BALTIMORE (CBSNewYork/AP) — Mychal Givens walked Aaron Hicks with the bases loaded to force in the tie-breaking run in the ninth inning, and the New York Yankees defeated the Baltimore Orioles 6-5 Thursday to complete a four-game sweep.
Clint Frazier and Luke Voit homered for the Yankees, who went deep 13 times during the series. New York has hit 35 home runs in going 10-2 against the Orioles, outscoring Baltimore 86-50.
Down 4-1 in the eighth, the Orioles mounted a surprising comeback. Two walks and an RBI single by Trey Mancini brought in Tommy Kahnle (2-0) from the bullpen, and Renato Nunez tied it with a three-run drive.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone wrote out a starting lineup without Gleyber Torres and Gary Sanchez, who have combined to hit 19 home runs against the Orioles this season.
Boone cited the quick turnaround from Wednesday night’s game as the chief reason to rest his “studs,” but he called upon them in the ninth after Givens (0-2) struck out the first two batters.
Torres drew a walk and Sanchez singled before Givens walked DJ LeMahieu to load the bases. After going 3-0 on Hicks, Givens got two strikes before missing badly outside to force in the eventual winning run.
Zack Britton worked the ninth for his second save.
In a stretch that could have decimated the Yankees’ chances of winning this year, thanks to a plethora of injuries to nearly half the roster, New York’s patched together lineup has found a way to dominate baseball.
Lacking stars like Aaron Judge, Luis Severino, James Paxton, and Giancarlo Stanton, New York has now won 24 of their last 31 games.
Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka gave up one run and five hits in six innings. Coming off a start against Tampa Bay in which he took a line drive off the shin, Tanaka was hit by a comebacker off the bat of Rio Ruiz in the second. It was unclear if he was struck in the glove, wrist or chest, but Tanaka quickly picked up the ball and threw wildly to first, setting up a run.
The Yankees were far more concerned about his health than the run. Fortunately, the right-hander needed only a few practice throws before resuming his command of the last-place Orioles.
A solo shot by Frazier in the fifth inning evened the score, and Gio Urshela chased Orioles starter Dylan Bundy with a two-run single in the sixth.
LHP CC Sabathia was placed on the 10-day IL with right knee inflammation. Boone hopes treatment and rest will solve the issue and cost the pitcher just one start.
RHP Dellin Betances (shoulder) threw 120 feet from flat ground before the game.
SS Troy Tulowitzki (calf), sidelined since April 3, is gearing up for game action and Boone said he will likely know where and when that should be by this weekend.
SS Didi Gregorius (elbow) was set to play the field in extended spring training on Thursday, a step up in his recovery after being a designated hitter on Wednesday.
The Yankees, having won six straight series, take aim at the Royals in a three-game set that begins Friday with the Yankees’ starting pitcher yet to be named. New York will get the chance to feast on another last place ball club, as a rebuilding Kansas City franchise limps into the weekend with a 17-32 record.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)