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.

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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.

Randy Miller may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @RandyJMiller. Find on Facebook.

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