Saturday’s game in Sarasota was played under the bright lights, but Yankee fans were left in the dark as there was no television or radio coverage for either team. They didn’t miss much, however. Matt Harvey and the Orioles emerged victorious by a 2-1 score and the Yankees managed just three hits all night. Gio Urshela accounted for all the offense with a second-inning solo homer.
O’s Come At The King – And Miss
Yankee pitching largely held up their side of the bargain against Baltimore, and it was Michael King who led the charge. The right-handed sinkerballer had by far his best outing of the spring, tossing four strong innings and allowing just one earned run on two hits while striking out six. King’s spring ERA is now down to 3.46 after a tough start and he’s tightening a stranglehold on a long relief spot in the Bronx. Meanwhile, Jonathan Loáisiga allowed a homer in two innings of action, but the solo shot to Pat Valaika was the extent of the damage off him. Luis Cessa finished off the evening with three strikeouts in two frames, continuing his own resurgence.
The Most Happy Fella
On a night where the Yankee bats never quite woke up, Gio Urshela crushed a home run to dead center in the top of the second to give his team a lead they’d shortly relinquish. It was Urshela’s first bomb of the spring as he works his way back from offseason surgery. His .OPS stands at just .641 so far, but it won’t matter if he comes out of the gate strong come April. The homer capped an eventful week for Urshela, who also saw some game action at short.
Don’t Call It A Comeback
Harvey was an All-Star with that other New York team, but hasn’t been a big-league contributor in some time. The Orioles took a flyer on him this winter, and while he wasn’t dominant on Saturday, he certainly got the job done. Harvey turned in his best start in his three efforts with Baltimore, striking out two and giving up just the solo homer to Urshela in his four innings of work. Harvey has a 5.40 ERA and six strikeouts in ten innings of Grapefruit League competition.
Clinging to a one-run lead entering the ninth inning, Baltimore skipper Brandon Hyde turned to former Yankee prospect Dillon Tate, a key piece of the Zack Britton trade three years ago, to lock down the save. Tate hit Gary Sánchez with his second pitch, but then proceeded to throw nine straight strikes to set down Armando Alvarez, Chris Gittens, and Mike Ford to end the game. Tate came just about as close as possible to an immaculate inning and sent his old outfit home with their second straight loss in the process.