Yankees shrug off delayed start and bash horrible Orioles

BALTIMORE — Following a nearly two-hour rain delay — which didn’t actually include rain — the Orioles put on a display of baseball so bad Saturday night, MLB should consider contracting the once proud franchise that has turned into an embarrassment.

In a sport swollen with dreadful teams, organizations that don’t care about winning and minor league players in big league uniforms, the Orioles put on a remarkable display of putrid play and handed the Yankees an 8-5 victory in front of an announced Camden Yards crowd of 32,823 that included far more Yankees supporters than Baltimore fans.

The Orioles (17-41) committed three errors in the sixth inning, when the Yankees stretched their lead from 4-2 to 6-2, and that was enough for Masahiro Tanaka to win a third straight start and improve to a deceiving 7-2.

In 5 ¹/₃ innings, Tanaka gave up four runs on eight hits and one walk while striking out seven. Three of the hits were home runs. That’s the most he has given up in a game this season, and he now has allowed 15 homers this year.

The Yankees haven’t lost a game Tanaka has started since April 17. That’s a stretch of eight games and includes the suspended game against the Nationals on May 15.

Miguel Andujar and Giancarlo Stanton each hit a two-run homer for the Yankees (37-17), who have won four games in a row and six of eight. Andujar added an RBI double in the eighth, when the Yankees scored two runs.

The most anxious moment for the Yankees came in the sixth, when Miguel Castro hit Gleyber Torres in the right wrist/forearm area with a pitch. Torres remained in the game and was at second base for the home half of the inning.

Manny Machado’s leadoff homer in the sixth, the third of the game surrendered by Tanaka, got the Yankees’ bullpen stirring and reduced the lead to 6-3. It was Machado’s 18th of the year.

With runners on first and second and one out, Jonathan Holder replaced Tanaka. He struck out the frigid Chris Davis before giving up an RBI double to Danny Valencia that made it 6-4. Holder went to a full count on No. 9 hitter Chance Sisco. Brett Gardner raced toward the left-field wall to catch Sisco’s drive and end the rally.

A trio of awful errors by Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop and two by center fielder Adam Jones helped the Yankees extend their cushion to 6-2 in the sixth.

Stanton led off with a single to deep short, and when Gary Sanchez hit a one-hop grounder to Machado at short, a sure double play was started. Instead, Schoop’s pivot throw to first was high and the slow-moving Sanchez was safe. He went to second when the ball went out of play after the throw. Didi Gregorius followed with a sinking line drive that short-hopped Jones and got by him. Gregorius was credited with an RBI and made second on the error. Aaron Hicks’ single to center plated Gregorius and Jones’ throw home was way off line and allowed Hicks to make second.

Baltimore manager Buck Showalter removed starter Kevin Gausman (3-5) after the third error.

Tanaka negated Sisco’s leadoff single in the fifth by retiring Joey Rickard on a pop up and feeding Jones a 5-4-3 double play ball to maintain a 4-2 lead.

Tanaka’s first taste Saturday of working with a runner in scoring position surfaced in the fourth, when Schoop’s one-hop bullet glanced off Andujar’s glove at third and into left field to start the inning. Tanaka retired the next three Orioles, striking out Trey Mancini and Valencia around Davis’ groundout to keep the Yankees’ lead at 4-2.

Joey Rickard’s one-out homer off Tanaka in the third cut the Yankees’ advantage to 4-2 and was the 14th homer given up by the right-hander this season. Jones’ solo shot in the first was the 13th. In only two of Tanaka’s 12 starts has he not allowed a home run.

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