Yankees hope to dodge rain and complete sweep of Orioles

BALTIMORE — The biggest question heading into Sunday’s series finale between the New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles might have nothing to do with baseball.

Instead, it is all about the weather.

The series opener on Thursday was postponed. It rained in Baltimore for parts of Friday, but they got that game in. Saturday’s game, an 8-5 Yankees win, started one hour and 44 minutes late due to the threat of rain when it was not raining.

The weather forecast for Sunday’s 1:05 p.m. game also appears grim with rain being called for throughout the afternoon.

The Yankees (37-17) already have had six postponements this season. In fact, they are playing a doubleheader in Detroit Monday to make up for previous weather problems and will have to play a makeup game June 18 in Washington after completing a suspended game.

But so far in this series, when the two teams have played, it’s been all Yankees, especially with power. They lead the major leagues in homers with 90 and a strong bullpen also has proved too much for an Orioles team that has dropped seven straight and fallen to 17-41.

Domingo German (0-3, 3.45) will start for the Yankees against Alex Cobb (1-7, 6.80) for the Orioles. German is 0-0 with a 5.06 ERA in two games against the Orioles, and this will be his fifth start this season.

German last pitched against Houston’s Justin Verlander in a 5-1 loss at Yankee Stadium on Monday when he allowed four runs (three earned) on five hits in 5 2/3 innings of a 5-1 loss

Cobb was signed on March 21 and is trying to round his way into form. He’s pitched well at times but has not been able to put everything together yet.

The right-hander has allowed nine homers in 46 1/3 innings this season and is still looking to find that consistency.

And doing it against the New York offense will be a test. The Yankees have power and speed and could score runs all kinds of ways.

What upset Orioles manager Buck Showalter was how the team made three errors in the sixth inning on Saturday. That helped the Yankees score twice and extend their lead to 6-2.

“The players are so good at this level, giving them extra outs just seems to always, it may not bite you that inning, but it makes you do a lot of different things,” Showalter said after the game.

The Orioles did get homers from Adam Jones, Manny Machado and Joey Rickard in Saturday’s game. But the Yankees came up with two-run shots from Miguel Andujar and Giancarlo Stanton for an early 4-1 lead something the Orioles never recovered from.

Stanton has been struggling for much of the season. This was his first homer since May 19, and if he can make his bat sing again, then the Yankees could be very tough to beat.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Stanton has been looking better to him in recent days despite being stuck in a 2-for-25 slump. He went 2-for-4 Saturday.

“The results haven’t been there, but he looks like he’s struggling just to find that rhythm and timing up there,” Boone said. “It’s good to see him get some results.”

After Saturday’s game, catcher Andrew Susac was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk by the Orioles and it could open the way for Caleb Joseph to return from the minors.

The Yankees also are likely going to be activating pitcher Adam Warren, out since late April with back issues. Warren’s return could occur on Monday when they play Detroit in a make-up doubleheader.