At Camden, Yanks go yard, and set MLB record

August 6th, 2019

BALTIMORE -- The 20,151 in attendance at Camden Yards on Monday didn’t quite know how to react. Many were there to root for the away team, so there were plenty of cheers only to be met by a cacophony of competing boos. But it seemed anytime the Yankee-majority crowd returned to its seats, the sporadically placed orange-clad fans arose.

Monday’s game was a teeter-totter one -- it featured record-setters, streak-enders and home run hitters. Most importantly, when the dust settled, had struck out the tying run at the plate, helping the Yankees to a 9-6 win over the Orioles.

The home run -- of which there were seven combined -- that stood out the most was ’s first of two on the night. His opposite-field long ball in a three-run Yankees fifth inning set the record for the most homers (30) any visiting team has ever hit in an away ballpark in a season. The Yankees would make that total 32 by night’s end, with two more games to come in Baltimore this season.

The pair from Tauchman sandwiched ’s first career go-ahead homer in the eighth that solidified the victory. As if the Yankees’ next man up Cinderella story needed a new chapter, it got one on Monday night.

“We just keep going, man,” Tauchman said. “We just keep going.”

Both Tauchman and Ford’s eighth-inning blasts came after the Orioles tried to go lefty-lefty on three of the next four batters after tying it up with a five-run sixth. What unfolded was Orioles reliever Paul Fry recording one out, against righty Austin Romine. Ford then hit the go-ahead homer, Brett Gardner singled and Tauchman’s second of the night added insurance.

“I think hungry is how I would describe it,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said of his team’s competitive fire. “This is a hungry group that does a really good job of playing every night and competing.”

All the long balls Monday helped the Yankees work toward another goal. Their 41 total homers against the Orioles this season sit just seven back of the record for most home runs against a team in a single season, which was set by the 1956 Yankees against the Kansas City A’s.

The work came Monday without the aid of typical Orioles tormentors Gary Sanchez and Gleyber Torres, who own a combined 16 homers in 31 total games at Camden Yards. The former awaits a rehab assignment while the latter returned from an injury scare Sunday night to go 0-for-5 with two strikeouts.

“Yeah, that’s pretty good,” Boone said of the success against Baltimore. “You think back to some of the games Gary and Gleyber have had here, but everyone has gotten in on the action.”

Everyone, meaning the revolving door of hidden talent the Yankees have been able to magically uncover. Not one of the long balls came from New York’s top four spots in the lineup, a trend that continued with home runs by Romine and Gardner in the second and fifth respectively.

“That’s been a theme for us all year. It can come from a lot of different places,” Boone said. “And the bottom of the order is a place where we’ve gotten really good production and a place that we feel really confident with our guys.”

And not to be forgotten -- since he was one of the few not to homer -- was the night from , who only had a spot in the lineup with Torres at designated hitter and Gio Urshela resting from his own bumps and bruises. Valera’s offense was arguably most important, as his two-run triple kick-started a three-run fifth and ended an otherwise efficient night for Orioles starter Gabriel Ynoa.

It was the second career three-bagger for Valera. His first came as a member of the Orioles last season … at Yankee Stadium.

“When guys get up here, they know they are going to play, they know the team is rolling,” Tauchman said. “And culturally, when you’re here, you’re going to be counted on and you have the full support of the team.”

So while there was no weariness at the plate following a late flight after Sunday Night Baseball, the same can’t be said about Masahiro Tanaka on mound.

Boone said Tanaka struggled with splitter command and perhaps fatigue, which the right-hander later downplayed. Looking to get off on the right foot after allowing 14 runs across 7 1/3 innings his prior two outings, Tanaka departed with another five earned runs to his name. Four came in the sixth inning alone, when Tanaka was pulled after recording a single out -- a sac fly to Chris Davis.

“It’s been really frustrating,” Tanaka said through translator Shingo Horie. “These recent games, I’ve been giving up runs like that in one inning -- big runs. I really need to turn that around.”

Tommy Kanhle entered, but the reigning American League Reliever of the Month had an outing to forget. He allowed his first homer since June 20 -- totaling 19 outings since -- to Jonathan Villar, who later cycled in the game, to temporarily tie it in the sixth.

Luckily, however, the hurler’s team was busy making its own history with the long ball.