After a rainout on Thursday (May 31), the new york yankees and Baltimore Orioles played on Friday (June 1) to open up their series in Baltimore. The Yankees had Sonny Gray (3-4, 5.98 ERA) on the mound and the Orioles had Andrew Cashner (2-6, 5.07 ERA). The Yankees are in a battle for the best record in the majors, while the Orioles are competing for the worst record, which awards them the first overall draft pick. Gray was looking to correct his season against a team that has struggled all season offensively.

Game recap

The Orioles struck first in the bottom half of the first inning when free-agent-to-be and the player that could be traded by the end of the season, Manny Machado, hit a solo home run to right field for his 17th of the season to give the Orioles a 1-0 lead.

The Yankees then scored in the top half of the third, when AL Player of the Month for May, rookie Gleyber Torres hit a single to center field off the end of the bat that allowed Neil Walker to score from second base and tie the game at one. The Yankees had the bases loaded with no outs in the inning and were unable to score an additional run from it.

The Yankees took the lead in the top of the fifth when Greg Bird hit an RBI triple to center field that allowed Brett Gardner to score and make it 2-1. They added an insurance run in the top of the sixth inning with two outs when Austin Romine hit an RBI double that went over the head of Joey Rickard in right field and allowed Didi Gregorius to make it 3-1 Yankees.

Aaron Judge hit a long solo homer to left field in the top half of the seventh inning off reliever Tanner Scott for his 16th homer of the season to make it 4-1 Yankees. Judge has incredible numbers in his last 22 games against the O's with 13 home runs, 29 RBIs, and 35 runs scored. In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Orioles managed to load the bases with only one out but were unable to score a run.

Closer Aroldis Chapman threw a perfect inning with three strikeouts for his 13th save of the season and the Yankees are now only half-a-game back of Boston for first place in the AL East.

Sonny in Baltimore

Sonny Gray has not been having a very good season in 2018, having an ERA north of five. Gray did look like the pitcher the Yankees traded for at the deadline last season, as he threw six strong innings (and probably could have thrown a seventh as he only was at 90 pitches) with no walks and six strikeouts.

His only mistake was against Manny Machado in the first inning, but quickly bounced back and shut down the struggling Orioles. The Yankees will need this Sonny Gray for the rest of the season, as the starting pitching has been the biggest question mark for a team some expect to battle for the World Series in October. Maybe Gray found his stuff.