Orioles ready for home opener vs. ailing Yankees
In the first week of the season, the New York Yankees are scuffling and injured while the Baltimore Orioles are enjoying some success following a 115-loss season.
After unexpected results in the first week of the season, the Orioles host the Yankees Thursday afternoon in their home opener at Camden Yards.
The Yankees head to Baltimore with four losses in their first six games and 10 players on the injured list. They began the season without Aaron Hicks and Didi Gregorius and then added Giancarlo Stanton and Miguel Andujar to the IL this week.
On Thursday, they will likely add another player to the injured list as Troy Tulowitzki was diagnosed with a Grade One left calf strain that manager Aaron Boone said will certainly lead to an IL stint. Tulowitzki exited Wednesday's 2-1 loss to Detroit after the third inning and was taken for an MRI.
Tulowitzki's injury overshadowed a game where the Yankees mustered five hits and struck out 18 times, setting a team record for a nine-inning game. The Yankees are hitting .229, have scored 13 runs since last week's 7-2 win over Baltimore and have piled up 65 strikeouts.
"I'm really confident in our guys and I'll say we talk all the time. We'll pick ourselves up. The major league season is a gauntlet filled with adverse situations all the time that come in many shapes and sizes throughout the year, even the best of seasons. We've hit a little bit of adversity here with some of the injuries we're dealing with but I'll hang my hat on our group and know that we'll fight our way through this and get it rolling."
Baltimore returns home with four wins in its first six games. The Orioles won four straight and nearly picked up their fifth in a row Wednesday afternoon before taking a 5-3 loss in Toronto.
The Orioles have scored 25 times on their season-opening road trip with 14 of those runs coming last weekend in New York.
Trey Mancini hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning Wednesday and is batting .417 (10-for-24) with three homers and eight RBIs. Dwight Smith Jr. went 8-for-24 on the trip while Jonathan Villar went 8-for-25.
The Orioles produced a winning road trip even without getting anything from Chris Davis, who is hitless in 12 at-bats.
Alex Cobb makes his season debut for the Orioles after a brief stint on the injured list with a strained right groin. Cobb injured his groin late in spring training and was scratched from starting last week's season opener in New York.
"He's 100 percent. It will be awesome to see Cobber back out there. Looking forward to him having a good start," Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said.
Cobb endured the worst season of his career in 2018, going 5-15 with a 4.90 ERA in 28 starts after signing late in spring training. Cobb was significantly better after the All-Star break as he was 3-3 with a 2.56 ERA in 11 appearances (10 starts) after losing 12 of his first 14 decisions.
The right-hander is 7-4 with a 2.90 ERA in 17 career appearances (16 starts) against New York.
James Paxton makes his second start as a Yankee and is coming off a tough-luck loss to the Orioles. In last Saturday's 5-3 loss, he allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits in 5 2/3 innings.
The left-hander is 2-1 with a 3.18 ERA in four career starts against the Orioles.
--Field Level Media
Updated April 3, 2019