Yankees make most of schedule change, defeat Orioles 9-3

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New York Yankees' Aaron Judge (99) greets DJ LeMahieu, right, after LaMahieu hit a solo home run off Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Asher Wojciechowski during the first inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

BALTIMORE – If the New York Yankees must adjust on the fly to a sudden change in the schedule, there's no team they'd rather face than the Baltimore Orioles.

Baseball's weird season reached another level of strange Wednesday night when New York stepped in for the Miami Marlins and ruined Baltimore's home opener, hitting three home runs to back right-hander Gerrit Cole in a 9-3 victory.

Although the circumstances surrounding this Yankees-Orioles matchup was unusual, the result was not. The Yankees beat their AL East rivals for the 17th straight time since March 31, 2019, and for the 16th successive time at Camden Yards.

The Orioles were originally slated to launch the home portion of the abbreviated 60-game schedule against Miami, but the Marlins were ordered to take a hiatus after several players and coaches contracted COVID-19 over the weekend.

New York was scheduled to play Philadelphia on Wednesday, but the Phillies' season was put on hold as a precaution because they were Miami's opponent in the opening series.

So Major League Baseball thrust the Yankees and Orioles together while the Marlins and Phillies recover.

“I thought our mindset was really good," New York manager Aaron Boone said of the team's need to change direction without much notice. “I felt like our guys were good to go from the start. Getting here at a decent hour (Tuesday) night was important."

So was the pitching of Cole, who signed as a free agent in December after a starring for the Astros.