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Tantalizing German takes no-hitter into 6th

Right-hander's three-pitch mix could keep him in rotation
@BryanHoch
April 7, 2019

BALTIMORE -- Domingo Germán's tantalizing three-pitch mix prompts the Yankees' talent evaluators to perk up and pay attention when he is on the mound, especially during outings when sharp command permits them to dream about what the right-hander might develop into. Sunday was one of those days. Helping the Yankees

BALTIMORE -- Domingo Germán's tantalizing three-pitch mix prompts the Yankees' talent evaluators to perk up and pay attention when he is on the mound, especially during outings when sharp command permits them to dream about what the right-hander might develop into.

Sunday was one of those days.

Helping the Yankees patch over a rotation that is waiting on Luis Severino and CC Sabathia, German offered a strong case to stick around, pitching hitless ball into the sixth inning as New York completed a series sweep of the Orioles with a 15-3 victory at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

Mixing his fastball, curve and changeup with aplomb, German retired the first 13 Orioles before issuing a fifth-inning walk to Rio Ruiz.

"The key today was to mix my pitches and be unpredictable out there, try to use my changeup in a way that they weren't expecting it," German said through an interpreter. "That's something I worked on in between starts. It worked out very well for me today."

Hanser Alberto broke up German’s bid with a one-out single in the sixth, and the 26-year-old right-hander acknowledged that he was already thinking about making history.

"I knew that was happening, but I was focused on every pitch, every at-bat," German said.

The Yankees have not had a perfect game or no-hitter since David Cone's 1999 gem, but on the right day, German could present as strong a case as any. He threw six hitless innings against the Indians in his first Major League start last May 6, all while he continues to harness his fastball command.

"That's what Domingo is capable of, when he's at his best and commanding things," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "He was pitch efficient and was really dominant. I felt like he maybe tired a little bit towards the end after a couple long innings, but he was terrific."

With his club leading by nine runs at the time, German was permitted to begin the seventh inning. He departed to a warm ovation from a largely pro-Yankees crowd -- many of whom likely made the easy trek down Interstate 95 for the contest -- after permitting an infield hit and a walk.

Both runs scored against Stephen Tarpley, charged to German, who scattered two hits while walking two and striking out three.

"They didn't know what was coming most of the time because he was throwing everything," catcher Austin Romine said. "He had a heavy sinker that was working to keep them honest. He could throw his curveball at any time. His changeup, he really leaned on [it] through the middle innings. It was impressive."

Backed by the Yanks’ big-swinging lineup, German couldn't worry about the bookkeeping. His hitters connected for another seven homers on Sunday -- three by Gary Sánchez, who leads the club with six long balls.

While German was in the game, Gleyber Torres and Clint Frazier hit second-inning homers off Baltimore starter David Hess, who also served up a two-run blast to Sanchez in the third.

"It's fun to see all your teammates help out in different ways," German said. "When everyone is doing that, it's fun to see. Not only the hitters, the pitchers. I'm the first one that tells them, 'Good job, way to get out of that inning.' When you see the whole team supporting the cause, it feels good. It's fun."

German and Jonathan Loaisiga have been pressed into duty as back-end starters due to injuries, and though Severino is not expected to return before May, Sabathia could be in pinstripes this weekend. Boone said that the team has not decided how it will work the veteran back in, but it would be difficult to imagine that it comes at German's expense.

"I don't know if you are ever comfortable when Severino and CC go out, but that doesn't change the fact that we know Domingo is capable of a lot," Boone said. "We expect a lot of him. So far, his first two starts, he's delivered. If he's commanding the ball, he can match up with anyone."

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