(Domingo German on the mound – Photo by Jason Schott)
The Yankees got another great performance from Domingo German, who earned his eighth victory, and Luke Voit, who had a three-hit night, to win the nightcap of their doubleheader with the Baltimore Orioles, 3-1, on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium.
Along with their 5-3 win in the first game, the Yankees swept the twinbill and are now 26-16 heading into a weekend series against Tampa Bay in The Bronx with first place in the American League East on the line.
German had another incredible outing, as he threw seven innings, allowing 1 run on 6 hits and a walk, with 8 strikeouts, to earn his Majoe League-league-leading eighth win of the season. He is 8-1 with a 2.50 ERA overall this season.
According to Elias, German is the first Yankee to earn eight wins in his first nine starts since Tommy John went 8-0 in his first nine games (eight of which were starts) in 1979.
This matched the longest outing of his career, as he also threw seven innings against Seattle on June 19, 2018. He has thrown at least six innings in six of his eight starts this season.
Yankees Manager Aaron Boone said of German, “For the most part, he was kind of what we’ve talked about with him all year. It’s the ability to throw any pitch at any time, you know, spin the breaking ball, got some swings and misses with it, had a good change-up going, and the fastball, I mean, it’s three pitches, comfortable throwing them at any count in any situation, and that was the case tonight, even though he tired a little bit there at the end of the seventh.”
Yankees first baseman Luke Voit had a big night at the plate, as he went 3-for-4 with 2 RBI to break out of an 0-for-21 slump.
Boone said of what was different about Voit in this one, “I just thought he had better swings throughout the night, he hit some balls that he fouled off, was able to lay off some pitches, you know, and that’s probably just being on better time to make better swing decisions. When he does that, the results could be what he did tonight.”
Boone said he “never noticed a dip in confidence” from Voit, and added, “Sometimes, he gets a little ticked off, you know, and grinds a little hard and takes it a little personal, but I never worry about confidence with Luke. Luke knows he can hit, and just a matter again, I wear it out, but when he controls the zone and he gets his good swing off, he can be lethal.”
Voit got the Yankees on the board in the third inning when he hit a rocket off the base of the wall in center field, which scored DJ LeMahieu all the way from first base.
Gleyber Torres then hit a solo home run in the fourth inning, his third of the day when you add the two he had in Game 1, and that made it 2-0 Yankees.
German was dominant through the first four innings, as he was one over the mimimum amount of hitters he could face (a Joey Rickard double in the third was Baltimore’s only baserunner).
In the fifth, Baltimore broke through, as Stevie Wilkerson and Rio Ruiz singled to open the frame. Hanser Alberto then hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score Wilkerson to make it 2-1 Yankees, and German then struck out Pedro Severino and got Rickard to fly out to right field to end the inning.
In the top of the sixth, Jonathan Villar singled to open it up, but he then was caught stealing on a bullet from Yankees catcher Austin Romine. German then struck out Dwight Smith, Jr., and Trey Mancini to get out of trouble.
In the seventh, Baltimore got two runners on against German with one out, but Brett Gardner, who had just entered the game in left field, made a sliding catch on a liner from Alberto for the second out. Then after Severino walked to load the bases, Rickard bounced into a force out.
In the bottom of the seventh, Thairo Estrada got a one-out double and scored on a single by Voit to make it 3-1.
Boone said of what he liked from German in this one, “I mean, just filled up the zone with all his pitches. You know, I think clearly tired that final inning, but in that seventh inning at the bottom of the order, we were going to ride with him with those last two righties down at the bottom, and he was able to muster up enough to really make a pitch to finish off that inning.”
Just as he they did in the first game, Zack Britton pitched a scoreless eighth and Aroldis Chapman pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his 11th save of the season.
Kendrys Morales, who was in the Yankee lineup as the designated hitter, went 1-for-2 with two walks in his debut. Morales’ two walks were from the left side of the plate against Andrew Cashner and his single was from the right side in the eighth inning against Paul Fry.
Boone said he thought Morales’ at-bats were “really good, that’s a pro at-bat, you know, both sides, to be able to get on base there. He gave us the good at-bats we were looking for. It was good to have him in the mix. His reputation, you know, obviously, he’s been a really good player, but he comes with a reputation of being a really high character guy that we hope has a chance to impact our room like so many others have so far this year.”
Center fielder Aaron Hicks went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in his season debut.