Yankees could go 20 over .500 vs. Orioles

BALTIMORE — Things are going so well for the New York Yankees that they can joke about rookie second baseman Gleyber Torres losing his shoe running to third and first baseman Greg Bird legging out a triple.

Torres and Bird helped the Yankees get another win as they opened their first series of the season at Camden Yards with a 4-1 victory on Friday.

Thanks to those hits, the Yankees get an opportunity to move 20 games above .500 for the first time this season on Saturday afternoon, when they continue their weekend series with the Baltimore Orioles.

“I was not impressed enough, he was out,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone joked. “We were over there going have you run out of your shoes before. I didn’t even see the throw come in because I saw the shoe go flying and I’m just hoping he can stay on his feet.”

The Yankees (36-17) have won three straight and five of seven after Torres drove in his 27th run with a single in the third inning — three innings before losing his shoe while getting thrown out at third.

Bird, who returned from ankle surgery last Saturday, added an RBI triple in the sixth when center fielder Adam Jones was unable to make the catch

“I wouldn’t call it as much relief as just fun,” Bird told reporters. “It’s a great group to be a part of. We have fun every day on and off the field and that’s the biggest thing for me.”

Because of those hits and Aaron Judge’s 16th homer, a 438-foot drive to left field, the Yankees can reach 20 games over this early for the first time since 1998 when they ended June 2 with a 39-13 record.

Meanwhile, the Orioles (17-40) are the first team to reach 40 losses and their latest losing streak is at six games after they struck out 12 times and mustered only five hits.

While Manny Machado hit his 17th homer and is batting .329, Baltimore’s offense owns a .230 average and that includes Chris Davis, who is batting .152 after going 0-for-4 Friday.

“Just there’s only so long before you have to do some things,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter told reporters when asked about possible changes to the roster. “You keep waiting. The pitchers are good. This is the big leagues. But we’ve been better in these situations in the past. We’ve had over two months of baseball, so it’s been a challenge for us.”

“You’re not feeling good and we’re not winning,” Baltimore left fielder Trey Mancini added to reporters. “It can kind of spiral out of control and you have got to find a way to come here and put everything that’s happened before behind you and kind of start fresh.”

Masahiro Tanaka is 6-2 with a 4.62 ERA and will be looking to win his third straight start. The focus this time will not be on an individual matchup with Shohei Ohtani, whom he struck out twice while allowing a run and three hits in six innings during Sunday’s 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels.

Tanaka is aiming to join Luis Severino as New York’s second seven-game winner. He is 4-0 with a 4.22 ERA in his last seven starts since a 9-1 loss to the Miami Marlins on April 16.

Tanaka also is the beneficiary of good run support. The Yankees have topped double digits in four of his starts and scored at least five times in six starts.

The right-hander last faced the Orioles on April 5, the night before Pedro Alvarez hit a 14th-inning grand slam. He allowed three runs and six hits in 6 1/3 innings, including a tiebreaking homer to Adam Jones on his slider in the seventh.

The home run to Jones is one of 12 allowed by Tanaka, who has given up homers in four straight starts for the sixth time in his career. The only instance he allowed homers in five straight starts was June 5-28, 2014.

Tanaka is 2-3 with a 3.65 ERA in nine starts against the Orioles. In Baltimore, he is 0-1 with a 4.82 ERA in three starts.

Gausman was on the mound for the marathon game in New York and allowed two runs and five hits in five innings. It is one of the seven times that Gausman has allowed two earned runs or less.

One of those instances was May 22 when he took a no-decision after striking out 10 and allowing nine hits in 6 1/3 innings in Baltimore’s 3-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox. Gausman followed it up with his worst outing of the season when he gave up a season-high seven runs and six hits in a season-low 2 2/3 innings in Sunday’s 8-3 loss at Tampa Bay.

Gausman is 7-5 with a 3.53 ERA in 23 appearances (17 starts) against the Yankees. In 2016, he went 3-1 with a 1.10 ERA in six starts against the Yankees, but since then he is 1-2 with an 8.23 ERA in six starts.