Yankees yield 6 HRs in 10-6 loss to Orioles

Associated Press Published: September 6, 2012

BALTIMORE (AP) — The New York Yankees can't deny it anymore. The Baltimore Orioles are good enough to take this pennant race down to the end.

Baltimore smacked six home runs — including three in a wild eighth inning — and pulled away to a 10-6 victory Thursday night that enabled the Orioles to climb back into a first-place tie with New York atop the AL East.

The Orioles have won 10 of 13, including three of four over the Yankees, and now lead the season series 8-7.

Clearly, this isn't the same Baltimore team coming off 14 straight losing seasons, or the one that went 5-13 against New York in each of the three previous years.

"They are playing with a lot of confidence right now," Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez said. "You have to tip your hat to Baltimore."

Manager Joe Girardi expressed a similar sentiment. Asked what makes the Orioles good, he replied, "Everything. Their bullpen is outstanding, they've gotten good starting pitching, they hit the ball out of the park, they play good defense. They do a lot of things right."

Not so for the Yankees in this opener of a four-game series. Starter David Phelps gave up five runs in four innings, David Robertson yielded three runs without getting an out and Girardi reached six-deep into his bullpen to cover eight innings.

"When you're playing a team for first place, a loss is a loss," Girardi said. "We swung the bats extremely well, but we didn't pitch well tonight."

Adam Jones' leadoff homer in the eighth off Robertson (1-6) put Baltimore ahead 7-6 after the Yankees rallied from a five-run deficit in the top half. Matt Wieters followed with a single and Mark Reynolds hit his second home run of the game, a drive into the left-field seats. Chris Davis then slammed the first pitch from Boone Logan over the right-field wall.

Wieters and Robert Andino also connected for the Orioles, who hit six in a game for the first time since Aug. 28, 2007, against Tampa Bay.

After trailing the Yankees by 10 games on July 18, the surging Orioles pulled even Tuesday, then dropped a game back on Wednesday before taking the opener of this series.

"It's a game that coming into, we needed to win, and we were able to do it," Jones said.

Reynolds, who also went deep in the sixth, has homered in three straight games and has eight long balls in his last seven, including two in each of the three wins against New York.

Baltimore has played several significant games in September in recent years, but this is the first time since 1997 that the Orioles have been in the hunt for a playoff berth. The fans reacted accordingly, cheering from the first pitch to the very end.

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