New York Yankees' Didi Gregorius hits a 3-run home run in the 3rd inning against the Tampa Bay Rays in the Yankees home opener on April 3 at Yankee Stadium in New York City. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
As the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees pressed on deep into extra innings on Friday, general managers Dan Duquette and Brian Cashman were likely making plans to get bullpen reinforcements from the minor leagues.
It is possible both teams could make some roster alterations by Saturday afternoon when the four-game series reconvenes at Yankee Stadium.
Baltimore has won the first two games after getting a grand slam from Pedro Alvarez in the 14th inning of Friday's 7-3 win. The Orioles also got a big night from Manny Machado, who homered twice, collected four hits and reached base six times during a game that lasted five hours, 20 minutes.
The Orioles appear to be in better shape with their pitching staff since six pitchers combined to throw 218 pitches, and they did not use two relievers -- Darren O'Day and Nestor Cortes Jr.
"We were able to do it because people pitched well and did their job," Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said in his postgame interview to MASN.
"We're just not going to blow up a bullpen in the first week of April and wonder why they can't get anyone out over the long haul."
New York used seven relievers after CC Sabathia exited after the fourth inning with a hip injury. The Yankees threw 265 pitches as Jonathan Holder threw 42 pitches and Chasen Shreve threw 39 while Adam Warren was the last remaining reliever.
"I would expect we would have some moves we have to make," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.
Besides bullpen moves, Boone has other concerns after three other players exited the game. The Yankees lost infielders Brandon Drury to a migraine, Tyler Wade to flu-like symptoms and Gary Sanchez with right leg cramps.
All three appear to be fine, but it's possible they will not be in the starting lineup Saturday.
With concerns about using their bullpen, the Yankees will hope for some distance out of Sonny Gray (0-0, 2.25 ERA), who makes his second start of the season.
Gray did not get a decision but needed 89 pitches to get through four innings when he allowed one run and seven hits in a 7-4 loss at Toronto on Sunday.
"Never happy about going four innings," Gray told reporters. "There were some positives to take from it, especially pitching with runners in scoring position. But obviously, you want to go deeper into the game and not put so many guys on base."
Gray will be making his 13th start with the Yankees and Sunday was the fifth time he did not complete six innings.
The right-hander faced Baltimore twice last season after joining the Yankees, going 1-1 with a 4.66 ERA. He allowed an unearned run and six hits in 5 2/3 innings Sept. 7 at Baltimore to get a win, but took the loss after allowing five runs and six hits in four innings on Sept. 17.
Gray is 2-4 with a 5.28 ERA in six career outings against Baltimore. The Orioles own a .312 average (34-for-109) off Gray, who has encountered his most trouble against Tim Beckham (6-for-13), Jonathan Schoop (3-for-8) and Jones (5-for-14).
Chris Tillman (0-1, 9.00 ERA) makes his second start for the Orioles, who re-signed him on Feb. 21. Tillman is looking to bounce back from an injury-plagued 2017 that saw him finish 1-7 with a ghastly 7.84 ERA while being limited to 93 innings due to shoulder problems.
Tillman's difficult season occurred after he finished 16-6 with a 3.77 ERA in 172 innings during 2016.
Tillman began his 10th season with Baltimore by allowing four runs and seven hits in four innings of a 6-1 loss at Houston on Monday, though he felt better than at anytime last season.
"It's much different," Tillman told reporters. "I didn't have anything last year. I have quite a bit. Tonight didn't go as I planned or as we planned, but going forward I think it's going to get better."
The right-hander is 8-8 with a 5.54 ERA in 22 career outings (21 starts) against the Yankees. He was 0-2 with a 19.29 ERA in three appearances against the Yankees last year, but was 2-0 with a 3.38 ERA in three starts against them in 2016.
New York's current lineup owns a .303 average (44-for-145) off Tillman. Didi Gregorius is a .550 hitter (11-for-20) off him.
Tillman will also be making his 200th career start. Including the franchise's time as the St. Louis Browns, he will become the 15th pitcher to get 200 starts for the Orioles.