Judge, Yankees take aim at reeling Orioles
NEW YORK -- Aaron Judge described Giancarlo Stanton's first Yankee Stadium home run succinctly.
"It was loud," Judge said after he, Stanton and Gary Sanchez homered in the same game for the first time this season during Wednesday's 7-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. "It was impressive."
The New York Yankees often made similar comments last season about some of Judge's swings against the Baltimore Orioles, who allowed 11 of his 52 homers.
Judge gets his first crack at Baltimore's pitching Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series at Yankee Stadium.
En route to winning the American League Rookie of the Year award, Judge batted .426 (26-for-61) with 11 home runs, 24 RBIs and 31 runs scored against the Orioles as the Yankees won 12 of 19 meetings, including eight of 10 in New York.
Judge was the first player to score at 31 times against an opponent since Ted Williams also scored 31 runs in 1947 against the St. Louis Browns, who moved to Baltimore following the 1953 season. Judge also owns a 17-game hitting streak against the Orioles -- the second-longest by anyone against the franchise since Jimmie Foxx's 19-game run from June 1, 1938, to May 9, 1939.
At Yankee Stadium, Judge batted (16-for-33) with eight homers and 17 RBIs against the Orioles, who allowed 46 homers and 154 runs in the season series.
Judge is hitting .286 (6-for-21) through six games and belted his first homer in the fourth inning on Wednesday.
New York's starting pitching owns a 1.64 ERA (six earned runs, 33 innings) after Luis Severino allowed two runs in 7 1/3 innings.
Masahiro Tanaka (1-0, 1.50 ERA) will attempt to keep it going after starting the season with a dominating showing.
In Friday's 4-2 win at Toronto, Tanaka allowed one run and three hits in six innings. He retired the last 13 batters while getting seven of eight strikeouts in that span during a 79-pitch outing that was his second-lowest pitch count in a six-inning start.
"I thought it was really a quality effort by a mature, really good pitcher," Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters.
Tanaka also did not issue a walk and is 38-19 with a 3.15 ERA when issuing one walk or fewer.
The right-hander is 2-2 with a 3.58 ERA in eight career starts against the Orioles. Last season, Tanaka was 1-1 with a 6.11 ERA in three outings vs. Baltimore, though he allowed two runs on eight hits in seven innings in a 13-5 win over them in September.
Baltimore's roster owns a .215 average (31-for-155) against Tanaka. While Adam Jones .333 (7-for-21) hits him well, Chris Davis is 5-for-21 (.238) and Manny Machado .174 (4-for-23) do not. Jonathan Schoop is 5-for-23 but has three homers off Tanaka.
The Orioles are hitting .185 and pitching to a 5.43 ERA after dropping a 3-2 decision Wednesday at Houston. Baltimore has lost five straight and its 1-5 record represents the team's worst six-game start since 2010.
Davis was not in the starting lineup Wednesday and is off to a 1-for-21 start but will be in the lineup Thursday, though it might be not at the leadoff spot.
"It's a good day for Chris to take a little blow, back off and kind of reboot tomorrow," Orioles manager Buck Showalter told reporters in Houston Wednesday.
Right-hander Andrew Cashner (0-1, 7.20 ERA) will make his second start for the Orioles, who signed him in mid-February.
Cashner made his Baltimore debut Saturday when he allowed five runs (four earned) on six hits in five innings in a 6-2 home loss to the Minnesota Twins. Three of those hits were home runs, marking the fourth time he allowed at least three homers and the first time while pitching in the American League.
Before Saturday, Cashner did not allow more than two homers in 42 straight starts since July 8, 2016, when he gave up four homers to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
"I think my sinker arm-side was kind of flat," Cashner told reporters. "I think I needed to just do a better job of getting on top of it. But it's not a great start, but there's a lot to build off of."
In three career starts against the Yankees, Cashner is 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA.
Cashner took a no-decision pitching for Texas on Sept. 9, when he allowed one run and four hits in seven innings. Cashner also faced the Yankees on July 3, 2016, for San Diego in a six-inning start and notched his lone win against New York on Aug. 2, 2013, also for San Diego.
New York's current roster owns a .239 average (16-for-67) against Cashner. The Yankees with the most experience against him are Didi Gregorius (4-for-16) and Neil Walker (2-for-10). Giancarlo Stanton is 1-for-7 off him.
Updated April 4, 2018