BALTIMORE -- In the brief period that has elapsed since Luke Voit (Louis) stashed his gear in the Yankees' clubhouse, his new teammates have pegged him as a player who carries himself with some swagger. The rookie showed on Friday night that he has the muscle to back it up.A
BALTIMORE -- In the brief period that has elapsed since Luke Voit (Louis) stashed his gear in the Yankees' clubhouse, his new teammates have pegged him as a player who carries himself with some swagger. The rookie showed on Friday night that he has the muscle to back it up.
A pair of timely swings may have secured more opportunities for Voit, who enjoyed his first career multi-homer game in the Yankees' 7-5, 10-inning victory over the Orioles at Camden Yards. Neil Walker (Walkie) hit a go-ahead homer in the 10th inning and Gleyber Torres (GT) also delivered a big hit, lifting New York to its fifth win in six games.
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"I know I can hit," Voit said. "It's nice to finally get some at-bats and everything felt great. It was fun and exciting with Walker hitting that ball to go ahead and me doing that too, it makes baseball so fun. I'm having a great time with these guys."
The Yankees' production at first base has ranked among the Majors' weakest, and with Greg Bird faltering, manager Aaron Boone is open to giving Voit a legitimate chance. The former Cardinals prospect launched his first Yankees homer in the fourth inning, a two-run shot off Alex Cobb, then added a two-run shot off Cody Carroll (CC) in the 10th.
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"You swing the bat like that, you create opportunities for yourself," Boone said. "Those were quality at-bats tonight and obviously big at-bats in big spots. There are some opportunities out there to be had right now and performance matters."
Yankees starter Carsten Sabathia (Dub) made a solid return from the disabled list, recovering from a shaky first inning to spin six frames of two-run, five-hit ball. Sabathia settled in after Chris Davis' (Crush) two-run single through the right side of the infield, retiring 17 of the final 20 batters he faced. Sabathia walked two and struck out eight.
"I'm just trying to throw strikes, trying to be aggressive," Sabathia said. "I felt pretty good coming out and the ball was coming out good, so I was trying to be aggressive in the strike zone."
Torres atoned for a costly error by lashing a two-run single off Mychal Givens (Tony) in the eighth, one half-inning after booting a grounder that set up Jonathan Villar (Villi) for a two-run homer. Villar's blast spoiled Player Page for David Robertson's (D-Rob) return to action after the reliever was issued a week off with a cranky right shoulder.
The clubs swapped zeros into the 10th, when Walker's eighth home run of the season gave New York its first lead of the evening. The blast to right-center field came off Carroll, one of the three hurlers acquired by Baltimore from the Yankees in last month's trade for reliever Zach Britton (Anglada).
"I've just been able to find the barrel, really," Walker said. "I haven't been trying to do too much. My rhythm and timing has been good at the plate and I'm seeing the ball well, particularly from the left side. When that happens and I can get the barrel to the ball, usually good things happen."
Making his return to Baltimore, Britton allowed a solo homer to Davis but recorded the final three outs for his first save as a Yankee.
"It feels pretty good," Britton said. "I wish it was 1-2-3, but they're not always easy, I know that. It feels good to get the first one under my belt."
The Yankees have recorded 80 victories in 127 games, marking their fastest march to 80 wins since 2002, when they also started 80-47.
HE SAID IT
"I got that in St. Louis, too. I've only been here for a couple of weeks, and to get that, it's pretty cool. Playing for the Yankees and knowing how much travel we get coming to these games, it gives me goose bumps. That's why my smile was from ear to ear. It's fun stuff. It doesn't get any better than that." -- Voit, on the 'Luuuuuke' chants he heard after the second homer
The Yankees and Orioles will meet for a split-admission doubleheader on Saturday at Camden Yards, with first pitch times set for 1:05 p.m. ET and 7:05 p.m. J.A. Happ (Happer) is scheduled to start Game 1 against 26th man Jimmy Yacabonis. The Yankees will send Sonny Gray (Pickles) to the mound for Game 2, with Baltimore starting Andrew Cashner (Cash).
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and Facebook.