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Orioles Beat Mariners in 18 Innings to Tie Yankees Atop AL East

The Baltimore Orioles beat the Seattle Mariners 4-2 in 18 innings to move into a tie for the lead in the American League East division with the New York Yankees, whose game last night was postponed because of rain.

Taylor Teagarden hit a one-run single to break a 2-2 tie in the top of the 18th inning at Safeco Field in Seattle, before J.J. Hardy scored as Mark Reynolds grounded into a fielder’s choice. Miguel Olivo hit a two-run homer in the fourth to give the Mariners the lead and the Orioles tied it in the ninth on Chris Davis’s two-run single.

“They do something every day that just makes me shake my head,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter told reporters. “Just when I think they can’t top something they do. They deserved to win that baseball game. They found a way to get back in it.”

The 14th straight extra innings win for the Orioles gives them an 84-64 record, while the Yankees are 83-63.

The Oakland Athletics (84-63) lead the Yankees and Orioles in the wild-card standings. The top two non-division winners in each league earn wild-card spots in the Major League Baseball postseason.

The Athletics lost 12-2 last night to the Detroit Tigers (78-69), who remain three games behind the White Sox (81-66) in the AL Central after Chicago defeated the Kansas City Royals 3-2.

Relief Pitches

The Orioles and Mariners each used seven relief pitchers last night. Tommy Hunter (5-8), Baltimore’s sixth reliever, allowed one hit and struck out one in two innings for the win, while Jim Johnson pitched the 18th inning to log his 44th save.

Lucas Luetge (2-2) gave up the final two runs on three hits in two innings for the loss.

Last night’s game was the longest for the Mariners this season and the longest for Orioles since they beat the Red Sox 9-6 in 17 innings on May 6 in Boston.

The longest game in Orioles history was a 7-5 win in 19 innings against the Washington Senators on June 4, 1967.

The first of three games between the Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays was rescheduled for 1:05 p.m. today because of rain in the New York area last night.

Andy Pettitte will make his first start in nearly three months in the first game of the day-night double header at Yankee Stadium.

Pettitte, 40, fractured an ankle June 27 when he was struck by a ball hit by Cleveland’s Casey Kotchman. Left-hander Pettitte is 3-3 with a 3.22 earned run average this season.

“I just want to go out there and pitch and hopefully give this team a chance to win,” Pettitte told the Yankees website last night.

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