By DAVID GINSBURG
AP Sports Writer
BALTIMORE (AP) _ Mark Reynolds hit two of Baltimore’s
season-high six home runs _ three in a wild eighth inning _ and the
Orioles climbed back into a first-place tie with the Yankees in the
AL East by defeating New York 10-6 Thursday night before a euphoric
sellout crowd at Camden Yards.
Adam Jones’ leadoff homer in the eighth off David Robertson
(1-6) put Baltimore ahead 7-6 after the Yankees rallied from a
five-run deficit in the top half. Matt Wieters followed with a
single and Reynolds hit a drive into the left-field seats. Chris
Davis then slammed the first pitch from Derek Lowe over the
Wieters and Robert Andino also connected for the Orioles, who
have won 10 of 13 _ a run that includes three of four over New
After trailing the Yankees by 10 games on July 18, the surging
Orioles pulled even Tuesday, then dropped a game back on Wednesday
before taking the opener of this important four-game series.
Reynolds, who also went deep in the sixth, has homered in three
straight games and has eight long balls in his last seven,
including two in each of the three wins against New York. With
Reynolds leading the way, the Orioles hit six home runs in a game
for the first time since Aug. 28, 2007, against Tampa Bay.
Baltimore has played several significant games in September in
recent years, but this is the first time since 1997 that the
Orioles have been in the hunt for a playoff berth. The fans reacted
accordingly, cheering from the first pitch to the very end.
The Yankees always attract huge crowds, but this time an
estimated 90 percent of those in attendance were cheering for the
home team. The full house and the boisterous orange-clad fans
conjured memories of a time long ago, when Baltimore made two
straight playoff appearances in 1996-97 prior to a run of 14
consecutive losing seasons.
New York trailed 6-1 in the eighth before mounting a comeback
fueled by four walks. After Alex Rodriguez hit an RBI double and
Curtis Granderson singled in a run, the Yankees put runners on
second and third with two outs. The fans rose to their feet in
anticipation after Pedro Strop prepared to throw a 1-2 pitch to
Russell Martin, but Strop ultimately issued a walk to load the
bases for pinch-hitter Chris Dickerson, who drew a four-pitch walk
to make it 6-4.
Ichiro Suzuki followed with his third hit, a two-run single,
before Darren O’Day (7-1) got the final out.
Orioles starter Jason Hammel gave up one run and six hits in
five-plus innings in his first outing since going on the disabled
list in mid-July. The right-hander took a line drive by Robinson
Cano off his elbow in the fourth, but stayed in the game.
After Hammel warmed up the rowdy fans with a 1-2-3 first, three
straight singles against David Phelps in the bottom half produced a
run before Wieters hit an opposite-field, three-run drive to left
for a 4-0 lead. It was his 19th home run of the season and the
first since he connected off Phelps on Saturday.
New York got a run in the fourth on Cano’s hit off Hammel’s arm
and an RBI single by Granderson. In the Baltimore half, Andino hit
his career-high sixth home run to make it 5-1.
Reynolds made it 6-1 with a solo shot off Joba Chamberlain.
NOTES: On the 17th anniversary of the day Cal Ripken Jr. broke
Lou Gehrig’s mark of consecutive games played, the Orioles unveiled
a statue of the Iron Man in the picnic area beyond the center field
wall. Ripken is the fifth of Baltimore’s six Hall of Fame stars to
be so honored this season; the last will be Brooks Robinson. …
Yankees 1B Mark Teixeira (strained left calf) jogged lightly in the
outfield at Camden Yards before the game and said he’s close to
returning to the lineup. .. Cano played 2B for the first time since
suffering left hip soreness on Monday. … NY manager Joe Girardi
said LHP Andy Pettitte (broken ankle) will throw a simulated game
at some point this weekend. Pettitte has been on the DL since June
28. … Baltimore improved to 8-7 against New York this season. …
The Orioles will send rookie Wei-Yin Chen to the mound Friday night
and the Yankees will start Phil Hughes.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)