There was nothing settled in Baltimore this weekend: the Yankees crushed the Orioles 13-3 on Sunday to earn a split of the four-game series and maintain a one-game lead in the AL East.
Curtis Granderson and Derek Jeter homered in the rout.
The Yankees took a 5-0 lead in a four-run fourth inning that included a pair of bases-loaded walks. Baltimore came right back with three runs in the bottom of the frame, but that amounted to all of the team’s scoring on the day. The Yankees turned it into a laugher by scoring two in the seventh and five in the eighth.
Granderson became the first Yankee since at least 1918 to knock in five runs in a game in which he didn’t start. He pinch-hit for Andruw Jones after the Orioles replaced left-hander Zach Britton and had a solo homer, a two-run single and a two-run double in his three at-bats.
The Cubs’ David DeJesus and the Athletics’ Seth Smith have also had five-RBI games off the bench this year.
Joba Chamberlain got his first win of the year for the Yankees after relieving Freddy Garcia in the fourth and pitching 1 2/3 scoreless innings.
While nothing was settled in the standings this weekend, it will likely prove to be a costly series for both teams. Nick Markakis is out six weeks with a broken thumb after being hit by a CC Sabathia pitch, and Mark Teixeira could be done for at least the regular season after aggravating his calf Saturday night.
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.
Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.
Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.
The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.
ESPN’s Pedro Gomez provides a previously unreported detail of the new collective bargaining agreement, agreed to by the owners and the players’ union last week. Players’ meal money for road games is being reduced from $105 to $30 per day. Teams are providing pre- and post-game meals in the visitors’ clubhouse to offset some of the decrease in meal money.
Gomez quotes an unnamed player who said, “I doubt many guys know about the money going down, nor would they have agreed to it.” All of the players Gomez contacted said they were unaware of and unhappy about the change.
Clubhouse attendants are certainly unhappy about this change, too. As Gomez notes, the attendants previously provided food for visiting teams which earned them tips from the players.
EDIT: It’s worth clarifying that chefs are required in clubhouses now as part of the new CBA, so it’s not a complete loss for the players.