(AP) — The Baltimore Orioles have baseball’s most homers while the New York Yankees have surrendered the most in the AL.
That combination worked in the Orioles’ favor to open this three-game set that may not continue Tuesday night because of a murky forecast at Camden Yards.
It’s not clear whether Baltimore will get a chance to create more distance between itself and one of its closest pursuers in the AL East with the status of two Orioles infielders also uncertain.
The Orioles (68-50) pushed the third-place Yankees a season-high seven games back by winning 11-3 on Monday. Chris Davis, who replaced an injured Manny Machado, hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the fifth inning, Nelson Cruz added a two-run shot in the seventh and No. 9 hitter Jonathan Schoop delivered a three-run blast in the eighth.
Baltimore now has 150 homers while New York (61-57) has surrendered 126. The Orioles have outscored the Yankees 55-28 while winning seven of 10 meetings.
“It’s tough,” New York manager Joe Girardi said. “We know they swing the bats extremely well. They’ve got a lot of power in their lineup.”
Girardi emphasized that his club had to capture this series to maintain realistic hopes of winning the East. Now the Yankees would have to take the last two games – if they’re played.
There is reportedly a 90 percent chance of rain Tuesday night in Baltimore.
“It doesn’t sound like tomorrow looks too good,” Girardi said. “A lot can change in 24 hours. I have not been clued on if we do get rained tomorrow what we would do.”
Machado sprained his right knee and limped off the field in the third inning Monday.
“We’ll just wait for the results,” Machado said in front of his locker, where a pair of crutches stood. “Hopefully it is on the good side other than the bad.”
He will have an MRI on Tuesday morning to determine the severity of the injury.
Davis, batting .197 for the worst average among qualifying hitters, went 2 for 3 with his 21st homer.
Shortstop J.J. Hardy, who has 11 hits in his last 23 at-bats, sat out a second straight game with a sprained left thumb.
“It’s frustrating no matter what it is, if I’m not able to play, it’s frustrating whether it’s the thumb or anything,” Hardy said.
The Yankees, who remain without catcher Brian McCann due to a concussion, have totaled four runs and 15 hits during a three-game slide.
New York will start rookie Shane Greene (3-1, 2.89 ERA), who threw a gem the only time he faced Baltimore by striking out a season-high nine in 7 1-3 innings in a 3-0 road victory July 12 in his second career start.
The right-hander enters after another scoreless effort as he went eight innings to earn Thursday’s 1-0 victory over Detroit.
He’ll be opposed by Wei-Yin Chen (12-4, 3.90), who posted a 2.53 ERA in winning five straight starts before allowing four runs over five innings Wednesday in a 5-1 loss at Toronto.
The left-hander is 2-3 with a 5.76 ERA in eight starts against the Yankees. Jacoby Ellsbury is 6 for 13 against him.
Updated August 12, 2014