With the Yankees playing the hapless Blue Jays, Baltimore probably thought its night off would result in losing another half game in the standings, but no. The Yankees failed to capitalize against their weaker opponent and instead gave up half a game, as they were shut out in Toronto, 6-0. Now the Orioles are only one game back in the AL East with six games remaining and still have a good shot to take down the division crown.
Blue Jays starter Brandon Morrow was able to silence New York’s bats, allowing just four scattered hits over seven scoreless innings of work. Morrow was able to mix up his pitches, keeping the Yankees guessing in his ninth win of the season.
“We stayed with a good mix of everything all night, tried to keep them off balance and not fall into any patterns,” Morrow said in an ESPN.com article.
The Jays also got an offensive spark against Ivan Nova, hitting two homers in the game, one provided by Brett Lawrie in the third and one from J.P. Arencibia in the eighth. Toronto tallied ten hits on the night, handing Nova just his eighth loss of the year and first against the Jays.
Nova, who has benefited from strong run support this season, has struggled lately and has failed to win back-to-back outings since June. He has allowed 87 extra-base knocks, which leads the Majors.
As they are only up one game again, the Yankees will need Nova to pitch well in his last outing, which will likely come in the final series of the season against Boston. But for now, the Yankees need to focus on the final three games with the Blue Jays, as they have a good opportunity against a sub .500 team to lock up the division and a playoff berth.
After dropping game one last night, New York will send out Hiroki Kuroda in game two to face Chad Jenkins. Kuroda comes into today’s contest with a 14-11 record and an ERA of 3.34 while Jenkins is making just his second career big league start in his rookie season. Once again, the Yankees will be the favorites in this matchup and should be able to handle Jenkins while limiting the Blue Jays offense. Look for the Yankees to cover the -1.5 runline today, earning the victory.
After a much needed rest last night, the O’s will be back in action at home against the Red Sox tonight. Chris Tillman will get the ball for Baltimore against Aaron Cook and the Sox, who will be looking to play spoiler. Tillman is coming into tonight with a 3-0 record in his last six starts while Cook has struggled to say the least, with a 4-10 record in 2012 and an ERA over five. Look for the Orioles to keep pace in the East win a win and a -1.5 cover of the runline. This race should go all the way to the last game, so make sure to keep track of the AL East standings.