Where: Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland
Despite unloading a bevy of key players at the trade deadline, the New York Yankees are making a serious push for a playoff slot as they prepare to visiting the slumping Baltimore Orioles on Friday in the opener of a three-game set. New York has won six of eight and trails the Orioles by 2 1/2 games for the second wild card in the American League.
“We never felt that our season was over when all those moves were made,” Yankees third baseman Chase Headley said of the flurry of deals at the trade deadline. “We dug ourselves a pretty good hole at the beginning, but obviously we’re in much better position now than we were then.” New York is coming off consecutive extra-inning victories at red-hot Kansas City and won two of three last weekend against Baltimore, scoring 27 runs in the two victories. While New York is mounting a charge, the Orioles are 2-5 in their last seven games after dropping two of three at home to AL East-leading Toronto. Sitting four games behind the Blue Jays and tied with Detroit for the top wild card, the Orioles continue to be reliant on the long ball, leading the majors with 209 homers.
PITCHING MATCHUP: Yankees RH Chad Green (2-3, 4.09 ERA) vs. Orioles RH Dylan Bundy (7-5, 3.71)
New York’s offensive eruption allowed Green to escape with a no-decision against the Orioles last time out after he surrendered three homers and was charged with four runs on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings. Green pitched superbly in his previous two turns, splitting a pair of decisions despite allowing one earned run and seven hits over 12 innings. Chris Davis is 0-for-13 since smacking a pair of homers off Green last Saturday.
Bundy’s struggles against New York continued when he lasted four innings and was touched for five runs on seven in last weekend’s 13-5 debacle. It was the lone start and third appearance this season versus the Yankees for Bundy, who owns an 0-1 record and 9.39 ERA against them. Making his 10th start after beginning the season in the bullpen, Bundy is 3-2 with a 3.04 ERA in 16 appearances (five starts) at Camden Yards.
1. Yankees 2B Starlin Castro was 7-for-16 against New York last weekend.
2. With CF Adam Jones (hamstring) missing five straight games, the Orioles acquired OFs Michael Bourn and Drew Stubbs on Wednesday.
3. The Yankees with Milwaukee for OF Eric Young Jr. and will call him up from the minors for the start of the series.
PREDICTION: Yankees 7, Orioles 6