Another day, another come from behind win. The Yankees fell behind early Monday afternoon but used the power of the longball to beat the Orioles 8-6 on Labor Day. They’ve won 16 of their last 24 games. It’s a holiday, so let’s recap with bullet points:
- A Tale of Two Mikes: That was an awful start and a great finish by Michael Pineda. He allowed four runs in the second inning — his three outs were a bunt, a miraculous play at the plate (thanks Didi!), and a screaming line drive at Chase Headley — including three on Jonathan Schoop’s three-run homer. Pineda made a really bad 0-2 pitch to Schoop. Spun right out over the plate. But, after the second inning, Big Mike retired 12 of the final 14 batters he faced, and the two base-runners were a walk and an infield single. Four runs in six innings kinda stinks, but Pineda did a great job settling down and keeping the O’s at four.
- Comeback: The Yankees scored their first inning run on some well-placed bloops, including Chris Young‘s single that barely left the infield. They went big after that. Headley stole a run in the third — he caught Adam Jones napping on a routine fly ball and was able to tag up and advance to second before scoring on Young’s double — then Alex Rodriguez solo homered in the fifth. A few batters later, John Ryan Murphy went opposite field for a two-run go-ahead dinger. Greg Bird drew a walk to set it up. Wei-Yin Chen faced 26 batters and ten reached base (.385 OBP).
- Let’s Go Flying: The 5-4 lead evaporated in the seventh inning on Manny Machado’s solo homer to dead center off Justin Wilson. Machado will do that. He’s a stud. The Yankees answered right back though. Carlos Beltran walked leading off the seventh, Young followed with a single, then Greg Bird whacked a three-run home run off lefty specialist Brian Matusz to give New York an 8-5 lead. Came on an 0-2 pitch too. Bird hit it like he knew it was coming.
- Door Closed: Dellin Betances, who has now pitched or warmed up eight of the last ten days, had a no contact inning in the eighth. Three walks, three strikeouts. The last strikeout came on a 3-2 hanging curveball Caleb Joseph swung through. Dellin needs a few days off. He looks like he’s running on fumes. Andrew Miller got the ninth inning, allowed a run when Chris Davis singled in Steve Pearce, but otherwise nailed down his 32nd save in 33 chances. Never easy.
- Leftovers: Every starter had at least one hit. The 5-6-7 trio of Young, Bird, and Murphy went a combined 6-for-11 (.545) with a walk, a double, and two homers. They drove in seven of the eight runs … Wilson, Betances, and Miller put six runners on base in two innings. That doesn’t happen often … the Yankees are now sitting on 9,990 career wins as a franchise. Ten more to 10,000. They’ll be the eighth franchise with that many wins. (The others have been around much longer. New York’s .569 winning percentage is by far the best in baseball history.)
Here are the box score, video highlights, updated standings, and postseason odds. The magic number to clinch a postseason spot is now 20, so Jorge Posada is in the sidebar. Now here are our Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages. The Yankees and O’s continue this series Tuesday night. Masahiro Tanaka and Kevin Gausman will be the pitching matchup. RAB Tickets can get you in the door if you want to catch that game or any of the other five games left on the homestand.