O's hit 3 blasts vs. Bombers, cut magic number to 2
By Brittany Ghiroli and Bryan Hoch
NEW YORK -- The Orioles are doing everything in their power to secure a postseason spot.
Led by Jonathan Schoop, who homered and matched a career high with five RBIs, the Orioles bashed their way to an 8-1 win over the Yankees on Friday night, whittling their magic number to two in the process and taking a one-game lead over Toronto for the top American League Wild Card spot after the Blue Jays lost. Baltimore remained 1 1/2 games up on Detroit and two up on Seattle, as both the Tigers and Mariners won Friday night.
"It's tough. And our guys know it's a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately world," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of his team playing in the cold, wet conditions at Yankee Stadium. "We will do it again in a few hours. Guys worked on real short sleep last night. For some reason, we played a night game yesterday, and for some reason it was 2 1/2 hours getting out of the airport in Toronto. Guys got to bed about 5 this morning, short sleep and be ready again tomorrow. They know what's at stake and they aren't going to not give themselves an opportunity to get a chance."
A win Saturday -- coupled with a loss by the Jays or the Tigers -- would secure a spot in the AL Wild Card Game for the Orioles, who would clinch home-field advantage for that game if they win and both Toronto and Detroit lose.
Schoop doubled in two runs in the fourth inning, and Adam Jones and Mark Trumbo went deep in the fifth to tag Michael Pineda with five earned runs over 4 1/3 innings. Schoop hit a three-run shot later in the inning off reliever James Pazos to push Baltimore's lead to seven.
Orioles starter Yovani Gallardo turned in a quality start, going six innings and allowing the Yankees just one run on two hits. That lone run came from Mark Teixeira -- playing in the final series of his career -- who hit a sacrifice fly in the fourth.
"It wasn't great conditions for either team," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "It's windy. It's misting. Fly balls seemed to be an adventure at a certain point. There were some guys slipping on some plays. It wasn't great."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED O's keep rolling: After losing Tuesday's game, the Orioles have reeled off three consecutive road wins to put them atop the AL Wild Card race. Baltimore, fresh off its first series win this season in Toronto, is putting it together away from Camden Yards at just the right time. Friday's game marked the O's most runs scored since Sept. 10 at Detroit.
"Everybody believes in each other," Schoop said. "Since Day One we believe in each other because nobody believed in us, but we believed in each other and for us to go to the playoffs." More >
Pineda calls it a year: Yankees manager Joe Girardi referred to Pineda's season as "mind-boggling," and the big right-hander gave his team one last look at a puzzle they will try to solve this winter. Two-out damage in particular has been a consistent problem for Pineda, and Schoop took advantage with his two-run double in the fourth. Pineda struck out five and finished the year with 207 strikeouts in 175 2/3 innings. That 10.60 K/9 ratio ranks first in the AL, but he ends 6-12 with a 4.82 ERA.
"This is a really tough season for me. I had ups and downs," Pineda said. "This year, with two outs and two strikes, I struggled. My strikeouts, everything is good. Today, the season is over for me. For me, I want to go to my house and be ready for next season."
Gallardo good: Largely lost in all the offense, Gallardo picked up his eighth quality start and sixth win of the season, and he has allowed just two runs over his last 12 innings.
"My last two starts just have been a lot better, a lot more around the plate," Gallardo said. "When I do find myself in trouble, I'm able to make a pitch, make a pitch and get out of it. It's just a matter of keep going, keep moving forward, and just work everything ahead."
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Schoop's homer was his 25th of the season. According to Baseball-Reference, the 2016 Orioles have become the 12th team in Major League history with at least five players with at least 25 home runs in the same season. The last team to do so was the 2012 Chicago White Sox (also with five players). The Major League record is held by the 2003 Boston Red Sox, who had six players with 25 or more home runs.
Pineda's second-inning strikeout of Matt Wieters was the Yankees' 1,371st punchout of the season, setting a new franchise record. New York recorded 1,370 strikeouts in both 2014 and '15.
The Yankees successfully challenged a call at first base in the first inning, as Trumbo was initially ruled safe on a ground ball to second baseman Ronald Torreyes. A review of one minute and three seconds overturned the call, with Trumbo ruled out to end the inning.
WHAT'S NEXT Orioles: Baltimore will send Wade Miley to the hill for Saturday's start in New York. Miley, fresh off the birth of his first child, returned to the team on Friday and will start the 4:05 p.m. ET game. The lefty is coming off his best start as an Oriole, falling one out shy of a complete game and striking out 11 against Arizona.
Yankees:Luis Severino will return to the mound after being ejected in the second inning of his most recent start on Monday, having hit Josh Donaldson and Justin Smoak of the Blue Jays. Severino received a fine for his actions, and he is appealing. He is 0-8 with an 8.59 ERA in 10 starts this year, and opponents have batted .339 off him in those games.