Brendan Ryan scored on Jim Johnson’s wild pitch and the New York Yankees stayed one game back in the American League wild-card race with a 6-5 win against the Baltimore Orioles.
The Yankees blew a four-run seventh-inning lead before Ryan’s dash for home in the ninth inning of the rain-delayed Major League Baseball game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. New York won the final three games of the four-game series.
The Yankees (79-68) are vying for one of the two wild-card playoff spots that go to non-division-winning teams in each league. The Texas Rangers (81-64) and Tampa Bay Rays (79-66) now hold the spots, with the Yankees, Cleveland Indians (78-68), Orioles (77-69) and Kansas City Royals (77-69) close behind.
“We need to continue to win and we need to continue to take series if we want to play in October,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi told reporters.
Tampa Bay won 4-3 last night against the American League East-leading Boston Red Sox.
Mark Reynolds hit a two-run homer in the second and Vernon Wells drove home two runners on his single to left in the third as the Yankees took a 4-0 lead. Curtis Granderson’s solo home run in the seventh gave New York a 5-1 lead.
Nick Markakis hit a home run in the seventh for the Orioles and Danny Valencia tied it with a three-run homer in the eighth.
“It’s frustrating, but our guys battled back,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “I’m proud of them.”
Yankees starter Phil Hughes, who was pulled in the fourth inning, has five starts of fewer than four innings pitched to tie Barry Zito of the San Francisco Giants and the Houston Astros’ Lucas Harrell for the most in the majors this season.
Mariano Rivera (6-2) pitched a perfect ninth inning and was credited with the win. Johnson (3-8) took the loss.
Yankees center fielder Brett Gardner left the game in the bottom of the first inning with a left oblique strain.
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