Gausman charged with trying to quiet Yankees' bats (Jun 11, 2017)

BY AP • June 11, 2017

NEW YORK -- The hits are occurring fast and often for the New York Yankees.

During a four-game winning streak, the Yankees are dominating their opponents and they attempt to do it again Sunday afternoon in the finale of a three-game series with the Baltimore Orioles.

In their longest winning streak since getting six straight wins May 2-8, the Yankees are producing the following numbers: 13 homers, 54 hits, 41 runs, 23 extra-base hits and a .369 batting average.

"It's great to see everyone swinging the bat and we want it to continue," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

Those were Girardi's comments after Saturday's 16-3 rout, which featured a season-high 18 hits and five homers, which matched a season high. The Yankees also had 10 extra-base hits in their most lopsided win of the season, went 6-for-14 with runners in scoring position and 7-for-16 with two outs.

Every starter had at least one hit and hitters No. 3 through 7 of Aaron Judge, Matt Holliday, Starlin Castro, Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorius were a combined 13-for-17 with five homers and 15 RBIs.

Sanchez has three homers in his last three games while Judge is 6-for-16 in his last four games and leading the Yankees with a .332 average and 44 RBIs.

A bulk of his production is against the Orioles. He is batting .417 (15-for-36) with six homers, 13 RBIs and 16 runs in the first 11 games of the season series and on Saturday, his homer exited his bat at 121.1 mph, making it the hardest hit home run of the Statcast era, which began in 2015.

The Orioles entered this series with a 7.23 ERA against the Yankees and now it is up to 8.01 after Chris Tillman allowed a career-high nine runs and seven hits in 1 1/3 innings.

Baltimore enters the series finale with 13 losses in its last 19 games after getting outscored 24-5 in the first two games.

"It's not a great feeling, but it happens," Orioles left fielder Trey Mancini said. "It happens to every team at some point."

Mancini had one of four hits for the Orioles, who played a third straight game without Manny Machado (sore left wrist). Machado may not play again Sunday but manager Buck Showalter said the third baseman is feeling better and likely avoided a DL stint.

Besides the offense, New York has posted a 1.25 ERA in the last four games after Luis Severino allowed two runs in seven innings. Masahiro Tanaka was originally slated to start but was pushed back to Monday in Anaheim.

Taking Tanaka's spot will be Chad Green, who found out he was starting in the ninth inning Saturday after he wasn't needed.

"I was prepared to start," Green said. "They kind of mentioned it a couple of days ago it was a possibility."

Green has made three of New York's seven relief appearances of at least three innings so far and has a 1.62 ERA in seven appearances this season. Green has starting experience from making eight starts last season and posting a 5.94 ERA in those outings.

The right-hander's final two starts of last season were against the Orioles.

On Aug. 27 in New York, he allowed four runs and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings during a no-decision where he allowed two homers to Chris Davis and one to Mark Trumbo. On Sept. 2, he exited after injuring his elbow and allowing four runs in 1 2/3 innings.

Baltimore will counter with Kevin Gausman, who is 7-3 with a 2.48 ERA in 14 career starts and 20 overall appearances against the Yankees. Gausman faced the Yankees in New York on April 28 when the Orioles blew a 9-1 lead and were handed a 14-11 10-inning loss.

Gausman faced the Yankees twice in Baltimore and allowed six earned runs and 16 hits in 10 innings during games the Orioles won. After Tillman's tough outing, the Orioles are hoping Gausman can produce similar results to the two outstanding starts he delivered late last season in New York (two earned runs 14 1/3 innings).

The right-hander last pitched in Tuesday's win over Pittsburgh. Before Trumbo hit the game-winning single in the 10th of a 6-5 win, Gausman gave up four runs and eight hits in 6 2/3 innings.

It was the third time Gausman pitched into the seventh this season and Tuesday, he threw a season-high 113 pitches despite reaching eight three ball hits.

Gausman has a 5.86 ERA and among the reasons is struggles with two outs. Last season, he allowed a .233 average with two outs and this year opponents are batting .310 off him with two outs and .323 overall.

"I think that's a theme for me, really, this whole season is giving up way too many two-strike hits," Gausman said. "I threw some great pitches to get to that point, but obviously, they also did a really good job with some fastballs up and just kind of didn't hit them hard, but just kind of hit them where guys weren't."



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