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Orioles 8, Yankees 3

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- Mark Reynolds had started this crucial series against the New York Yankees by telling skeptics of the Baltimore Orioles' playoff chances to "keep doubting."

By the time it ended Sunday, with the Orioles' 8-3 win at Yankee Stadium, Reynolds had helped eliminate most of the reasons to do so.

Reynolds hit two homers for the second time in the series and the Orioles piled on against the Yankees bullpen, while getting a strong effort from their own relievers after starter Chris Tillman was forced from the game with an injury.

The Orioles not only stunned the Yankees by taking two of three to move two games back in the AL East, they dominated them, leaving the perennial playoff team suddenly facing their own doubts.

Reynolds had said Friday night the Orioles didn't care about doubters, because "we keep coming in and doing our jobs and doing the little things that win baseball games."

On Sunday, as they did Friday, they did the little things, big things and in-between things to win a game.

Reynolds' second homer of the game, and fourth of the series, was a three-run shot to chase starter Phil Hughes in the top of the sixth, and cap a four-run inning, giving the Orioles a 5-3 lead.

The blast wiped out a lead bolstered not by any of the Yankees' stars, but September call-up Chris Dickerson, who hit a two-run shot for New York in the second. Dickerson also saved some runs with a pair of spectacular catches in center field, where he started for Curtis Granderson, out with tendinitis in his right hamstring.

In the bottom of the inning, the Orioles showed off the flashy defense that's helped them emerge into a playoff contender for the first time in 15 years. With a runner on first and one out, Russell Martin hit what looked to be a single up the middle. But shortstop J.J. Hardy dove to his right, flipped to second and Robert Andino fired to first.

The throw was wide, but Reynolds fully extended himself, just barely keeping a toe on the bag for an inning-ending double play.

Reynolds, who struggled earlier this season at the plate and with a move from third to first, killed the Yankees all series.

He finished 5-for-10 with four runs scored, four homers and seven RBI, while reaching base in seven of 12 plate appearances.

The Orioles lost Tillman after just three innings due to right elbow soreness but Randy Wolf (1-0) made his Orioles debut with 3 1/3 innings of one-run ball and three relievers shut the Yankees out from there.

Hughes (13-12) had allowed only Reynolds' first homer, a solo shot in the fifth, entering the sixth. But he exited four batters into the sixth, having allowed five runs on eight hits.

"He was just not making pitches," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He was getting too much of the plate."

Girardi then took advantage of his expanded roster to do plenty of his famed mixing and matching, using eight pitchers by the time he was done.

Least effective was Joba Chamberlain, who was saved by Dickerson's leaping catch at the wall to rob Adam Jones of at least an extra-base hit in the seventh, but gave up two runs in the eighth to give Baltimore a 7-3 lead. That pumped his ERA up to 10.57, before Derek Lowe gave up the final run, jacking up his ERA to 5.54.

NOTES: Yankees left-hander Andy Pettitte (fractured left ankle) threw a 35-pitch bullpen session Sunday, saying he was "over the hump" in his rehab after pushing off harder than he was able to in his first session last week. Manager Joe Girardi said the Yankees have begun planning a return schedule for Pettitte, but didn't offer a specific date. ... Girardi said there was a "good chance" Alex Rodriguez (fractured left hand) would return from the DL Monday. Rodriguez has gone 0-for-7 in two rehab games for Class A Tampa, but Girardi said he has not had any physical setbacks. ... Granderson could sit Monday as well, but might return after that. ... Orioles right-hander Jason Hammel (arthroscopic surgery, right knee) threw five scoreless innings and allowed three hits while striking out seven in his first rehab appearance Saturday night for Class A Frederick (Md.). Hammel could rejoin the Orioles and start Thursday's game against the Yankees in Baltimore, but manager Buck Showalter said the team will likely evaluate Hammel's next bullpen session before making a decision.
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