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Cessa, Gardy spark Yanks' rout in nightcap

MLB.com @BryanHoch

BALTIMORE -- While general manager Brian Cashman performed his due diligence off the diamond, gauging the asking price for a surprise strike that would fit Manny Machado for Yankees pinstripes, big performances by Luis Cessa and Brett Gardner helped take care of business against the All-Star shortstop's current team.

Cessa returned from the Minors to fire six strong innings and Gardner punctuated his productive road trip with a homer among four hits, three runs scored and three RBIs. The Yankees thumped Orioles pitching for a season-high 17 hits in a 10-2 rout in the nightcap to split Monday's doubleheader at Camden Yards.

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BALTIMORE -- While general manager Brian Cashman performed his due diligence off the diamond, gauging the asking price for a surprise strike that would fit Manny Machado for Yankees pinstripes, big performances by Luis Cessa and Brett Gardner helped take care of business against the All-Star shortstop's current team.

Cessa returned from the Minors to fire six strong innings and Gardner punctuated his productive road trip with a homer among four hits, three runs scored and three RBIs. The Yankees thumped Orioles pitching for a season-high 17 hits in a 10-2 rout in the nightcap to split Monday's doubleheader at Camden Yards.

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"Game 1 was a close game," Gardner said. "To be able to turn the page, come back and have a good game in the nightcap, and have a relatively easy win to save our pitching staff and our bullpen, I thought that was important."

Added to the roster between games of the twin bill, Cessa scattered three hits and three walks in a solid effort to pick up his first win of the season, with his four-strikeout effort helping the visitors bounce back from a 5-4 loss in Game 1. Danny Valencia's three-run homer off CC Sabathia held up as the difference in that contest, a makeup of a May 31 postponement.

"I'm really happy," said Cessa, who was optioned back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre following the game. "I started working last time when they sent me down to Scranton. [Pitching coach] Larry [Rothschild] told me I needed to be more aggressive early in the count. I tried to be aggressive here and pitch a little more inside."

Video: NYY@BAL: Romine rips a 2-run homer in the 8th

Austin Romine homered and drove in three runs as New York pulled away. While the clubs slugged between the white lines, rumors swirled concerning the 26-year-old Machado, who could potentially wear a different uniform when he reports as the American League's starting shortstop for next week's All-Star Game presented by Mastercard.

The Yankees have showed "increased interest" in Machado, according to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal, though he indicated that no deal appears close. The Brewers and Dodgers had been thought to be the most serious suitors for Machado, who went 1-for-7 with a double and a run scored in Monday's twin bill.

"Rumors are just a rumor. I don't talk rumors," Machado said. "I play baseball. We got our [butts] kicked today, the second game. We won the first game, but I'll talk baseball. I'll talk baseball with you all you want. I don't talk rumors."

The prospect of Machado relocating to The Bronx has been a popular talking point for years, but the crowded left side of the Yankees' infield could present a potential stumbling block. Didi Gregorius has played well as their shortstop since 2015, and Machado flatly rejected a question about returning to third base.

"I'm a shortstop," Machado said. "I play shortstop."

Video: NYY@BAL: Gregorius laces RBI double to open scoring

The Yankees touched O's starter Yefry Ramirez for four runs and nine hits over four-plus innings, striking quickly. Gardner started the nightcap with a single and scored on Gregorius' double, then padded New York's lead with a long two-run homer to right-center field in the fourth inning, the outfielder's seventh of the season.

Gardner has tallied two homers and seven RBIs on the Yanks' road swing through Toronto and Baltimore, stroking an eighth-inning double and legging out an infield hit in the ninth.

"I said last year, all these young guys have me feeling young again," Gardner said. "I'm just trying to keep up with them, go out there and put up good at-bats, and get on base for those big guys."

Video: NYY@BAL: Gallegos records first career save

Giovanny Gallegos pitched the final three innings for his first big league save.

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Gardner was pleased with his four hits, but he seemed even more enthused with his catch at the wall to take an extra-base hit away from Chance Sisco in the eighth inning. Gardner said he didn't think he had a chance at the ball off the bat. More >

Video: NYY@BAL: Gardner leaps for fantastic catch at CF wall

"I didn't, to be honest. I knew he hit it well," Gardner said. "I wasn't sure where it was going to land, but I was playing way over and way in with two strikes. I just put my head down and started running. I was able to catch up to it. I just ran to the right spot, fortunately."

UP NEXT
Right-hander Masahiro Tanaka (7-2, 4.58 ERA) will return from the disabled list on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. ET as the Yankees continue their series against the Orioles at Camden Yards. Tanaka will be starting for the first time since he sustained strains of both hamstrings while running the bases in an Interleague game against the Mets on June 8 at Citi Field. Tanaka is 3-3 with a 3.90 ERA in 10 career starts vs. the Orioles. Righty Andrew Cashner (2-9, 4.39 ERA) draws the start for Baltimore.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

New York Yankees, Luis Cessa, Brett Gardner