Jonathan Schoop has a pretty good story to tell about hitting two home runs against Masahiro Tanaka, and Caleb Joseph also had a good tale to share about getting his first home run ball retrieved by New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter.
The blats by Schoop and Joseph highlighted an impressive performance by the Baltimore Orioles in an 8-0 win over the Yankees on Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.
Second baseman Schoop became the first player to hit two home runs off Tanaka (11-2), and he has five RBIs against the rookie right-hander. He hit a three-run home run off Tanaka on April 9. On Sunday, he hit a solo shot in the second and a run-scoring grounder in the seventh.
"I try to see the ball up in the zone," Schoop said. "It's tough. He's a good pitcher. I don't think you're going to see a lot of balls up in the zone. He's going to leave his balls down all the time ... (and) two balls have been up and I put the barrel on the ball and the ball went out."
The game was long out of reach when Joseph stepped in for his 71st career at-bat against David Huff in the ninth inning. On a full count, he hit a ball over the left field fence, and though many fans had left, one fan threw it back on the field. Eventually Jeter picked it up and threw into the Baltimore dugout, saving Joseph money from trading memorabilia for the ball.
"The best part of the story was Derek Jeter," Joseph said. "What a classy guy he is. The guys told me that he went over to the ball boy and got the ball back from him. He's so well known for being such a classy guy in the baseball world and that just shows how aware he is of everything going on.
"He might have been the only one on the field that knew it was my first major league home run. It speaks volumes of his knowledge of the game and I'm really thankful that he did that."
Joseph also caught Baltimore's seventh shutout of the season, guiding right-hander Chris Tillman (6-4) through seven effective innings.
"It was awesome," Tillman said. "I was screaming like a little girl in the clubhouse when I saw it."
Tillman improved to 6-0 on the road by allowing four hits, throwing 67 of 114 pitches for strikes while getting help from a replay challenge early and from his defense in the middle innings.
"You have to be better," Tillman said. "You have to execute your pitches and give the offense a chance. Early on my fastball was really working, then later on I was able to get my curveball over where it needed to be."
Tillman started off by allowing a double to left fielder Brett Gardner, who was called safe when he advanced to third. After third baseman Manny Machado urged manager Buck Showalter to challenge the call, the play was overturned following a review of two minutes, 38 seconds.
"I kept the tag and I was pretty confident he went off the bag," Machado said. "Looking at the replay it was a 50/50 chance, but Buck went off my reaction and we got lucky. That got us going and gave us the momentum."
In the third, he had first and second in a 1-0 game but retired Jeter on a 6-4-3 double play. In the fourth, the Yankees had two on again but Tillman snagged a liner by third baseman Kelly Johnson for the final out.
The Orioles faced Tanaka for the second time this season and though he allowed three runs and six hits in seven innings, they became the first team to beat him twice.
"He's some kind a pitcher," Showalter said. "We were fortunate to catch him on a day when he wasn't as sharp as he normally is."
Tanaka pitched in a 1-0 game until the seventh but then allowed two hits before allowing an RBI groundout by Schoop and a sacrifice fly by Machado.
"I feel like I let the game go there," Tanaka said.
"I thought he pitched well," catcher Brian McCann added. "Just in the seventh inning, he got a couple of pitches up in the zone and out over the plate."
Baltimore added four runs in the eighth as Hardy lined a bases-clearing double and Machado added a RBI single. That came after Johnson's throwing error when designated hitter Steve Pearce slid into hard forcing a throw to wind up the stands. Yankees manager Joe Girardi thought the play was malicious but Pearce said his only intention was to break up a potential double play.
The Yankees lost for fourth time in their 12 games and were shut out for the third time. They also removed first baseman Mark Teixeira after he was hit on the foot by a pitch, but X-rays were negative.
"I thought we swung the bats all right," Jeter said. "We hit a lot of balls hard -- just at some people."
NOTES: The Yankees held their 68th annual Old-Timers Day celebration and among the first-time honorees were OF Johnny Damon and DH Hideki Matsui. They also unveiled a plaque in Monument Park for Hall of Famer Goose Gossage. ... Baltimore manager Buck Showalter also was introduced to the fans and joked it was because he was saying hello to former Yankees general manager Gene Michael. Showalter also pointed out that the Orioles have some history by saying: "We've got some monuments, too. We don't take a backseat to many people with our history and tradition."