The Orioles wasted no time jumping on Ivan Nova. Delmon Young and Nick Markakis both singled, and Markakis scored on a sacrifice fly by Chris Davis. Then Adam Jones smacked a two-run blast over the center field wall to put the Orioles up 3-0 in the first inning.
In the bottom of the first, Wei-Yin Chen recorded two quick outs before getting into some trouble of his own. A Jacoby Ellsbury single was followed by a Carlos Beltran double that put the Yankees on the board. Wei-Yin Chen was able to escape the first inning without further damage, but it was a sign of things to come as the Orioles' Chen was unable to develop any consistency. The Orioles padded their lead in the top of the fourth inning on a series of singles and a sacrifice fly to make the score 7-1. Matt Wieters came up with the bases loaded and an opportunity to put the game away, but the recently-hot Wieters promptly popped out to end the rally.
Spotted a 7-1 advantage over New York, Chen came in to pitch the bottom of the fourth and gave up three quick runs that brought the Yankees right back in the game at 7-4. Chen returned to pitch the bottom of the 5th and looked tired and ineffective, but he was able to finish off the Yankees in the inning and turn the ball over to the bullpen in the top of the 6th. The final line on Wei-Yin Chen was 9 hits and 4 earned runs in just 5 innings of work along with three strikeouts. Chen left the game having thrown 102 pitches.
Lest anyone think that this was going to turn into a battle of the bullpens, the Orioles offense surged again in the late innings to finally put the game away. Delmon Young homered with one on base in the top of the 6th to make the score 8-4. Matt Wieters followed with a sacrifice fly that plated Chris Davis and then Nelson Cruz singled to bring home Adam Jones to give the Orioles an 11-4 lead. The birds would make the score 14-4 in the 8th inning with a two-run shot by Matt Wieters and a single by Steve Lombardozzi that brought home Nelson Cruz.
The Orioles bullpen was solid again. The combination of Josh Stinson, Brian Matusz, and Darren O'Day combined to limit the Yankees to one run over four innings to bring the game to a close. The bullpen has been consistent and dependable through the early games of the season, which should give Buck Showalter and Orioles fans added confidence when the offense is able to put some runs on the board in the early innings.
Today's victory was important for the Orioles in that they have placed themselves in a good position to take the series on Wednesday before returning to Baltimore. More importantly, the offense came to life after sputtering at times during the first official week of the season. The key from here on out will be to see whether the Orioles can be more consistent at the plate. We cannot expect them to put up double-digits every night, but they'll need more than a couple of runs to keep pace in the American League East.
The final game of the series will feature a match-up between Miguel Gonzalez vs. Masahiro Tanaka on Wednesday evening. Taking the series would be a big statement for the Orioles who went 3-9 in New York last season, losing all three series between the teams. After an off day on Thursday, the Orioles will come home to face the Toronto Blue Jays for three games followed by a three-game series at home versus the Tampa Bay Rays. The schedule does not get any easier for the Orioles who then fly to Boston to face the Red Sox in a four-game series.
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