BALTIMORE (AP)Pinch-hitter Rougned Odor delivered the clutch hit the Orioles had been waiting for – against his former team, no less.
Odor broke a scoreless tie with a two-run single in the eighth inning, and Baltimore went on to a 5-0 victory over the New York Yankees on Sunday. The Orioles were 2 for 28 with runners in scoring position in the series – and 7 for 83 on the season – before Odor, Kelvin Gutierrez and Jorge Mateo came through in succession during a five-run rally.
Odor played for the Yankees last year and was released following the season before catching on with Baltimore.
”I think every win is emotional for everybody,” Odor said. ”It’s not because I played against the Yankees. I played with that team last year. It’s just because we won the game.”
Ryan Mountcastle started the Baltimore eighth with a single and Trey Mancini walked. Two outs later, Robinson Chirinos drew a 10-pitch walk to set the stage for Odor.
”Robinson Chirinos won us the game, with that at-bat,” manager Brandon Hyde said. ”He’s facing (Jonathan) Loaisiga, who’s really good, and great stuff, and puts together just a pro at-bat to get a walk there.”
With the bases loaded, Odor went to the plate as a pinch-hitter and singled sharply up the middle against Loaisiga (0-1). Gutierrez followed with a two-run double, and Mateo added an RBI single.
Jorge Lopez (1-1) won in relief for Baltimore, which took two of three against the Yankees, with both victories coming in its final at-bat.
New York starter Nestor Cortes was terrific for five-plus innings, striking out 12 while allowing three hits and a walk. Cortes threw an immaculate inning in the fourth, striking out the side on nine pitches. He also struck out the side in the second.
Baltimore’s Bruce Zimmermann went five scoreless innings, allowing four hits and two walks with six strikeouts.
”Tough day for us. Frustrating,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. ”I thought they pitched us really tough today, but we’ve got to find a way to get on the board and support our pitching, and just couldn’t get much going.”
New York had runners on first and third with one out in the fourth, but Isiah Kiner-Falefa bounced into a double play.
Yankees left fielder Tim Locastro, recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre before the game, made a sensational diving catch in the sixth on a ball hit to left-center by Mancini.
Earlier in the game, the Yankees put four players in the outfield against Mancini, but it didn’t matter much because that sixth-inning fly was the only ball he put in play. Mancini drew two walks and struck out once.
Cortes and Zimmermann have each held the opposition scoreless through two starts this year.
”I really didn’t realize how well he was pitching until I came out of the game, because I was spending my half-innings underneath the tunnel,” Zimmermann said. ”But to be in there and to see the guys keep grinding out at-bats – Robbie having a massive two-out walk there – and finally getting to break through with runners in scoring position, that’s the kind of things that’s going to win us ballgames.”
Baltimore transferred LHP John Means (sprained elbow) to the 60-day injured list.
The Orioles begin a four-game series at Oakland on Monday night. Spenser Watkins starts for Baltimore against Frankie Montas (1-1).
The Yankees are off Monday before a three-game set at Detroit. Gerrit Cole takes the mound for New York on Tuesday night against Eduardo Rodriguez (0-1).
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