Yankees' offense stifled early, late rally not enough in 5-3 defeat to Orioles

Coming off an impressive start to the season on Thursday afternoon, the Yankees resumed action on Saturday for the second game of their season-opening three-game set against the Baltimore Orioles.  James Paxton was on the mound for New York, making his Yankees debut, and was opposed by Nathan Karns who played the ‘opener’ role for the O’s.  The Yankees put men on consistently early, but struggled to score runs all day before finding themselves in a late 5-1 hole. Despite a late rally, they ultimately dropped the ballgame to the Orioles by the count of 5-3.
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Paxton came out firing, mowing down the Orioles 1-2-3 in the first with two strikeouts.  The Yankees loaded the bases against Karns in the bottom half of the inning after Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton & Luke Voit all drew walks, but a Miguel Andujar inning-ending double play ended the threat. Karns would pitch two innings before giving way to Jimmy Yacabonis. 

Paxton didn’t allow his first hit until the top of the fourth, but that was quickly erased courtesy of this slick inning-ending double play from D.J. LeMahieu.
Poetically, LeMahieu was the one to break the scoreless tie the following inning with a two-out, RBI single up the middle to score Gleyber Torres, giving the Yankees a 1-0 lead. 

Everything fell apart for the Yankees in the top half of the sixth inning as Baltimore was able to grab a 2-1 lead.  Jesus Sucre led off the inning with a single to center before Richie Martin was able to record his first MLB hit – a bloop single over first just past Voit and Torres – that put two on with nobody out.  Dwight Smith, Jr. singled to right to knot the game at one and then Gary Sanchez misfired a pickoff throw into center field to allow the second Oriole run to score.  Adam Ottavino relieved Paxton to record the final out of the inning. 

The Yankees would again put two runners on the bottom half the sixth but push nothing across.  

Chad Green allowed two hits and a run in the top of the seventh, pushing the Baltimore lead to 3-1. Jonathan Holder allowed two more runs in his second inning of work and the game was all but lost at 5-1.

After the Orioles got three scoreless innings from Miguel Castro (6th-7th) and Mychal Givens (8th), Richard Bleier came out for the 9th to close out the game, but quickly ran into trouble after Troy Tulowitzki took him deep and then LeMahieu doubled and Judge singled.  Mike Wright was summoned to escape the jam with runners on first and third, only one out, and Stanton at the plate. Wright was able to strike out Stanton before Voit dropped in a bloop single, scoring LeMahieu and advancing Judge to third, however, he buckled down and struck out Andujar to end the game.

Winning Pitcher: Jimmy Yacabonis (1-0, 3.00); 3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 2 K
Losing Pitcher: James Paxton (0-1, 1.59); 5.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 5 K
Save: Michael Wright (1)
     Gleyber Torres: 2-4, R
     Troy Tulowitzki: 1-2, HR (1), RBI, R, 2 BB
     Dwight Smith, Jr: 2-4, RBI
     Jesus Sucre: 3-4, 2B, 3 RBI, R

What's Next?:
The Yankees and Orioles will complete their three-game set tomorrow afternoon at the Stadium.  Scheduled starters are JA Happ and Dylan Bundy.

Recap by: Andrew Natalizio


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