Valencia HR carries Orioles past Yankees 5-4 in DH opener
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
By DAVID GINSBURG
AP Sports Writer
BALTIMORE (AP) A slumping player on the worst team in the majors found his groove just in time to knock off the New York Yankees.
Mark Trumbo also homered for the Orioles, who improved to 25-65 and temporarily stalled the Yankees' pursuit of first-place Boston in the AL East.
"The losses stink," New York manager Aaron Boone said. "We don't have a lot of time to soak this one in. It's get on to the next one right now."
The Yankees were cruising with a 4-2 lead in the sixth inning when Sabathia (6-4) walked Trumbo and yielded a double to Jonathan Schoop. With the New York bullpen buzzing in an effort to get a reliever ready, Sabathia served up a 2-1 pitch that Valencia drove far over the center-field wall.
"To come through big with the home run there to put us ahead, it feels nice. Can't deny that," Valencia said.
It would be the final pitch for Sabathia, who allowed five runs and seven hits in five-plus innings.
"I think it was just a pitch that he knew was coming," Sabathia said of the homer. "I probably should have went a different way right there."
The 37-year-old lefty is winless in his last nine starts against the Orioles since May 4, 2016.
Giancarlo Stanton homered for the Yankees, who got the potential tying run to third base with one out in the ninth before Zach Britton struck out Kyle Higashioka and retired pinch-hitter Brett Gardner on a grounder.
New York is 3-4 against the last-place Orioles this season. As an example of the Yankees' frustration, left fielder Clint Frazier cracked his bat over his knee after his third strikeout of the game in the eighth inning.
Mike Wright (2-0) struck out four in two innings of relief, Mychal Givens fanned two in the eighth and Britton followed for his second save.
Recalled from Triple-A Norfolk to be the 26th man for Baltimore in the doubleheader, Jimmy Yacabonis allowed three runs over five innings in his second major league start.
Stanton put the Yankees up 1-0 with his 22nd home run in the second inning. It was 3-0 before Manny Machado doubled and Trumbo connected in the fourth.
The game was a makeup of a rainout on May 31.
Yankees: All-Star reliever Aroldis Chapman (left knee tendinitis) left Saturday's game against Toronto with a trainer by his side, but Boone says there has been no discussion about putting the lefty on the DL and that the injury has not impacted his effectiveness. ... C Gary Sanchez (groin) is scheduled to take batting practice on Tuesday in Baltimore, and a decision on the start of his rehab assignment will be made this weekend.
Orioles: Reliever Darren O'Day will undergo surgery Thursday to repair a severe hamstring strain. "I've come to terms with my season being over. I'm excited to get the surgery and kind of get focused on going forward," O'Day said. ... RHP Chris Tillman (back) has been dealing with a callus on his pitching hand but remains on schedule to make his next rehab start.
NO TEARS, PLEASE
Dellin Betances is one of the game's hottest relievers, but his run of four All-Star appearances in four big league seasons is over. If the right-hander was dismayed over the slight, he didn't show it. "Every year a lot of guys are left out. Last year I probably didn't deserve to get in," he said. Betances started the week with a run of 18 straight scoreless appearances. Asked about being idle during the All-Star break for the first time, he replied, "It'll be weird. But I'll enjoy those four days."
Yankees right-hander Luis Cessa (0-1, 5.00 ERA) was slated to face rookie right-hander Yefry Ramirez (0-2, 2.51) in the nightcap.
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Updated July 9, 2018