BALTIMORE -- Seth Smith delivered a memorable first homer with the Orioles, as the right fielder's two-run blast in the seventh inning was the difference in Baltimore's 6-5 series-opening win over the Yankees on Friday night.
The victory improved the O's to 3-0 to start the season, while dropping New York to 1-3.
"It's nice coming up with a runner on third, less than two outs and being able to come through," Smith said. "You've got a job to do there, especially late in the game, you want to make sure you do something to score that run. It won't always happen like that, but that's certainly what you're trying to do."
Smith sent a 2-1 pitch from Yankees reliever Tyler Clippard over the out-of-town scoreboard in right field for a one-out homer that also scored Jonathan Schoop. The inning got started when Yankees third baseman Chase Headley threw away Schoop's routine ground ball.
"It's never good to happen any time, but late innings against a team like that, there's a lot of firepower in that lineup, so you've got to keep them off the bases," Headley said. "Unfortunately, I made a mistake."
Gary Sanchez and Matt Holliday each delivered two-run homers -- their first dingers of the season -- off Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez. Holliday went deep in the third and Sanchez -- who also picked up his first RBI -- drove in two more in the fifth.
Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner went 3-for-5 with a double, three runs scored and two steals off Jimenez, who ran up a high pitch count and exited after Sanchez's blast. The inconsistent O's righty was charged with five earned runs on seven hits and a walk over 4 1/3 innings.
"I think it was difficult for everyone," Jimenez said of pitching in some chilly April weather. "I'm not the only one that had to go through that. Our pitching staff did, and they did well, and the Yankee pitching staff had to go through that too. That's not an excuse. I just hung two splitters and they made me pay for it."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED O's unstoppable 'pen: Despite Jimenez's short stay, the Orioles were able to hang tough using arguably one of baseball's best bullpens. Manager Buck Showalter went to setup man Darren O'Day for key outs in the sixth, and 2016 All-Stars Brad Brach and Zach Britton finished things off as Baltimore's bullpen once again was able to stifle the opponent. O's relievers have thrown 12 1/3 scoreless innings to start the season. More >
Yankees muscle up: After a forgettable offensive performance in their first series against the Rays at Tropicana Field, the Yankees showed some pop on Friday night. Holliday's first homer in a Yankees uniform traveled a Statcast-projected 412 feet, while Sanchez snapped a 1-for-15 skid to start the year with his two-run dinger. Sanchez's home run was his hardest-hit Major League homer, carrying an exit velocity of 112.2 mph and traveling 426 feet, according to Statcast™.
"I thought he was swinging the bat pretty good, he just wasn't running into a whole lot of luck," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He hit some really hard ground balls, he lined out. But you hope it really gets him going."
"When you're throwing that many pitches early in the game, believe me when you're standing out there in the cold and the wind chill, it's a real tribute to our guys. It verifies what we think of them." -- Showalter, on the comeback win
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Orioles lefty Donnie Hart picked up his first career big league win by recording an out in the seventh.
"You can't really put that into words," he said. "It's something you work for all your life, and it's pretty cool to have that under my belt."
WHAT'S NEXT Yankees:Masahiro Tanaka is hungry to bounce back after a rough Opening Day start, taking the ball for the second game of three against the Orioles on Saturday at 4:05 p.m. ET. Tanaka lasted just 3 2/3 innings while allowing seven earned runs in a 7-3 loss to the Rays at Tropicana Field.
Orioles:Kevin Gausman went 5 1/3 innings and held Toronto to two runs on five hits and four walks, taking a no-decision in his Opening Day debut on Monday. He will take the ball in Saturday's middle game against New York.