Cole (2-0) gave up three runs and four hits in 6 2/3 innings to win his 18th straight decision, six short of Carl Hubbell’s record streak in the 1930s. Signed as a free agent from Houston in December, Cole is unbeaten in his last 24 starts.

After DJ LeMahieu homered off Asher Wojciechowski (0-1) on the game’s second pitch, Aaron Judge and Aaron Hicks both went deep in the third for a 5-1 lead.

Although the circumstances surrounding this Yankees-Orioles matchup was unusual, the result was not. New York beat its AL East rivals for the 17th straight time since March 31, 2019, and for the 16th successive time at Camden Yards.

Baltimore played without first baseman Chris Davis, who was not in the ballpark and “unavailable,” according to manager Brandon Hyde. The Orioles do not disclose positive tests for COVID-19, and Hyde would not explain the slugger’s absence.

Davis wasn’t the only one missing from Camden Yards. So were the fans, although this isn’t the first time the Orioles played at home in an empty stadium. On April 29, 2015, Baltimore hosted the White Sox in a locked ballpark because of unrest in the city over the death of Freddie Gray, a Black man who died in police custody.

Dwight Smith Jr. homered for the Orioles, who managed only one hit through the first six innings.

WE OWN YOU

The Yankees have never had a longer winning streak against a team on the road, and their dominance of the Orioles is nearing record-breaking proportions. New York’s road run against Baltimore is two short of the big league record of 18, held by Boston against the Yankees from October 1911-June 1931.

FREE PASS

Baltimore’s Pedro Severino was twice called for catcher’s interference in the first inning, allowing two Yankees to reach base and leading to an unearned run.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Yankees: RHP Masahiro Tanaka (concussion) is scheduled to make his season debut Saturday against Boston. He’s been out since being struck in the head with a line drive in a simulated game on July 5.

Orioles: LHP John Means is expected to come off the 10-day injured list to make his first appearance of the season Thursday night. Means was poised to make his initial opening day start last week before experiencing arm fatigue.

UP NEXT

Yankees: LHP J.A. Happ makes his season debut in the series finale Thursday night. The 37-year-old is three strikeouts short of 1,500 for his career.

Orioles: Means was 0-2 with a 12.27 ERA in two starts against the Yankees as a rookie last year.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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