Danny Valencia's three-run homer gives Orioles 5-4 win vs. Yankees, ending six-game slide

Jon Meoli
Contact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun

The famed Earl Weaver Special that's lived on for generations — the three-run home run — has gone almost extinct this year, but a slumping Danny Valencia resurrected it in a 5-4 win Monday over the New York Yankees in the first half of a doubleheader.

Valencia, whose sixth-inning blast took Yankees starter CC Sabathia out on his 99th and final pitch of the game, hit just the fourth three-run home run of the Orioles' season. Combined with Mark Trumbo's two-run blast in the fourth inning, which chopped away at an early Orioles deficit, it was enough to reward another intriguing start by Jimmy Yacabonis and a winning relief effort from Mike Wright Jr., ending the Orioles' sixth six-game losing streak of the season.

“Obviously, you want to win every game, but that's not been the case for us recently,” Valencia said. “Coming out here and winning the first of the doubleheader feels good.”

Valencia was in the lineup to face a left-hander in Sabathia, as he typically is. But with Sabathia’s heavy dose of changeups and cutters and not a lot of fastballs — he threw just 19 Monday — the veteran left-hander is typically the kind of pitcher who gives the Orioles (25-65) fits. At times Monday, he did just that.

“He makes a living out of using guys’ aggressions against them,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.

But Trumbo’s 12th home run of the season — second most on the team, despite his month out with a quadriceps strain — and Valencia’s home run, which snapped an 0-for-25 slump, meant all the other frustrations of the game were moot.

Trumbo’s home run came after the Yankees (58-30) put together four hits in a two-run third inning, one that built on the 1-0 lead Giancarlo Stanton created with a second-inning home run.

Yacabonis, making his second big league start, held the Yankees down from there, completing five innings and allowing three runs on six hits with a walk and five strikeouts. He gave way to Wright, who has been one of the Orioles’ more effective relievers over the last month-plus.

Like so many other Orioles pitchers, Wright could blame the run he allowed in two innings on some combination of poor batted-ball luck and the team’s porous infield. The four strikeouts were more indicative of his outing. But after Valencia’s go-ahead shot and Mychal Givens’ scoreless eighth inning, Wright was in line for his second win of the season.

Miguel Andújar’s single off the glove of a diving Manny Machado put the tying run on to lead off the ninth, but closer Zach Britton left him on third base in a tense ninth inning.

jmeoli@baltsun.com

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