Here are the takeaways…
1. Gerrit Cole returned on extra rest after leaving his last start with hamstring tightness. He faced early trouble by loading the bases with two outs in the first, but ultimately came away unscathed, despite throwing 29 pitches. He settled down from there, retiring 10 in in a row at one point. Cole ran back into more trouble in the fifth, though, allowing a two-out RBI double to Ryan Mountcastle and walking the next batter. But he struck out DJ Stewart to end the Orioles’ threat, and his night was complete after that, as he already had 108 pitches. He didn’t have his best stuff, but he did only allow one run on four hits while walking three (tying a season-high) and striking out seven.
2. After DJ LeMahieu opened up the game with a single, Aaron Judge hit a long opposite field home run, his 34th of the year, to give the Yankees an early 2-0 lead. Giancarlo Stanton (two-run) and Luke Voit went back-to-back in the third inning to increase the Yankees lead to 5-0.
3. Michael King entered the game in the sixth, and got an easy ground ball that should have been a double play. But new second baseman Gleyber Torres bobbled the grounder, and new shortstop Gio Urshela bobbled the toss, and everyone was safe. Torres made due of it the next batter, recording a 4-4-3 double play. King got the next batter to fly out to Stanton to keep it a 5-1 game through six.
King stayed in the game and retired the Orioles in order in both the seventh and eighth innings.
4. Joey Gallo was a little late to the hitting party – he was the lone Yankee without a hit through seven innings. But he blasted a leadoff homer in the eighth to give the Yanks a 6-1 lead. It was his fourth home run in his last 10 games. LeMahieu added a solo homer of his own in the top of the ninth.
5. Sal Romano came into the game in the ninth, and had trouble closing it out. He allowed a two hits, one of them an RBI, and a walk before leaving the game after trying to barehand the RBI hit by Kelvin Gutiérrez. Because of that, the Yankees had to bring in Aroldis Chapman with a five-run lead. However, he struck out Cedric Mullins and Mountcastle to end it.
6. The Yankees clinched their 29th straight .500 season.
Nestor Cortes Jr. will get the ball for the Yankees, while the O’s will hand it off to John Means.