Orioles shut out Yankees, 2-0, as Gunnar Henderson hits historic homer and Grayson Rodriguez bounces back

BALTIMORE -- The young guys came to play Monday night.

Gunnar Henderson made history as the youngest player in MLB history to hit 10 home runs before May 1 of a season and scored both of the Orioles’ runs, while right-hander Grayson Rodriguez threw 5 2/3 scoreless innings in Baltimore’s 2-0 win over the New York Yankees.

Henderson, at 22 years and 305 days old, became just the third Orioles hitter with double-digit home runs before the end of April, joining Brady Anderson (11 in 1996) and Frank Robinson (10 in 1969). The reigning AL Rookie of the Year also tied Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout for this season’s MLB lead with the blast.

Rodriguez threw a career-high 101 pitches and struck out only three in his outing, but he made them count.

The Orioles’ right-hander retired the Yankees’ Nos. 2, 3 and 4 hitters — Juan Soto, Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo — with each punchout.

Despite Henderson’s continued breakout, pitching took center stage in a game between the two teams that lead MLB in home runs. Rodriguez outdueled Yankees starter Clarke Schmidt, who allowed the one run over 5 2/3 innings of his own. It was a welcome sight for the Orioles (18-10) after the 24-year-old gave up seven earned runs against the Angels his last time out.

“Just kind of an off outing. I thought they were really on the pitches that he missed in the middle part of the plate,” manager Brandon Hyde said before the game. “He’s got to do a better job of just commanding the ball like he’s done for the most part.”

Rodriguez returned to form in time to face New York, a team he has not allowed a run against in 11 innings to begin his career. The right-hander scattered five hits and walked three.

Two of his strikeouts against the Yankees’ middle-of-the-order bats came with runners on base. He got Judge to swing through three pitches with runners on the corners in the third and threw three straight fastballs with the count full on Soto before the third blew past him at 96.6 mph in the fifth. New York finished the evening 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10 base runners in total.

Baltimore’s bullpen, which was without closer Craig Kimbrel after he exited Sunday’s game against the Oakland Athletics with upper-back soreness, locked down the final 3 1/3 innings to secure the Orioles’ third shutout victory of the season. Left-hander Cionel Pérez made his return from an oblique injury and kept Rodriguez’s pitching line intact by stranding two runners to close the sixth.

Pérez needed similar help in the following frame and got it from setup man Yennier Cano. Facing Judge with two outs and two on, the right-hander got New York’s star outfielder to fly out on the first pitch. Cano remained in the game to pitch a scoreless eighth and started the ninth before allowing a leadoff single to Gleyber Torres. Danny Coulombe retired the next three batters to earn his first save since Aug. 25 and the third of his career.

In addition to Henderson, who, in the eighth, beat Soto’s throw to third on a flyball and then scored a key insurance run when shortstop Anthony Volpe booted an easy ground ball in the next at-bat, catcher Adley Rutschman went 1-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. Second baseman Jordan Westburg returned from a one-game absence because of a stomach bug and ended the night 1-for-3. He was caught stealing in the second, making him the second Orioles base runner to be thrown out in 26 attempts this season.

With the win, the Orioles moved into a tie with the Yankees for first place in the AL East. The teams still have 12 games left in their season series, including three more at Camden Yards this week. The Orioles will send right-hander Dean Kremer to the mound on Tuesday opposite Yankees southpaw Nestor Cortes, who has largely dominated the Orioles in his career.