Ryan Mountcastle and Jorge Mateo propel Orioles to 7-2 win over Yankees in series clincher

BALTIMORE — Ryan Mountcastle and Jorge Mateo each homered and drove in two runs to lift the Baltimore Orioles to a series-deciding 7-2 victory over the New York Yankees on Thursday.

Ryan McKenna also connected and Jordan Westburg’s two-run triple helped the Orioles complete a four-run fifth to chase Yankees starter Carlos Rodón (2-2) and secure a third win of the four-game set, the first this season between likely AL East contenders. The Orioles moved one game ahead of the Yankees in the division.

Righty Kyle Bradish allowed one run in 4 2/3 innings in his first start after beginning the season on the 15-day injured list with a UCL strain. Keegan Akin (1-0) retired four batters while allowing a run in middle relief.

“That might’ve been our best pitched series, honestly,” said Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde, whose staff allowed six runs in the four games. “From the starts we got to how the bullpen pitched against a really good offense.”

Gleyber Torres hit his first home run but also made the Yankees’ third error of the series to help extend the game’s decisive inning.

“He’s got to secure the ball,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said of Torres, who dropped the ball trying to barehand shortstop Anthony Volpe’s feed on a potential double play. “He’s made that play a lot. Didn’t in that spot.”

Rodón yielded all seven Baltimore runs — six earned — on eight hits in his shortest outing of 2024.

He escaped his bases-loaded, no-out jam in the second before Mountcastle’s solo shot in the third, and Mateo’s and McKenna’s in the fourth.

“Just being aggressive,” McKenna said of the Orioles’ adjustments. “I think guys started taking pitchers’ pitches against him, started barreling up some more.”

After Mountcastle singled in another run in the fifth, Anthony Santander grounded the potential double-play ball that Torres’ gaffe turned into a two-on, none-out situation.

A visit from pitching coach Matt Blake followed, but Westburg drove Rodón’s 2-1 slider down the middle to the base of the wall in left-center to plate both runners, then came home on Mateo’s sacrifice fly off newly entered reliever Ron Marinaccio.

“I thought we had (Adley) Rutschman struck out, and then we don’t turn the double play there,” Boone said of the inning.

Bradish threw 51 of 84 pitches for strikes in his return from a rehab assignment that ended more quickly than some expected.

The fourth-place finisher in the 2023 AL Cy Young vote escaped a bases-loaded, two-out jam in the first and left with runners on the corners in the fifth before Akin induced Anthony Rizzo into a popout to short.

“I think this clubhouse is pretty excited to get someone of that caliber back on the field,” Orioles catcher James McCann said.

Yankees: LF Alex Verdugo returned to the lineup and batted sixth after missing three games on the paternity list. … Optioned C Carlos Narvaez to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Orioles: Activated Bradish and designated RHP Yohan Ramirez for assignment. … With Bradish making Thursday’s start, LHP John Means (forearm strain) will make his first start of the season on Saturday after he was activated from the injured list on Wednesday. … OF Austin Hays (left calf strain) took batting practice and did on-field drills and could go on a rehab assignment soon, Hyde said.

Yankees: RHP Marcus Stroman (2-1, 3.69) looks to rebound from a four-inning outing — his shortest of the season — in the opener of a six-game homestand Friday night against Detroit.

Orioles: RHP Cole Irvin (2-1, 3.49) tries to extend his stretch of 14 1/3 scoreless innings when Baltimore begins a five-game trip at Cincinnati on Friday night.


AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

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