After losing Chris Davis, Orioles answer with 2-1 win over Yankees on walk-off double

September 12, 2014|By Eduardo A. Encina | The Baltimore Sun

The Orioles’ final homestand of the regular season was supposed to be one of celebration. With the opportunity to celebrate their first American League East title since 1997 among their hometown crowd at Camden Yards, Friday’s day-night doubleheader against the New York Yankees offered a chance to take two sizable steps toward a postseason berth.

But before they took the field for the first game of their seven-game stay in Baltimore, the atmosphere was subdued with news that Chris Davis had been handed a 25-game suspension, part of which will be served in the postseason should the Orioles get there, for a second failed drug test for an amphetamine.

The Orioles already have overcome season-ending injuries to catcher Matt Wieters and third baseman Manny Machado with a next-man-up mentality. And in their first game without Davis, they showed their resilience yet again.

Down to their final out, the Orioles rallied for a 2-1 win over the Yankees on Jimmy Paredes’ pinch-hit, bases-loaded, two-run double in the bottom of the 11th inning before an announced 31,871 at Camden Yards, dropping their magic number to clinch the division to seven.

After both teams went scoreless through 10 innings, the Yankees (75-70) took the lead on left fielder Chris Young’s solo homer off reliever Brad Brach (7-1), on a 2-2 pitch Young blasted deep into the left-field stands.

Stymied by Yankees right-hander Brandon McCarthy, who threw seven scoreless innings, the Orioles (87-59) didn’t have a runner reach second base until the eighth inning. They loaded the bases in three of their final four innings but couldn’t score until their final at-bat.

Designated hitter Nelson Cruz opened the 11th with a leadoff walk. Pinch runner David Lough moved to second on Ryan Flaherty’s sacrifice bunt. Shortstop J.J. Hardy then was hit by a pitch to place runners at first and second.

Pinch runner Steve Clevenger drew a five-pitch, two-out walk, and Paredes lined the first pitch he saw from right-hander Adam Warren (3-6) down the right-field line for the game-winner.

Right-hander Kevin Gausman recorded his first career scoreless outing of seven or more innings, tying his career high with seven strikeouts in seven innings while allowing seven hits and two walks.

After spending the first two months of the season limited to five innings or 75 pitches in his outing, Gausmon on Friday recorded his third consecutive start of seven or more innings for the first time in his career.

Gausman is winless over his past five starts, but he has a 2.53 ERA in his past three outings, striking out 21 batters in 21 1/3 innings over that span.

In the ninth, after first baseman Steve Pearce drew a one-out walk and pinch runner Quintin Berry stole second base, the Yankees intentionally walked Hardy with first base open. Catcher Nick Hundley drew a two-out walk to load the bases with two outs, but second baseman Jonathan Schoop's nine-pitch at-bat ended with a called third strike.

Third baseman Kelly Johnson, who was acquired last month in a trade with the Boston Red Sox and likely will see the majority of his time at third base in Davis’ absence, chased Yankees pitcher Brandon McCarthy in the eighth inning with a leadoff ground-rule double, the Orioles’ first extra-base hit of the day.

Johnson moved to third on Hundley’s sacrifice bunt but was out at home on right fielder Nick Markakis’ grounder to second. And even though left fielder Alejandro De Aza drew a walk to load the bases, center fielder Adam Jones struck out to end the inning.

McCarthy allowed just four hits, including three singles, before Johnson’s double. He finished with six strikeouts and no walks.

Gausman escaped a bases-loaded jam in the sixth inning. He put runners at second and third after a leadoff single by Martin Prado and a two-out double by Chris Young down the left-field line, then walked Stephen Drew to load the bases. But John Ryan Murphy lifted a ball to deep left field that drifted into foul ground and was caught by De Aza.

The Orioles bullpen kept the club in the game as left-hander Andrew Miller struck out the side in the eighth and right-hander O’Day retired the side in order in the ninth. Left-hander Zach Britton tossed a scoreless 10th.

eencina@baltsun.com

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