Orioles-Yankees preview

BY foxsports • August 27, 2016

NEW YORK -- The New York Yankees have not gained much ground in the wild-card race because they have not been playing the teams they are pursuing.

On Friday their first attempt to beat a team they were pursuing was successful and the Yankees get another chance to inch closer in the race Saturday afternoon when they face the Baltimore Orioles.

New York has won five of its last seven games and four of five from Baltimore at home this season. The Yankees will face the Orioles eight more times before the season ends.

New York is 3 1/2 games out of the second wild-card spot thanks to a 14-4 win Friday that featured another big night from Gary Sanchez.

"Guys are excited around here and we believe," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

Sanchez fell a triple shy of the cycle during his fifth career game with three hits and highlighted his latest big night with a long two-run home run.

Sanchez is batting .403 and his 10 home runs equal the total he had with Triple-A Scranton Wilkes/Barre.

Since he joined the Yankees on Aug. 3, they are a respectable 13-8, and the rookie catcher's big night helped them go a season-high five games over .500 at 66-61.

"We still got a chance at this thing," Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner said. "We're believe in ourselves and we got an important game tomorrow. We play all the teams ahead of us, we play them a lot the rest of the year. So we feel good about the place that we're in."

The Orioles have dropped four of five games in New York this season after winning four of six in Baltimore. Overall, the Orioles (70-58) have dropped seven of 11 since Aug. 15 when they last held a share of first place.

Besides failing to gain ground over the Yankees, the Orioles' lead over the other teams was reduced. The Orioles lead Detroit by one game, Seattle by two games and Kansas City and Houston by three games.

The Orioles will be hoping for a significantly better performance on the mound after Yovani Gallardo allowed eight runs and six hits in a career-low 1 1/3 innings.

Baltimore might have the right guy on the mound Saturday in Dylan Bundy, who is 5-3 with a 3.56 ERA in eight starts since being added to the rotation following the All-Star break.

His ERA is slightly inflated by a sub-par outing in Boston on Aug. 17 and when Bundy limited the damage while allowing a baserunner in five of six innings Monday in Baltimore it prompted high praise from Washington manager Dusty Baker.

"He reminds me of the old Mets, like Tom Seaver and Gary Gentry and those guys." Baker said. "He has one of the best curve balls we've seen. We heard he had great stuff, it was just a matter of his command."

After Yankees pitcher Luis Cessa allowed two home runs to Manny Machado among five hits in six effective innings on Friday, Chad Green will make his seventh start for the Yankees and third since correcting some things in the minors. Since returning from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre Aug. 15, Green has allowed one earned run in 12 innings during his last two starts.

The right-hander followed up six outstanding innings with 11 strikeouts vs. Toronto by allowing one run and five hits in six innings during Sunday's 2-0 loss at the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

As a starting pitcher, Green is 2-3 with a 4.80 ERA and in half of his starts he has allowed one run or less while completing six innings. His 11.10 strikeouts per nine innings is the sixth-highest in the majors among pitchers with at least 30 innings as starting pitchers.

The Orioles will likely be without center fielder Adam Jones Saturday. Jones was in the starting lineup Friday despite his hamstring cramping up Thursday but departed with a strained left hamstring in the second inning.

Manager Buck Showalter did not think it would require a stint on the disabled list, but it was indicative of a frustrating night for the Orioles.

"Let's try and get this correct and make that big push," Jones said. "At this point in time in the season missing more than a few games would hurt the team."



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