JP Sears won his first MLB career start with pitched five set-piece innings. The unnamed relievers left in New York’s battered bullpen finished with five hits as the Yankees beat the Orioles 2-0 on Wednesday from Baltimore.
Aaron Judge doubled and scored on Miguel Andujar’s single, his first major league RBI this season. A second run was added by New York in the fourth on a throwing error by prized rookie catcher Adley Rutschman.
Backup closer Clay Holmes struck out Jorge Mateo with runners on the corners to finish him off.
Before the game, the ailing Yankees placed slugger Giancarlo Stanton (sprained right calf) and reliever Jonathan Loaisiga (shoulder swelling) on the disabled list. The latest in a string of high-profile players unavailable in recent weeks for five days.
But still, New York shut down the struggling Orioles on Star Wars night at Yankee Stadium to win a second straight game following its first three-game streak. Judge and the Yankees won two of three in the series and have the best record in baseball at 31-13 heading into their first meeting this season with AL East rival Tampa Bay.
JP Sears (2-0) drew a walk and an error in the first inning and then got out of trouble again in the second. The 26-year-old lefty, called up from Triple-A before the game, allowed three hits and two walks while striking out five in a spot start after last Friday’s rain suspension forced a doubleheader on Sunday.
After JP Sears won his first MLB start, his parents and his girlfriend cheering from the stands, he averaged 93.7 with his fastball and mixed 55 fastballs, 24 sliders, and five changeups.
Ron Marinaccio, a Rookie right-hander, struck out three in two perfect innings. Lucas Luetge got two outs in the eighth, and Miguel Castro struck out Austin Hays with a runner to end the inning.
After filling in for injured closer Aroldis Chapman, Holmes allowed two hits in the ninth before clinching his fifth save. Holmes threw 14 of 15 pitches for strikes and raised his scoreless streak to 23 innings.
New York’s towering bullpen is also missing injured Chad Green and Zack Britton.
Orioles starter Tyler Wells (1-4) allowed two runs on five hits in five innings without a walk.