Luke Voit hit a grand slam in the first inning for the visiting New York Yankees, but it was a three-run homer from Aaron Judge in the top of the ninth that gave them an 8-6 victory over the host Baltimore Orioles on Thursday night.
New York now has beaten the Orioles 18 straight times dating back to the second series of last year, after Baltimore took two out of three in the opening series of 2019. The Yankees swept this brief two-game series, which was rescheduled due to the Miami COVID-19 issues.
This was the first appearance of the season for Orioles starting left-hander John Means, an All-Star in 2019. He went on the 10-day Injured List with arm fatigue during summer camp, and his rust showed in the first inning.
The 27-year-old back-to-back batters with one out -- Judge and Gleyber Torres -- and both would eventually score. Judge scored the game's first run on a Giancarlo Stanton single, and Torres came home along with Stanton and Aaron Hicks on Voit's slam to make it 5-0.
After flying out in the third, Torres left the game before taking the field in the fourth. Hit flush on the elbow, Torres was taken for X-rays but those came back negative. He was diagnosed with an elbow contusion.
The Orioles didn't take long to dig into the Yankees' lead. Hanser Alberto hit a two-run homer in the first, and Rio Ruiz blasted his third homer of the young season one inning later off of Yankee starter J.A. Happ. The Orioles then took the lead in the eighth -- after a 94-minute rain delay in the sixth -- when Pedro Severino hit a two-run homer for a 6-5 edge.
Judge then crushed his one-out, three-run shot off rookie Cole Sulser (0-1) far into the left field seats for an 8-6 lead. Former Oriole Zack Britton closed it in the ninth. Despite giving up the Severino homer, Jonathan Loaisiga (1-0) got the win. It was the Yankees' 17th straight win in Baltimore.
Means allowed five runs on just two hits in 2 1/3 innings. Happ allowed four runs on four hits in four innings.
To make room for Means, the Orioles optioned relief pitcher Cody Carroll to the alternate camp site.
Once again, Chris Davis was not in the game, and there was no explanation as to why. Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said he did not want to talk about the subject with the media.
--Field Level Media