Yankees look to continue battering Orioles

NEW YORK -- When the Yankees face the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium, New York never seems to stop scoring runs.

The Yankees own six victories in seven home meetings with the Orioles. The reason is because of a prolific offense that has totaled 77 runs in those wins.

New York seeks another productive showing at the plate Friday night when it continues a four-game series against the Orioles.

The Yankees (80-66) are 10-4 in their past 14 games since getting swept by the Cleveland Indians in three games Aug. 28-30. Three of those wins are against Baltimore, and the Yankees are 10-6 in the season series after a 13-5 victory Thursday.

The Yankees are three games behind the first-place Boston Red Sox (83-63) in the American League East and three up on the Minnesota Twins (77-69) for the top AL wild card.

"These have been important games, and these guys have played extremely well," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "And it's come from different places a lot of the nights. They're playing really well as a group right now."

Perhaps nobody is playing as well against the Orioles as Aaron Judge. Judge homered twice Thursday, and 11 of his 43 long balls are vs. the Orioles.

Against Baltimore, Judge is batting .472 with 24 RBI and 27 runs. He also holds an on-base-plus-slugging percentage of 1.781 in those contests after tying a career high with six RBI and recording his fifth career multi-homer game.

"He owns the team, kind of," Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius said.

Judge's big numbers are part of New York's productivity against the Orioles. The Yankees are batting .319 with 40 homers, 130 RBI and 133 runs, matching their highest single-season total against any team (also 133 runs in 18 games vs. the Tampa Bay Rays in 2007).

"That's crazy," Yankees first baseman Greg Bird said. "He wants to play the Orioles, I guess. It's awesome."

While things are trending upward for the Yankees, who could match a season high by going 15 games over .500 on Friday, it has been the reverse for Baltimore lately.

On Sept. 5, Baltimore's Manny Machado hit a game-winning homer in the ninth against Yankees reliever Dellin Betances. The Orioles are 1-7 in eight games since, and compounding matters is a team ERA of 7.90 against the Yankees.

"We're not pitching well," said Baltimore manager Buck Showalter, whose team is 5 1/2 games behind Minnesota for the second AL wild card. "We've gotten a lot of balls in places that we knew not to get them and we got them, and you pay the price for it.

"You make the pitches that we're making against those guys, everybody's going to hit them at this level, and they're going to go a long way. I was watching the replays of where we are trying to go and where the ball went. Just not going to work up here."

Luis Severino (12-6, 2.96 ERA) starts for the Yankees on Friday and hopes to get better run support than he did in his last outing. He did not get a decision Saturday in a 3-1 victory at Texas despite allowing only one run on one hit in seven innings.

Severino also recorded 10 strikeouts, marking the fifth time he reached double digits in K's.

Since the All-Star break, the right-hander is 7-2 with a 2.07 ERA in 11 starts. He is third in the American League in ERA behind the Indians' Corey Kluber and the Red Sox's Chris Sale and fourth with 211 strikeouts behind Sale, Kluber and the Rays' Chris Archer.

Severino is 3-1 with a 3.55 ERA in eight appearances (six starts) against the Orioles and is facing them for the fourth time this season. He took a no-decision at Baltimore on April 7, and the Yankees scored 24 runs in his next two starts vs the Orioles, May 30 at Baltimore and June 10 in New York.

Baltimore's current roster owns a combined .225 average against him. Manny Machado is 4-for-14, Mark Trumbo is 4-for-12, Chris Davis is 3-for-16, and Adam Jones is 1-for-10.

Gabriel Ynoa (1-1, 4.19 ERA) makes his second start for the Orioles on Friday, doing so three days shy of the first anniversary of his first career start for the New York Mets against Minnesota.

Ynoa's first start for the Orioles was Saturday, when he allowed three runs and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings during a 4-2 loss at Cleveland.

"I was not nervous," Ynoa said through an interpreter. "I was just concentrating on the opportunity, trying to take advantage of it, trying to compete, fight and give my team a chance to win."

Before starting against the Indians, Ynoa threw 22 pitches in two scoreless innings during a 7-4 loss to the Yankees on Sept. 4. That was his fifth major league relief outing of the season.
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