With two outs in the ninth inning, Carlos Beltran hit a walk-off three-run homer off of Zach Britton to give the Yankees a 5-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles. Brian McCann’s single in the ninth inning made the score 3-2, and with Francisco Cervelli on first and Kelly Johnson on second, Beltran hit his sixth career walk-off homer.
The first walk-off hit of the season gave the Yankees (39-33) their eighth win in their last 10 games. This win followed a sweep of the first place Toronto Blue Jays. It did not look promising because the Yankees had only gone 2-10 with runners in scoring position before the 9th inning but were able to come through when they needed to in order to win their fourth consecutive game.
It looked like the Yankees were not going to win yet another start that Hiroki Kuroda pitched well, but Beltran drove in his fifth run in his last two games. “When you feel good at the plate, you want to be in that spot,” Beltran said. “Thank God the past couple of days I’ve been feeling more comfortable at the plate. I’ve been putting good at-bats together.”
Kuroda pitched well for the third time in his last four starts. He was able to lower his ERA to a respectable 4.23. Kuroda pitched six solid innings while allowing two runs, striking out six and only walking one. The Orioles did not have a hit off of him through five innings, but Kuroda lost his command of his pitches in the sixth as Steve Pearce’s double scored Nick Hundley, which was followed by Adam Jones‘s RBI single.
Ubaldo Jimenez, who had struggled with a 4.86 ERA coming into the game, surprisingly only allowed one run through 5.2 innings. However, the Yankees were not able to take advantage of the six hits and six walks that he allowed.
Mark Teixeira got the scoring started for the Yankees with a double to right in the first that scored Jacoby Ellsbury. Teixiera has raised his batting average from .238 to .250 during his current nine-game hitting streak.
The two big offensive additions from the offseason, McCann and Beltran, were able to continue their recent improved hitting. McCann has four hits and six RBIs in his past three games, and Beltran has five hits, four runs scored, six RBIs and two homers in his past five games. The Yankees are counting on clutch offensive production from those two veterans.
David Huff, who was on the Yankees last season and was just recently reacquired from the San Francisco Giants, got the win after striking out two and allowing an unearned run in the ninth inning.
Another positive sign for the Yankees is that Shawn Kelley, who had previously allowed three runs in four appearances since coming off of the disabled list, was able to pitch 1.1 scoreless innings in relief of Kuroda. He is an important member of their bullpen, and the Yankees need to be able to rely on him to be able to pitch the way he did tonight against the Orioles.
The Yankees improved their record at Yankee Stadium to 17-16 and are now a season-high six games over .500.