NEW YORK — In anticipation of Masahiro Tanaka’s first home game in a New York Yankees uniform, the Baltimore Orioles clubhouse filled with Japanese media Wednesday as the team fielded questions about facing the highly touted 26-year-old right-hander who received a seven-year, $155-million deal this past offseason.
Orioles Manager Buck Showalter knows firsthand that the spotlight shines a little brighter in New York, and he possibly even added fuel to the media fire when he said before the game that he believed Tanaka was the best acquisition of the offseason. But Baltimore’s rubber-match series finale at Yankee Stadium was decided after Tanaka left the game to the bullpens.
The Orioles won their first series of this young season, taking two of three in the Bronx with a 5-4 win at Yankee Stadium in front of an announced crowd of 39,412.
After being handcuffed for most of the game following Jonathan Schoop’s three-run homer in the second inning, the Orioles broke open a tied game in the ninth inning with two runs off Yankees interim closer Shawn Kelley.
After going opening the game 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position — the only hit being Schoop’s homer — the Orioles were 3 for 5 in the ninth.
Baltimore’s first four batters of the ninth reached base. Nick Markakis’s single drove in Ryan Flaherty, who opened the inning with a double to the right-center field gap. Chris Davis added a sacrifice fly to score another run off Kelley.
Orioles closer Tommy Hunter allowed the first two batters on base in the ninth and allowed a run on a sacrifice fly by former Oriole Brian Roberts, but he induced a 6-4-3 double play to end the game and convert his third save in as many opportunities.
— Baltimore Sun