Hobbled by a barking left knee, Gio Urshela grabbed a bat and came off the bench to deliver a pinch-hit three-run homer in the seventh inning on Friday, powering the Yankees to a 5-4 victory over the Orioles at Camden Yards.
Urshela was held out of Friday’s lineup as he continued to receive treatment on the knee, which he injured making a diving stop during the club’s most recent homestand. His condition improved enough to work a nine-pitch at-bat against Travis Lakins Sr., fouling off five pitches before belting a cutter over the wall in right-center.
To that point, Aaron Judge had comprised the Yankees’ offense, enjoying a two-homer performance that made him the first Bomber to reach double digits in home runs this year. Judge hit shots off Dean Kremer in the first and fourth innings, clearing the walls in left field and right-center field, respectively.
Corey Kluber allowed four runs over six innings, applauding in the dugout when Urshela’s homer vaulted him into position for a victory. Kluber surrendered a homer to Austin Hays in the first inning and was knocked for three runs in the fifth, including Pedro Severino’s game-tying double and a Pat Valaika single that put Baltimore ahead.
Urshela has reached base in 22 consecutive games, tying the longest streak of his career.