Struggling Yankees, Orioles try to get bats going

MLB Baseball

The Baltimore Orioles halted the Oakland Athletics’ 13-game winning streak on Sunday and now they start a series against a team they’ve struggled against the past few seasons — the New York Yankees.

New York comes to Baltimore on Monday night tied for last place with the Orioles in the American League East. Both teams have had issues at the plate throughout the first month of the season.

After Cleveland handed the Yankees a 7-3 loss Sunday, New York sat next-to-last in the American League with a .206 batting average. Gio Urshela and Mike Ford banged out back-to-back homers in the fourth that gave the Yankees a 3-0 lead, but New York could do no more after that.

The Yankees also left nine on base.

In Sunday’s game, New York’s starting lineup had five players with averages below .200. That didn’t even include center fielder Aaron Hicks, who sat out due to some back issues.

“It’s nothing I’m too worried about,” manager Aaron Boone said. “But it kind of pushed me into saying (this) was a good day to get him down. I just decided not to push things in a day game after a night game.”

Hicks is another Yankee having problems at the plate. He has a .172 average so far this season.

The Yankees have dominated the Orioles in the past few seasons. New York has a 26-6 record versus Baltimore since the start of the 2019 season — including the truncated 2020 campaign. This year, the Yankees are 2-1 against the rebuilding Baltimore team.

Deivi Garcia will be called up to make his season debut in Baltimore. He’s 0-1 with a 7.71 ERA against the Orioles in his brief career.

Former Met Matt Harvey gets the start for Baltimore. He’s 1-1 with a 5.12 ERA and, in his last start, lasted five innings to get the victory — his first since July 2019.

The veteran right-hander has a 1-0 career record and a 1.63 ERA in four career starts versus the Yankees.

Baltimore is not hitting much better than New York right now, holding a .227 team batting average, but the Orioles banged out three homers in the 8-1 victory over Oakland that stopped the A’s long winning streak Sunday.

The Orioles have been hot and cold in April and can’t seem to find regular power or the ability to score enough runs. But Baltimore had one of its best offensive games Sunday.

Austin Hays hit his first two homers of the season, and Maikel Franco started a five-run eighth with another blast. Hays hit a solo shot and a two-run homer, and he’s proven to be a streaky hitter who can help the Orioles when staying away from injuries.

“When he does everything well, he’s so great,” said Baltimore pitcher John Means, who earned the win in the game. “When he gets hot, he doesn’t really cool off, it seems like.”

Leadoff hitter Cedric Mullins contributed three hits and raised his average to .346. He’s made the top spot in the order his own, and his strong defense in center field has helped the Baltimore pitching staff many times.

Zac Lowther, one of the prospects the Orioles have been keeping an eye on, made his major league debut and threw a scoreless ninth. Paul Fry threw a shutout eighth and lowered his ERA to 1.08.

–Field Level Media

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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