By DAVID GINSBURG AP Sports Writer
BALTIMORE (AP) _ Aaron Judge and Chase Headley hit two-run homers, Starlin Castro and Todd Frazier added solo shots and the New York Yankees beat the Baltimore Orioles 9-1 Thursday for their first series win at Camden Yards in four years.
Didi Gregorius had three hits and scored twice for the Yankees, who closed within 3 1/2 games of AL East-leading Boston and fortified their grip on the top AL wild card.
Sonny Gray (9-9) gave up one unearned run and six hits in 5 2/3 innings. The right-hander is 3-4 since he was acquired by New York in a July 31 trade with Oakland.
After rain postponed Wednesday night’s game, the Yankees dominated the makeup from the outset. Judge connected in the first inning for a 3-0 lead, giving him 39 home runs _ second-most by a rookie in major league history behind Mark McGwire’s 49 in 1987.
New York added two runs in the third against Kevin Gausman (10-10), and Headley’s drive off Mike Wright made it 7-0 in the fourth.
By taking two out of three, the Yankees earned their first series win in Baltimore since Sept 9-13, 2013. The 11-series drought was the second-longest in franchise history, behind only a 12-series run in Oakland from 1985-91.
Castro homered in the sixth for an 8-0 lead, and Frazier went deep in the seventh to give every New York starter at least one hit.
After going 6-4 on their penultimate homestand, the Orioles head to Cleveland trailing Minnesota and Los Angeles for the final AL wild card.
Coming off two starts in which he didn’t allow a run over 13 2/3 innings, Gausman gave up an RBI double to Gregorius in the first before Judge ripped a belt-high fastball deep into the center-field bleachers.
Gausman was lifted after yielding five runs in three innings. In five starts against New York this season, the right-hander is 1-2 with a 9.27 ERA.
The Yankees wore arm bands on their left sleeve to honor former player, manager and general manager Gene Michael, who died of a heart attack Thursday at age 79.
“It’s a loss for everybody. He had done it all,” said Orioles manager Buck Showalter, who was hired by Michael to manage the Yankees in 1992.
Wright was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk before the game.
Yankees: RHP Adam Warren, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list Wednesday with a lower back spasm, could return this season. “It’s possible just because he’s a reliever,” manager Joe Girardi said. “If he was a starter, you’d be more concerned.”
Orioles: SS J.J. Hardy (wrist) tested his sore elbow by swinging a bat. “We’re hoping to activate him tomorrow,” Showalter said.
Yankees: Masahiro Tanaka (11-10, 4.54 ERA) helps New York launch a three-game series in Texas on Friday. He is 3-0 with a 2.14 ERA over his last three starts.
Orioles: Wade Miley (8-11, 4.91 ERA) takes the mound Friday night against the Cleveland Indians, who took a 14-game winning streak into their game Thursday night against the White Sox.
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