Ynoa shines in Orioles debut vs. White Sox

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[May 06, 2017]  BALTIMORE -- Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter said they always plan for a "what-if" situation regarding the starting pitcher leaving very quickly. Showalter was forced to put that plan into action Friday night, and Gabriel Ynoa helped everything work out.

Chris Davis homered and Ynoa made his Orioles debut in style by blanking Chicago for six innings in long relief as Baltimore scored a 4-2 victory over the White Sox on Friday night.

Ynoa (1-0) came on in place of starter Wade Miley, who lasted just four batters, leaving after being hit by two consecutive White Sox hitters with two outs in the top of the first inning. Miley was first hit in the left wrist -- X-rays were negative -- and then in the buttocks.

That is when Showalter called upon Ynoa.

"Every night before we leave (we) ... sit down and go over the bullpen," Showalter said. "We say it -- guy gets hit by a line drive, first pitch, where are we going? The answer yesterday as we got on the plane was Ynoa. It's one thing to be available to pitch long. It's another thing to be effective to pitch long, which he was (tonight)."

Ynoa scattered six hits, struck out five without a walk and threw 69 strikes on 101 pitches, leaving with two outs in the seventh and a runner on first.

His biggest problem came when Chicago (15-13) put runners on first and third with two outs in the fifth, but the right-hander struck out Jose Abreu.

Ynoa had been called up from Triple-A Norfolk earlier in the day and was well-rested since he last pitched Saturday. He dealt with a cramp in his leg at one point, so that also will be looked at, but the right-hander was thrilled afterward.

"I feel excellent," he said through an interpreter. "I feel very good. Thank God for the opportunity. I was able to keep my ball really low in the zone all night, so I'm really thankful for that."

Chicago manager Rick Renteria certainly was impressed with how Ynoa came through in that situation.

"He pumped the zone with strikes," Renteria said. "I thought his ball had some life. I thought he threw a lot of strikes."

Ynoa left with a 2-0 lead with two outs in the seventh. Stefan Crichton got the final out of the inning before walking Melky Cabrera to start the eighth.

Cabrera later scored on an Avisail Garcia groundout off Darren O'Day, cutting the Baltimore lead to 2-1.

O'Day then escaped further trouble. Brad Brach took care of the ninth, despite allowing a run on two hits, and earned his sixth save when Abreu flied out to center field as the Orioles (18-10) won their second straight game.

Chicago starter Miguel Gonzalez (3-2) kept his former team quiet for most of his 6 2/3-inning effort. He allowed a run in the first and the Davis homer two innings later.

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Orioles pitcher Gabriel Ynoa (49) throws a pitch in the second inning against the Chicago White Sox at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Davis finished the night 3-for-3 and scored a key insurance run in the eighth on a Joey Rickard double. The Orioles added another run in that inning thanks to an error from shortstop Tim Anderson.

Chicago started quickly by getting the three hits in the first and ending Miley's night after just 12 pitches.

Abreu lined a ball off Miley's left arm for an infield single and Garcia followed by sending a shot off the pitcher's buttocks. Miley exited and Ynoa came on with two outs in the first and got out of the inning.

The Orioles took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Gonzalez hit Jonathan Schoop with the bases loaded. Gonzalez needed 31 pitches to get through that inning.

"There was a lot of adrenaline going on, for sure," Gonzalez said. "That first inning, there was some emotion. I felt a little too amped up, but I settled down in the second inning."

Baltimore made it 2-0 when Davis hit a solo homer with two outs in the third.

The possible bad news for the Orioles came after the game when Showalter said that closer Zach Britton (forearm strain), who just came off the disabled list earlier this week, was having problems with the same injury.

Britton had an MRI exam during the game, and Showalter said what the Orioles do with the closer will be determined after analyzing all the results and talking to the medical staff.

NOTES: The home run that Orioles 1B Chris Davis hit in the third inning broke a three-week dry spell; he last homered on April 14. ... White Sox 3B Todd Frazier remains day-to-day with tightness in his back. He took some swings before this game, and manager Rick Renteria said Frazier felt better. They are hoping he can return Saturday after he missed his second straight game.

[ 2017 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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