Aaron Hicks drew a bases-loaded walk with two outs in the top of the ninth inning, and the New York Yankees completed a four-game sweep of the host Baltimore Orioles with a 6-5 victory Thursday afternoon after blowing a four-run lead.
Hicks came up against Mychal Givens (0-2) after Gleyber Torres and Gary Sanchez extended the inning in pinch-hitting roles. Torres drew a full-count walk, and two pitches later, Sanchez moved the runner to second by lining a base hit to right field.
After Givens walked DJ LeMahieu on four pitches, he threw three straight out of the strike zone to Hicks. Hicks then took a called strike, fouled off the next pitch and then looked at a close pitch for ball four.
The Yankees held a 5-1 lead entering the bottom of the eighth, but Trey Mancini hit an RBI single off Jonathan Holder, and Renato Nunez added a three-run homer off Tommy Kahnle (2-0). Kahnle kept the game tied by striking out Rio Ruiz and Chris Davis.
Former Orioles closer Zack Britton pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his second save.
Before blowing the lead, the Yankees seemed to be cruising to another win over Baltimore.
New York tied the game in the fifth on a solo homer by Clint Frazier and took a 3-1 lead on a two-run, bases-loaded single by Gio Urshela in the sixth off Baltimore starter Dylan Bundy. The visitors added to the lead on an Austin Romine RBI single in the seventh and a solo shot by Luke Voit in the eighth.
The Yankees won their 12th straight game in Baltimore and also posted their ninth straight head-to-head win against the Orioles. The Yankees also won their fifth straight overall and improved to 14-3 in their last 17 games.
New York’s Masahiro Tanaka allowed one run and five hits in six innings. He walked one and struck out five.
Tanaka took a comebacker off his body for the second straight game. He stayed in the game after Ruiz’s 102 mph grounder deflected off his glove in the second inning — five days after taking a 111 mph comebacker by Tampa Bay’s Yandy Diaz of his shin.
Baltimore went ahead in the second inning when Richie Martin avoided hitting in an inning-ending double play as Nunez scored.
Bundy allowed three runs on five hits in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out five and walked two.
The Orioles lost their sixth straight game and dropped a season-high 20 games under .500 at 15-35.
–Field Level Media