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Pitching is the biggest reason for the Yankees’ success so far. It delivered again vs. the Orioles

 The Associated Press  |    May 1st, 2024 10:10pm EDT

BALTIMORE (AP) — It was the longest outing of Luis Gil’s career — and the longest of Clay Holmes’ season.

The New York Yankees needed them both to be extra sharp against a strong Baltimore lineup.

After dropping the first two games of this series between the top two teams in the AL East, New York edged the Orioles 2-0 on Wednesday night, with Gil throwing 6 1/3 innings and Holmes contributing a five-out save after Baltimore threatened late.

Oswaldo Cabrera’s two-run homer in the fifth off Corbin Burnes (3-1) produced all the scoring.

“Any time you’re playing in your division, especially in the American League East, these games get heavy,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “Especially what the Orioles have become over the last couple years, you know you’ve got to play well. You’re facing their ace having dropped a couple already.”

New York scored 15 runs in back-to-back wins over Milwaukee over the weekend, but the offense has been spotty since arriving in Baltimore. The Orioles won 2-0 and 4-2 in the first two games of the series, and players like Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Gleyber Torres haven’t been at their best with the bat so far this season.

The pitching, however, has been encouraging despite the absence of injured ace Gerrit Cole. Gil (2-1) lowered his ERA to 3.19 and surpassed his previous career high of six innings. He allowed two hits and a walk with five strikeouts.

“You want to make sure you start the at-bat with a good pitch, good execution,” Gil said through a translator. “My concentration was there.”

New York lowered its team ERA to 2.97. Only Seattle (2.96) and Boston (2.57) are lower.

Cabrera’s homer barely cleared the wall in right field and was just fair. It was upheld after a review — the fact that the ball could be seen sitting inside the foul pole afterward provided one clue that the homer should stand.

“Had a good plan, but unfortunately the one pitch that he hit out was the decider of the game tonight,” Burnes said. “Pretty good pitch. Tip your cap. Good swing.”

The Orioles had men on first and second with one out in the eighth when Holmes came on and immediately struck out the two stars at the top of Baltimore’s lineup, Gunnar Henderson and Adley Rutschman.

“That’s the game right there,” Boone said. “If the eighth inning got long, then we got to go with someone else in the ninth, so be it. We’re at the top of their order, game’s on the line with a couple guys out there.”

Holmes allowed a leadoff single in the ninth but nothing more, and the Orioles were shut out for the first time this season. Only Atlanta and Tampa Bay have not been blanked.


AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb