BALTIMORE –- Mark Trumbo had a terrific first month with the Orioles. His second month began spectacularly, too.
In April, Trumbo’s heroics were overshadowed by Manny Machado’s all around stellar play. While Trumbo was certainly in consideration for American League Player of the Month, Machado was the proper choice.
When oddsmaker Bovada released its latest projections on AL MVP early Tuesday afternoon, Machado was the 15:4 favorite, but Trumbo was in the conversation as well with 10:1 odds.
Trumbo’s two home runs on Tuesday night helped power the Orioles to a 4-1 win over the New York Yankees before 16,083 at Oriole Park.
His first home run, which was his seventh this season was a long shot estimated at 414 feet, to deep left field.
Trumbo hit a two-run homer in the fifth off Luis Severino. That gave the Orioles a 4-1 lead, and it was Trumbo’s eighth, and his second two homer game. The first came on Apr. 15 at Texas when he became the first Oriole to hit two in an inning.
“I think it’s been a lot of fun. At-bats wise, I think I’ve done kind of what I was hoping to do. There’s still a number of things I’d like to accomplish as we go and shore up a few mechanical things, but as far as the numbers themselves go, I think it’s about all I could ask for,” Trumbo said.
Trumbo doesn’t have to be the man in the Orioles lineup. There’s Chris Davis, Adam Jones and Manny Machado.
“I think it is a big help. I think getting a chance to see a few similar hitters in front of me and how they are attacking those guys can be a huge advantage if I’m hitting fifth, they have to go thru Manny and Jonesey. It really is a situation where you can totally be yourself, have your at-bats, try and contribute the way you do, and you don't have to do a single ounce extra because everyone is going to do their part,” Trumbo said.
Manager Buck Showalter has tried to convince his hitters to “pass the baton,” not to feel an extra responsibility.
“I think all [hitters] are sometimes where they don’t feel like they’ve got the weight of the world on their shoulders. But this is not like his first time in the big leagues. He’s got a pretty good track record of what he’s doing now in April and now May,” Showalter said.
“I think he’s a guy, regardless, I could tell about halfway through the spring it was going to be a pretty good fit in a lot of areas other than what he would bring statistically. He seems to really fit in quickly and I felt that way whether he was hitting like he is or not. He’s been a real good fit for how we have to do it.”
The Orioles (15-10) scored their second run in the fourth when Jonathan Schoop doubled with two outs and scored when Severino (0-4) dropped Mark Teixeira’s relay on Ryan Flaherty’s grounder to first.
Machado started at shortstop in place of J.J. Hardy and for the third time this season, made an ill-advised dash for third. Machado doubled to start the fifth, and ran for third when Adam Jones grounded to shortstop Didi Gregorius. Machado was easily thrown out.
Chris Tillman didn’t have a clean inning until his last one, but allowed just one run in seven innings.
Tillman (3-1) gave up five hits, walked four and struck out nine including his last three in the seventh. It was the second straight start in which Tillman equaled his career high in strikeouts.
“I think it’s being able to throw my offspeed for strikes. It’s been something that I worked on a lot last year and it never really came along for me in spring training. I kind of had a good feel for it and was able to carry it over. In bullpens, I worked hard on that. It's something that [Matt Wieters] has to consistently remind me of throughout the game. In certain counts, he's calling a breaking ball where I normally wouldn't do it. He's keeping me on my toes, that’s for sure,” Tillman said.
New York (8-16), loser of six straight, scored in the second off Tillman on a run-scoring single by Gregorius.
Tillman is the second Orioles pitcher to work seven innings this season. Ubaldo Jimenez on Apr. 7 was the first.
Brad Brach, who often works the seventh, pitched a scoreless eighth in Zach Britton’s temporary absence.
Darren O’Day recorded his second save with a scoreless ninth.
NOTES: Alex Rodriguez suffered a strained left hamstring. … CC Sabathia (1-2, 5.06) faces Tyler Wilson (1-0, 3.06) on Wednesday night.
MORE ORIOLES: WILL MACHADO MOVE TO SHORTSTOP WHILE HARDY IS OUT?