Much to the detriment of the New York Yankees, the Baltimore Orioles removed any possibility for the 27-time world champions to add another trophy to their collection with a win over Toronto right before the start of their three-game set. With another victory at New York on Saturday in the middle game of their series, the Orioles can potentially begin their march for a fourth World Series title next week.
Baltimore (88-72) put its own postseason hopes in some jeopardy by getting swept at home by Boston from Sept. 19-22 but have since rebounded by winning six of seven to take a one-game lead over the Blue Jays for the first wild-card spot in the American League and a 1 1/2-game edge on Detroit, which has three games remaining. Mark Trumbo continued to extend his lead in the home-run chase with his 47th of the season and Jonathan Schoop tied a career high with five RBIs in Friday’s 8-1 triumph over the Yankees to put the Orioles on the brink of the playoffs. While Baltimore reduced its magic number to clinch a postseason berth to two Friday, New York has already moved on to next season, sitting two regulars and pulling four others by the sixth inning in the opener. The setback ended a four-game winning streak for the Yankees, who fell to 10-4 over their last 14 home contests.
TV: 4:05 p.m. ET, MASN (Baltimore), YES (New York)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Orioles LH Wade Miley (9-13, 5.40 ERA) vs. Yankees RH Luis Severino (3-8, 5.75)
Miley snapped a three-game losing streak with a dominant effort in last Saturday’s win over Arizona, allowing one run on seven hits while matching a career high with 11 strikeouts over 8 2/3 innings. Although it was only his second victory in 10 turns since coming over from Seattle at the trade deadline, the former Mariner proved he was over the mild muscle strain in his back that cut his previous outing short. Miley also will make his return from the paternity list and attempt to halt his career-long struggles versus the Yankees (0-3 and 5.77 ERA in six starts).
With the team mathematically eliminated from the playoff race, the Yankees decided Friday to allow Masahiro Tanaka to rest his forearm injury and turn to Severino for his second straight start. The 22-year-old Dominican hasn’t logged more than three innings or thrown more than 52 pitches since joining the bullpen at the beginning of September and gave up a run in one inning of work at Toronto on Monday. Severino permitted four runs (three earned) over six innings in a loss at Baltimore on May 3.
1. With Baltimore C Matt Wieters’ second-inning strikeout Friday, the Yankees’ pitching staff set a club record with their 1,371st strikeout of the season.
2. Schoop’s three-run shot Friday allowed the 2016 Orioles to become only the 12th team in major-league history to have at least five players hit 25 home runs in the same season.
3. Baltimore needs seven homers over the final two games to match its most in a season since 1996 (257).
PREDICTION: Orioles 6, Yankees 4