The New York Yankees began their four-game series against the Baltimore Orioles May 20, taking the lead in the series,10-7. The Yanks will play the remainder of the series through Friday, with one game held each day of the week. The Oriole Park at Camden Yards hosted the first game and will serve as the location for the remainder of the series. The Yankees are the favorites to win the series and are expected to secure a clean sweep.
Impressively, the Yankees currently sit comfortably at the top of the American League East standings, well ahead of their longtime rivals, the Boston Red Sox. Ten games separate the two legendary franchises from clashing at the end of the month, with the Yanks being granted an easy schedule of games until that time. By the time the rivals face off, the Yankees are projected to have run away with the division title.
Teams that have struggled this season will be all that remain for the Yankees during the regular season. Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Rays and the Red Sox, sitting at second and third in the AL East respectively, will face nothing but MLB playoff contenders. The slate of games leaves the Yankees with the opportunity to get themselves into the postseason but they will have to remain composed against the easy teams first. Given their schedule, there will be no excuses for the Yanks if they surrender their current lead.
The Bronx Bombers will follow up their series against the Orioles with a trip to Kauffman Stadium. A three-game series against the Kansas City Royals, whose poor season leaves them at the very bottom of the league, will be the next task for the Yankees. After that, they are expected to run through the San Diego Padres in a three-game series at Yankee Stadium.
The first win for the Yankees against the Orioles saw them fight hard en route to a late dramatic comeback. One could hardly call it a clean, confident win, however, as the closing stages had the Yankees put on a scrappy performance. The win was similar to the ugly victories that the Bombers had been collecting throughout the past several weeks. What separated this particular win apart from the others was the names that ensured it. Namely, team stars Gary Sanchez and Brett Gardner.
Sanchez, who had been cleared to compete in April after successfully nursing an injury, has managed 15 home runs in the 33 games he’s played in.
The slugger came in clutch in the ninth inning, hitting a 385-footer that set the Bombers up for their comeback. Just beforehand, Gardner had a good moment of his own when he struck a single that veered left.
After getting to first, Gardner waited in anticipation for Cameron Maybin to hit. A single to the right from Maybin caused Gardner to take off on a first to third run. Maybin himself got all the way to second, putting the two Yankees in prime position to score. The clever base running by the Yanks, which was consistent throughout all the innings, paid off after Sanchez’s homer put the game away. The energy in the Yankees’ locker room was naturally incredibly positive. Gardner, who is typically on the bottom end of the list of batters, was given much praise for the run that initiated the turnaround for the Bombers. Earlier on in the season, Gardner was a starter but has been moved to the back of the pecking order after Sanchez’s return.