Judge’s ninth inning heroics lift Yankees over O’s in rainy road win

MLB: New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles
Jul 30, 2020; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge (99) high fives outfielder Aaron Hicks (31) after scoring a run against the Baltimore Orioles in the first inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees (3-1) owe outfielder Aaron Judge a debt of gratitude for his 9th heroics that pushed the team past the Baltimore Orioles (2-2) in a back and forth, 8-6 victory at Camden Yards. 

Trailing 6-5 in the ninth inning, Judge launched a three run homer into the Inner Harbor, securing the Yanks win in a rainy, hot to cold then back to hot affair. 

To start, first baseman Luke Voit poured it on by launching his first ever career grand slam, the moonshot coming off O’s starter John Means in the first inning – one which put the Yanks up 5-0 after an RBI single from designated hitter, Giancarlo Stanton. 

That Yankees lead was soon slashed to 5-2 after starter J.A. Happ surrendered a first inning, two-run dent to second baseman, Hanso Alberto.

Happ ran into more trouble in the next inning after third baseman Rio Ruiz also launched a deep, two run shot that made things 5-4.

Seeking some insurance runs, the Yankees threatened in the fourth with runners on first and second against reliever Travis Lakins, but the team came up short after second baseman DJ LeMahieu struck out looking to end the inning.

Tyler Wade also replaced short stop Gleyber Torres that inning, who had taken a sharp pitch to the elbow during his first inning at bat.

The Yankees announced that x-rays taken on Torres’ elbow contusion had come back negative soon after. 

Meanwhile back in the batter’s box, Stanton kept it hot throughout the night, going 3 for 4 with two singles and a double that came in the fifth inning – an opportunity the Yankees couldn’t capitalize on to cushion the team’s single run lead.

Manager Aaron Boone replaced Happ with righty Adam Ottavino for three quick and final defensive outs for the Yanks in the fifth inning; Happ ended his night with four hits, two walks, and two strikeouts.

Soon after, rain began to pour as the Yankees batted in the top of the sixth, causing a delay heading into the bottom of the inning just before 9 p.m.

Jul 30, 2020; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Members of the Baltimore Orioles grounds crew cover the field during a rain delay in a game against the New York Yankees at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

After about a 90 minute hiatus, the Yankees subbed out Ottavino for fellow righty Jonathan Loaisiga on the mound and put in Mike Tauchman who replaced Miguel Andujar in left field.

Loaisiga got off to a bumpy start by walking the first two batters of the inning but recovered soundly by striking out shortstop Pat Valaika and then forcing Ruiz into an inning ending double play with no harm done.

Tonight’s close call of a game proved to be uneventful for the bat of catcher Gary Sanchez, who’s still hasn’t gotten a hit this season.

Sanchez had grounded out and later struck out twice in his plate appearances, leaving runners stranded on second and third to end the eighth inning in the process.

Loaisiga returned to pitch the bottom part of eighth inning, where he forfeited the Yankee lead to a two-run homer hit by catcher Pedro Severino, putting the Orioles up 6-5.

It was a short lived lead was as the Yankees strung together some ninth inning magic which started after righty pitcher Cole Sulser walked leadoff third baseman, Gio Urshela.

That was followed by LeMahieu smacking a line drive single for his first hit on the night which preceded the three run, lead changing Judgian blast.

Jul 30, 2020; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge (99) celebrates after hitting a home run against the Baltimore Orioles in the ninth inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Zack Britton came out to pitch the bottom of the ninth, where he promptly shut down the side to secure the Yankees 8-6 victory.

Tonight’s win puts the Yankees at a 4-1 overall record and marks an 18-game win streak against Baltimore as the team heads back to the Bronx for a home opener against the Boston Red Sox tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m.