BALTIMORE -- For three seasons, the Yankees have been giving right-hander Luis Cessa all kinds of chances to do more with his big arm.
Most times, they've been disappointed waiting and hoping for consistent good results.
Usually Cessa comes up from Triple-A for a short big-league stint, then he's right back in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after a few outings that made you think that might be his last shot as a Yankee.
Rookie Jonathan Loaisiga being shut down last week with a bum shoulder right after he was farmed out to Triple-A led to one more opportunity for Cessa, and this time the 26-year-old Mexican looked all that earning his first victory since he picked up four wins as a here-and-gone rookie in 2015.
Starting Game 2 of a doubleheader at Oriole Park, Cessa pitched a three-hitter over six shutout innings in a 10-2 Yankees victory over the Baltimore Orioles that gave them a split.
Of course, there are people who will declare an asterisk should go with this quality outing because Cessa's opponent was the hapless Orioles, who are a horrific 41 games under .500 with a 25-66 record. But the O's lineup was formidable, as it included the likes of Jonathan Schoop, Manny Machado and Mark Trumbo in the 2-3-4 hole, and Cessa limited them to two singles and a walk in nine plate appearances.
Cessa's reward for this good work was an immediate option right back to Triple-A because the Yankees need edto free up a roster spot on Tuesday for Masahiro Tanaka, who will come off the disabled list to start the third game of this four-game series.
Cessa was the logical one to go because the Yankees want him to continue to stay stretched out as a Triple-A starter so that he'll be a big-league option for them again if and when another need comes up.
After losing the opener 5-4, the Yankees gave Cessa a quick 1-0 lead on a first-inning RBI double by Didi Gregorius.
Brett Gardner, who was 4 for 6 with a home-run saving catch in center field, made it 3-0 with a two-run homer to right in the fourth.
Up 4-0, the Yankees poured it on by scoring four in the eighth, the first two coming on a two-run homer to left by Austin Romine.
This was the best Cessa has looked since he pitched six shutout innings in a road win against the Los Angeles Angels in 2015, his first season in the Yankees organization following a December 2014 trade that sent reliever Justin Wilson to Detroit for Chad Green and Cessa.
This year, Cessa has been back and forth between Triple-A and the Yankees. His latest promotion was his third of the season and he also spent two months on the disabled list with an oblique strain.
-- Gardner reached over the center-field wall to make a tremendous leaping grab in the eighth inning to rob Chance Sisco of a two-run homer when it was an 8-0 game. Tim Beckham, the Orioles' next hitter, went deep to left facing Giovanny Gallegos to end the Yankees' shutout bid.
-- Called up from Triple-A on Monday to be the Yankees' 26th-man for their doubleheader, Gallegos was optioned back to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after Game 2.
-- The Yankees farmed out infielder Brandon Drury between games of the doubleheader to make room on their roster for Cessa. Drury was sent back to Triple-A just nine days after being called up with a .314 average in 54 International League games.
-- Clint Frazier played both games of the doubleheader in left field and was 1 for 8 with a double, walk and five strikeouts.
-- First baseman Greg Bird struck out looking to start the Yankees' four-run eighth and he went down swinging to end it. He was 1 for 4 with an RBI single, walk and two strikeouts.
Tuesday: Yankees at Baltimore Orioles, 7:05 p.m., YES. RHP Masahiro Tanaka (7-2, 4.58) vs. RHP Andrew Cashner (2-9, 4.39).
Wednesday, Yankees at Baltimore Orioles, 7:05 p.m., YES. RHP Sonny Gray (5-7, 5.85) vs. RHP Dylan Bundy (6-8, 4.08).
Thursday: Yankees at Cleveland Indians, 7:10 p.m., YES. RHP Luis Severino (14-2, 2.12) vs TBA.