Baltimore Orioles, currently holding the top spot in the American League East, will aim to widen the gap between them and the last-place New York Yankees as they face off on Saturday night in Baltimore.
Friday’s series opener saw the Orioles clinch a thrilling 1-0 victory, with Anthony Santander smashing a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning. The game was delayed for over 2 1/2 hours before it finally commenced, concluding well past midnight.
The Yankees, who have been shut out five times this season, now hope to bounce back and turn things around with the return of slugger Aaron Judge. After a lengthy absence due to a torn ligament in his right big toe, Judge played as a designated hitter in Friday’s game, displaying a good understanding of the strike zone with three walks, though going 0-for-1. Manager Aaron Boone plans to have Judge back in the right field for Saturday’s clash, hoping his presence will ignite the Yankees’ offense.
Meanwhile, the Orioles are also seeking to strengthen their lineup. Ryan Mountcastle’s return to the team after overcoming vertigo has been a positive development for Baltimore, with manager Brandy Hyde praising Mountcastle’s batting performance. The duo of Ryan O’Hearn and Mountcastle in the lineup’s fourth and fifth spots has shown promise.
Saturday’s game will see the Yankees starting with right-hander Clarke Schmidt, who is eyeing his fifth consecutive victory. He hasn’t experienced a loss since June 6. Schmidt faced Baltimore on May 25, suffering a 3-1 defeat after allowing just one run in five innings.
For the Orioles, right-hander Tyler Wells will take the mound, looking to break his recent pattern of struggles. Over his past six games, Wells has given up seven home runs in 29 1/3 innings and hasn’t managed to last through five innings in his last two starts. Wells has a challenging history against the Yankees, posting an 0-4 record with a 4.95 ERA in 13 appearances, including seven starts. This year, he’s had a tough time against New York, sporting an 0-1 record with a 5.82 ERA in three starts.
As the Orioles and Yankees clash on Saturday, both teams are eager to seize the opportunity to secure crucial victories in their pursuit of success in the American League East. The outcome of this matchup could significantly impact the standings and the postseason race in the highly competitive division.
Source : Reuters
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