Hot-hitting Yankees look for another win against Orioles (Jun 10, 2017)

BY AP • June 10, 2017

NEW YORK -- Last season through 58 games, the New York Yankees hit 60 homers, scored 223 runs and were batting .239.

This season, those numbers are significantly different and the Yankees look to add to their totals of 93 homers and 323 runs Saturday night when they continue a three-game series with the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium.

New York (35-23) is 12 games over .500 for the second time this season after opening the series with an 8-2 win on Friday. The Yankees have scored 25 runs in their last three wins and have scored 34 runs in three home wins over the Orioles.

The Yankees slugged three more homers and now boast five players with at least 10 homers after Starlin Castro hit a solo shot and Aaron Hicks homered in consecutive at-bats Friday.

Both players are hitting over .300 and four regulars hold averages above .300, giving the Yankees a .269 team average.

Hicks is batting .318 after Friday and is enjoying a significant turnaround from a disappointing first season.

"It feels really good, to be able get off to a hot start and I want to keep it going," Hicks said. "Especially since last season I got myself in a hole and this year I've started out hot, so it feels good."

The Orioles possess a similar home run (84) total as the Yankees but they are behind New York in other hitting categories with 262 runs and a .251 average after 59 games. Baltimore is 6-12 in its last 18 games and was held to two runs or fewer for the 11th time in 16 games.

Jonathan Schoop hit a two-run homer but the Orioles mustered five hits and none after the fifth inning. Manny Machado did not play due to a sore left wrist and may miss a third straight game Saturday.

Ruben Tejada replaced Machado at third base and had two hits while Chris Davis, Mark Trumbo and Adam Jones were a combined 1-for-10.

"It's a good matchup," Trumbo said. "It comes down to who executes a little bit better which they did tonight. We battled them tough though. It's going to be that way the rest of the way. They got a nice ballclub over there, so we're going to have to really fight for it."

The season series is split at five games apiece and the home team is 7-3.

New York's pitching has allowed three runs in the last three games since Tuesday and opponents are hitless in the last 42 at-bats with runners in scoring position against them since May 31.

After rookie Jordan Montgomery pitched a career-high seven innings Friday, Luis Severino takes the mound Saturday.

"You can't ask for anymore what these guys are doing," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "Sevy's on the mound tomorrow and let it continue. He's been throwing really well too. So these are really important starts."

Severino is coming off a tough no-decision Sunday in Toronto. He took a 2-0 lead into the sixth inning before allowing a two-run homer by Justin Smoak.

Severino allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings, marking the fourth straight time he allowed two runs or less. Since laboring through 2 1/3 innings May 14 against the Houston Astros, Severino has a 1.37 ERA.

One of those starts occurred May 30 in Baltimore when he allowed one run and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings. Severino is 2-1 with a 4.06 ERA in seven appearances (five starts) against the Orioles.

Chris Tillman makes his seventh start since returning from shoulder bursitis and the Orioles are hoping it can resemble some variation of his season debut.

Tillman's season began when he pitched five scoreless innings and allowed three hits to the Chicago White Sox on May 7. Since then, he has allowed 20 runs (17 earned) in his last 17 innings.

The right-hander last pitched Sunday when he allowed five runs (three earned) and six hits in six innings of a 7-3 loss to the Boston Red Sox. He issued a season-high four walks and threw 103 pitches to a season-high 27 hitters.

Tillman will be pitching against the Yankees for the second time second time in three starts. In an 8-3 loss, he allowed five runs and seven hits in 2 2/3 innings.

Brett Gardner and Matt Holliday homered off Tillman, who had not allowed a homer until that point.

The right-hander is 8-7 with a 4.93 ERA in 20 career starts against the Yankees. In New York, he is 4-4 with a 6.34 ERA in nine starts.

Baltimore is hoping Saturday goes as well as Tillman's last start in New York. In a 4-1 win on July 21, he allowed one run and four hits in seven innings but that was a lineup without Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge.



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