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Orioles suffer first loss of season as Yankees avoid series sweep

Orioles suffer first loss of season as Yankees avoid series sweep

BALTIMORE (AP) -- The New York Yankees finished their season-opening trip with a feel-good victory that featured a late-inning comeback and a clutch bullpen performance.

Aaron Judge hit a tying home run, Starlin Castro's RBI single keyed a four-run ninth inning and the Yankees rallied to defeat the Baltimore Orioles 7-3 Sunday and avert a three-game sweep.

After avoiding their first 1-5 start since 1989, the Yankees headed north for Monday's game against Tampa Bay.

"It's good for us to have a game like this before going home and playing in front of our fans," manager Joe Girardi said. "We're all excited about that."

The Orioles started the day as the only unbeaten team in the majors at 4-0. After pulling off comeback victories in the first two games of the series, Baltimore blew a three-run lead in the finale.

Ronald Torreyes cut the gap to 3-2 with a two-out, two-run triple in the sixth, Judge homered in the eighth and the Yankees completed the turnaround against Darren O'Day (0-1) in the ninth.

Matt Holliday drew his career-high fifth walk and was replaced by pinch-runner Jacoby Ellsbury, who stole second. After Chris Carter walked, Castro bounced a single up the middle. Judge added a run-scoring groundout, Austin Romine hit a sacrifice fly and the final run scored on a throwing error by second baseman Jonathan Schoop.

Dellin Betances (1-1), who took the loss Saturday, struck out two in a perfect eighth and Aroldis Chapman worked the ninth.

New York relievers combined for three hitless innings after starter CC Sabathia gave up three runs -- two earned -- six hits and four walks over six innings.

"It's just the first week, but I felt like this was a game we needed to win," Sabathia said. "And we came out with the win."

Orioles starter Wade Miley walked seven, struck out five and allowed only one hit over five scoreless innings. He left a 3-0 lead, but the bullpen gave it away.

With Zach Britton and Brad Brach unavailable after pitching each of the previous two games, the five relievers summoned by manager Buck Showalter yielded seven runs and nine hits.

"I gave up a couple of hits, they got some runs," O'Day said. "It just wasn't a good outing. It was pretty bad."

Baltimore went up 2-0 in the second inning, taking advantage of two walks and getting RBIs from Trey Mancini and J.J. Hardy.

Mark Trumbo singled in an unearned run in the fifth.

YOU REMEMBER THE FIRST

Judge was thrilled to hit his first home run of the year, but that wasn't the best part of his day.

"The first one's always the toughest, to be honest. I'm more excited about the win," he said. "It's going to be great, going back to Yankee Stadium, seeing our fans for opening day in New York."

LONG-AWAITED CALL

Yankees prospect Kyle Higashioka, a seventh-round draft pick in 2008, finally got his call-up to the majors when C Gary Sanchez was placed on the 10-day DL on Saturday.

"He was at dinner when he got the call and said he couldn't even eat his dinner," Girardi said. "I think he left it there. Hopefully, he caught up at some point with his eating habits."

WEEKEND MOVE

RHP Edwin Jackson passed a physical in Baltimore on Friday, agreed to a minor league contract with the Orioles and will report to extended spring training.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Yankees: 1B Greg Bird said his bruised right foot felt good, but he was experiencing flu-like symptoms and did not play Sunday. Girardi did not rule out Bird playing in Monday's home opener against Tampa Bay. ... Girardi said Sanchez (right biceps strain) was feeling slightly better and will undergo tests on Monday in New York.

Orioles: Miley (respiratory infection) was activated from the disabled list and OF Joey Rickard was placed on the 10-day DL with a sprained left middle finger. The injury occurred Saturday when Rickard slid into 2B on an attempted steal.

UP NEXT

Yankees: RHP Michael Pineda will start against the Rays in an afternoon matchup that launches a nine-game homestand.

Orioles: After taking Monday, off Baltimore begins its first trip of the season with a two-game series in Boston.

MORE ORIOLES: RANKING ALL 30 MLB LOGOS FROM WORST TO FIRST

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Orioles clean house, fire 11 members of scouting and front office departments

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Orioles clean house, fire 11 members of scouting and front office departments

Baltimore Orioles executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias is dedicated to altering the direction of the organization and that was reciprocated Friday with the firing of 11 members of the scouting and front office departments.  

"We're in a period of change right now with the industry and we're in a period of change right now with the Orioles," Elias said. "Sometimes to make changes you've got to make changes."

Among those relieved were baseball operations director Tripp Norton, scouts Dean Albany, Jim Howard, John Gillette, Nathan Showalter, and Buck Showalter. 

Elias acknowledged the uphill battle ahead of filling numerous voids but insists it's just a part of the job 

"We're going to be very busy bringing people into this organization," he said. "This is just the organization moving along and adapting to the sport today."

Just one day removed from a judge confirming that the Orioles owe the Nationals nearly $300 million, Elias insisted this move isn't to save money.

"There are changes going on in the scouting business in terms of greater availability of information in general, video and data," Elias said. "There are instances where we will replace people's roles kind of man for man, head for head, spot for spot, but there's other instances where we're reconfiguring the way the scouts go about their business."

The O's will look completely different from this point out and players won't be the only changes.

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Watch this kid’s adorably wholesome reaction to getting a foul ball at Wednesday’s Orioles game

Watch this kid’s adorably wholesome reaction to getting a foul ball at Wednesday’s Orioles game

One of the most awesome things about sports is that some aspects are universally great. Getting a ball at a baseball game is one of them.

Whether you catch it on the fly, off a ricochet or just pick it up off the ground, finding that baseball in your hand is one of the best feelings for any fan. Seeing another fan experience that joy is heart-warming.

Enter this young fan at the Orioles game Wednesday night who scooped up a DJ Stewart foul ball.

This is the type of candid, wholesome, unfiltered reaction that only kids can provide. Every kid at every game dreams about getting a ball. Seeing this particular kid snag a ball at Camden Yards just brings all the feelings.

Oh, and the Orioles have won two games in a row. Not that that's a big deal or anything.

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