Despite leading by a score of 5-1, the New York Yankees were unable to come away with a win in the series opener in Baltimore. 

  • New York Yankees: 5 (1-3)
  • Baltimore Orioles: 6 (3-0)
  • American League, FINAL, Box Score
  • Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, MD

The Baltimore Orioles managed to grab a come-from-behind 6-5 victory on Friday night from what seemed like an approaching 5-1 win for the New York Yankees.

For the first five innings, it was all New York.

Veteran designated hitter Matt Holliday kicked off the scoring in the top of the first inning with a weak ground-ball single to right off Orioles’ starter Ubaldo Jimenez. Brett Gardner came in to score and the Yankees went up 1-0.

Holliday wasn’t quite done yet, as he ripped a two-run home run in the top of the third with Gardner on third for his first home run as a member of the Yankees. The Bombers weren’t done there, as Gary Sanchez drilled his first home run of 2017 with a two-run homer in the fifth to make it 5-1, New York.

Jimenez lasted just 4.1 innings and gave up five earned runs on seven hits in his season debut.

Baltimore, however, wouldn’t go quietly into the night. One-half inning after Sanchez’s home run, Manny Machado took Yankees’ starter Luis Severino deep for a three-run bomb to make it 5-4, New York. The 23-year-old starter would finish the inning and his night with five innings and four runs on six hits allowed.

Two innings later, after a throwing error by Chase Headley, Orioles’ leadoff hitter Seth Smith took Tyler Clippard deep for a two-run shot to throw the Orioles ahead 6-5. Manager Buck Showalter rode 3.3 innings of shutout work by his bullpen to form a bridge to his lights out closer, Zach Britton.

The lefty struck out Gardner looking, got Sanchez to ground out on a sharp ground ball to the mound and then induced a game-sealing groundout to third against pinch hitter Chris Carter.

Britton’s save not only secured a five-run comeback by the Orioles, but it was his 51st consecutive save which ties him with Jose Valverde (2010-11) for the second-longest streak in American League history.

Costly Error: 

With the baseball in the firm grasp of the back-end tandem of the trusty Yankees’ bullpen, the defense behind them let the game slip away in the bottom of the seventh.

Tyler Clippard was on for New York and got Jonathan Schoop to weakly ground one to Chase Headley who threw a low, one-hopper to Greg Bird. The young first baseman couldn’t handle the throw, and Schoop reached second base as the ball rolled towards the stands.

The very next batter, Seth Smith, jumped on a fastball up by Clippard and hit it towards Utah Street for a go-ahead two-run bomb.

He Is Gary:

Entering Friday, Gary Sanchez was 1-for-14 to start the season with no home runs and a -57 OPS+. Cause for panic? The Sanchize thinks not.

In the top of the fifth inning with Brett Gardner on second base, the young backstop clobbered a splitter from Ubaldo Jimenez and when we say clobbered, boy is that the most accurate description.

According to reporter David Adler, the two-run shot left the bat with an exit velocity of 112.2, a 32-degree launch angle and traveled 426 feet for the hardest-hot home run of his brief career.

A Bird Without A Wing: 

Coming off an outstanding spring training, Greg Bird just can’t seem to get going here in 2017.

After a 0-for-4 day with three strikeouts on Friday, the 24-year-old is now 1-for-16 with seven strikeouts through the first four games of his second season in the major leagues.

Manny Being Manny:

Just Luis Severino seemed to be cruising to a dazzling first start of a crucial campaign for him, one of the best hitters in the game brought him back to earth.

In the bottom of the fifth, O’s third baseman Manny Machado beat Severino on a fastball in and when Machado beats you, the ball usually lands on the other side of the wall. And, as one would assume, that’s exactly what happened in this situation.

Machado crushed a three-run to right field off the young Yankee hurler and is now 4-for-11 (.363) with three home runs against him.

This Day In Yankees History: April 7, 2007

With New York trailing the Orioles 7-6 with two outs and bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning, Alex Rodriguez clobbered a walk-off grand slam to centerfield off O’s closer Chris Ray in a dramatic 10-7 victory in the Bronx.

What’s Next? 

The O’s will host the Yankees again on Saturday for the middle game of this three-game set in Camden Yards.

Getting the ball for New York will be Masahiro Tanaka, who’s looking to bounce back from a dismal Opening Day start in which he surrendered seven earned runs in just 2.2 innings pitched.

In one start against the Orioles last season, the Yankee ace pitched eight shutout innings while striking out seven of the 29 Oriole hitters he faces.

Getting the nod for Baltimore will be Kevin Gausman, who downright owns the Yankees. In 17 career games (11 starts), the righty owns a 1.92 ERA while striking out 70 batters in 79.2 innings of work.

ESNY will provide you with a full preview, in-game trending videos and an entire postgame analysis but the contest will be televised on FOX Sports 1, the YES Network or MASN starting at 4:05 p.m. ET.