Ynoa handles big stage, helps case for future

Ynoa handles big stage, helps case for future

NEW YORK -- While manager Buck Showalter was clear before Friday's game that the main priority is still to win games this season, the Orioles got a good look at their potential future at Yankee Stadium.

In that vein, starter Gabriel Ynoa made a solid impression in the 8-2 loss, going 4 1/3 innings and holding the Yankees to three runs (two earned) on five hits with five strikeouts.

"He was attacking the strike zone with his fastball and breaking ball," Orioles catcher Welington Castillo said. "It's a tough lineup to face, and I think he did a really good job."

Ynoa, joined in the youth movement on Friday night by center fielder Austin Hays, made his first career start with Baltimore last week against Cleveland, and he has held his own in enemy territory. Despite taking the loss to the red-hot Indians, Ynoa also allowed three runs in that start and is a potential rotation candidate for the O's heading into next spring.

Ynoa and Schoop turn two

"Every time the manager gives me the ball, I want to take advantage of the opportunity," Ynoa said through his interpreter, "and show that I can pitch now and that I can pitch in the future as well."

The 23-year-old righty threw 64 pitches against the Yankees, and he was removed after issuing a one-out walk to Aaron Judge in the fifth. Victim to an unearned run in the second, Ynoa was also charged with Judge's run as Miguel Castro served up a two-run homer to the first batter he faced, Didi Gregorius.

"He was fortunate with some hard-hit balls that were right at people that created some innings that could have gotten away from him, but it didn't, so I'll take that as a positive," Showalter said. "I did like his presentation. He didn't seem to be overly intimidated by the atmosphere he was in tonight."

Ynoa, acquired from the Mets in February, is in his third stint with the Orioles this season. He has pitched as many as six innings in relief, posting a 1-0 record with a 3.68 ERA out of the bullpen. Given the Orioles' rotation struggles, the righty is getting a chance as a starter as the team tries to get back in the American League Wild Card race.

"I think I pitched well," Ynoa said. "I think I did a good job."

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.