Another wild finish helps the bombers separate themselves in the wild card chase.
It’s rare enough to win because of a wild pitch once, the yankees have now done it twice in a week.
Down 5-2 in the 8th, the the Orioles woke up and said no, we will not go down quietly.
David huff was relieved by David Robertson, who came in for the second straight day after missing 5 with a sore shoulder. Huff went 3 innings in relief of starter Phil Hughes who lasted just 3 himself after allowing just 1 run.
The yankees setup was tested quick, surrendering what looked like a quick solo shot to Manny Machado. But what turned into a homer saving highlight reel catch by Alfonso Soriano. Not known for his defense, Soriano continues to impress in the bombers. Then Roberson rebounded by getting out the major league leader in homers out swinging. But after that he ran into trouble. Adam jones and Markakis both got on, so with two on for Danny Valencia, who’s hit they yankees hard all year, did it again. A game tying 3 run shot, handing Robertson the blown save. It was 5-5 after 8.
But in the top of the 9th, closer Jim Johnson couldn’t hold the yankees down. Newly acquired Brendan Ryan singled to lead off. Chris Stewart than reached on a throwing error by Johnson. Curtis Granderson laid down a sac bunt. Then a wild pitch with Alex Rodriguez up scored Ryan from 3rd for the go-ahead run. Rodriguez was intentionally walked and Soriano grounded into a double play to end the inning. But the damage was done.
Mariano Rivera shut down the O’s in the bottom half for his 6th win. He wasn’t credited with the save because of a rule that allowed the official scorer to say robertson was to ineffective to earn a win. It was the 43-year-old’s 4th appearance in 5 nights.
Mark Reynolds got the yankees on the board early with a 2-run shot, his second homer of the series. Vernon Wells made the score 4-0 with a 2-run single. Granderson also hit a solo shot for the second night in a row to make the score 5-1.
The win pushed the o’s to 2.5 back in the wild card chase and gives New York a 1.5 game cushion over them. The Indians won so they remain a .5 game behind the yankees. No ground gained on Tampa who won the finally over Boston, keeping their cushion at 1 game, 2 in the loss column.
The Red Sox are up next. And the Yankees might be without their lead off man. Brett Gardner left the game in the first with a strained left oblique, sustained on a check-swing. He’ll have an MRI in New York today. Be prepared for the news of yet another season-ending injury. The yankees do have some depth in the outfield, with Granderson and Ichiro Suzuki able to play center, and Vernon wells can play all 3 positions as well. Zoilo Almonte is also back up, which helps too.
The Yankees haven’t been able to solve the Sox much this year, but they’ve got three guys capable of giving them good starts going. Hiroki Kuroda gets the ball first, with CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova on the weekend. They must do no worse than win the series, and hope for help from Twins who play the Rays.