While the Baltimore Orioles thoroughly enjoyed one of the biggest nights in Cedric Mullins’ career, the New York Yankees were left frustrated yet again by being unable to capitalize on opportunities to score.
Mullins looks to lead the Orioles to a third straight victory over the Yankees Tuesday night when the AL East foes continue a four-game series at Camden Yards.
Mullins batted .271 last season in 48 games after hitting .197 in parts of the previous two seasons while switch-hitting. While hitting exclusively left-handed this season, Mullins is batting .365 so far.
“I knew that I put in a solid amount of work in the offseason off machines and a couple guys threw live to me left-on-left,” Mullins said. “I’m adjusting fairly quickly, and it feels good.”
The latest big night by Mullins helped the Orioles to a 4-2 victory on Monday. After going 3-for-5 Sunday when Baltimore snapped Oakland’s 13-game winning streak, he homered twice, went 3-for-4 and also robbed Aaron Judge of an extra base-hit.
Mullins recorded his first career multi-homer game and the 26-year-old is 6-for-16 in four games against the Yankees so far. On Monday, he homered onto Eutaw Street two pitches in off right-hander Deivi Garcia and hit a homer to center field off left-hander Justin Wilson.
“He’s just playing extremely well and what he’s doing is not easy to do, to hit left-handed off left-handed pitchers a few months ago and to do what he’s doing, to take the at-bats he is, I don’t have the words for it,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said.
The Yankees are 3-2 on their road trip and followed up Sunday’s 7-3 loss in Cleveland by hitting into two double plays and going 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
Judge had an RBI double and Gio Urshela hit an RBI single but LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres, Aaron Hicks and Gary Sanchez were a combined 0-for-13. Coming off his second batting title, LeMahieu is 2-for-20 over his past five games, Sanchez is 1-for-21 over his past seven contests to lower his average to .182 and Hicks and Torres are hitting .162 and .208 respectively.
“It’s just when our team needs it right now the most hits aren’t exactly falling right for me or anyone,” LeMahieu said. “That just goes back to us pressing a little bit offensively, and I know we’re going to be better than we’ve been.
“It’s frustrating; it’s extremely frustrating. That’s really all I can say about it right now. We’re all frustrated.
Baltimore’s Bruce Zimmermann (1-2, 4.57 ERA) makes his sixth career start and first appearance against the Yankees. Zimmermann is coming off his second straight loss when he allowed three runs on six hits in 4 2/3 innings Wednesday against the Miami Marlins.
New York counters with Corey Kluber (0-2, 5.40), who is allowing opponents to hit .310 so far.
Kluber last pitched in Wednesday’s 4-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves when he allowed two runs, two hits and four walks in 4 2/3 innings. Kluber threw a season-high 91 pitches after allowing three walks in the fifth.
The veteran right-hander is 3-1 with a 2.92 ERA in seven career starts against the Orioles. He also has allowed three earned runs or fewer in six straight starts against Baltimore.
–Field Level Media