The New York Yankees will look to continue one of their best starts in the history of the storied franchise when they shoot for a four-game sweep of the host Baltimore Orioles on Thursday afternoon.
The Yankees, who are a major-league-best 28-9, have won 23 of their past 27 games. They are coming off a 3-2 win on Wednesday, marking the sixth straight time they have beaten the Orioles.
The Orioles have dropped six in a row overall after a stretch that saw them win six of eight.
The Yankees will turn Thursday to left-hander Jordan Montgomery (0-1, 3.06 ERA). He allowed two runs on six hits with four strikeouts and three walks in 4 1/3 innings during a 3-2 road loss to the Chicago White Sox on Saturday.
Montgomery has faced the Orioles twice this season, ending up with a no-decision each time. On April 15 in Baltimore, he allowed just three hits to go along with two strikeouts and two walks in five scoreless innings during a 2-1 New York loss in 11 innings. In New York on April 27, he gave up two runs on four hits with four strikeouts and no walks in 5 2/3 innings of a 5-2 win.
The Orioles will counter with left-hander Bruce Zimmermann (2-2, 2.72 ERA). He gave up three runs, two earned, on seven hits with two strikeouts and a walk over six innings against the Detroit Tigers during a 3-0 loss on Saturday.
Zimmermann has faced the Yankees twice this season, with mixed results.
On April 17 in Baltimore, he held the Yankees to just four hits to go along with six strikeouts and two walks in five innings during a 5-0 win.
Eleven days later, he allowed four runs, three earned, on seven hits with five strikeouts and a walk in 4 1/3 innings during a 10-5 loss at Yankee Stadium.
Zimmerman has struggled facing the Yankees’ Aaron Judge, who is 4-for-9 with two homers in nine at-bats against him.
Judge leads the majors with 14 homers this year after hitting two on Tuesday. He would have hit a third, as his fly ball to left hit the top of the new 13-foot-high wall in Baltimore and bounced back into play for a double.
“It’s a travesty, man,” Judge said. “I’m pretty upset. It looks like a create-a-park now. I didn’t like it, because I always liked coming here and playing here. Hopefully, in a couple of years, they can move it back in. We’ll see.”
During the offseason, the Orioles moved the left field fence back about 30 feet and raised the wall from its previous height of 7 feet to make the park more pitcher-friendly.
The Orioles’ Trey Mancini, who hit 21 home runs last year and has three this year, said he isn’t a fan of the new left field.
“We play half our game here, so …,” Mancini said. “I know that (Judge’s) ball should probably be a homer, but yeah, we’ve got a lot that should have been, too. Like I said, we play half our games here, so not as great for a right-handed hitter.
“It is still our job to go out there and play, so complaining about it is not going to help us. But that doesn’t mean we like it either.”
–Field Level Media