BALTIMORE -- Alfonso Soriano sparked a four-run eighth inning with his second home run of the night, a tie-breaking two-run shot that helped the Yankees to a 7-5 victory over the Orioles Tuesday night at Camden Yards.
The Yankees (77-68) pulled to within one-half game of the Orioles (77-67) as the teams battle for the second American League wild card spot. These teams have split the first two games in the crucial four-game series.
New York didn't have an easy time, needing to score the game's final six runs after the Orioles took a 4-1 lead thanks to a four-run fifth inning. Chris Davis got the big hit there, a two-run homer off Yankee starter Ivan Nova. It was Davis' 49th homer of the season.
Soriano and Mark Reynolds started the comeback with solo homers off Baltimore starter Miguel Gonzalez in the sixth. That cut the lead to 4-3. Kevin Gausman (2-5) came on for the Orioles and retired the side in order in the seventh before the Yankees took over in the eighth.
Alex Rodriguez led off with a double to left, and Robinson Cano followed with a game-tying single. Soriano came next and blasted a two-run shot to right-center for a 6-4 lead. He ended the night 2-for-5 with three RBIs.
Reynolds later added an RBI double off Francisco Rodriguez to make it 7-4. Matt Wieters got a sacrifice fly for the Orioles in the eighth, but Mariano Rivera came on to get the final four outs, earning his 42nd save. Adam Warren (2-2) got the win thanks to a scoreless inning of relief in the seventh.
The victory was manager Joe Girardi's 556th with the Yankees, tying him with Billy Martin for sixth place in franchise history.
There was no second act to Monday's dramatics involving the two managers. Buck Showalter got mad when the Yankees accused third-base coach Bobby Dickerson of stealing signs, came out onto the field and had to be restrained from Girardi.. Showalter said in a radio interview Tuesday - on ESPN New York 98.7's Lunch with Lupica show - that the Yankees are one of the better teams at swiping signs.
The Yankees took an early lead for the second straight game. Rodriguez's two-out double to left center scored Chris Stewart from first to put New York ahead 1-0.
Baltimore answered in the fifth. J.J. Hardy and Brian Roberts opened the inning with singles to put runners on first and second. Henry Urrutia then hit a slow grounder toward short that Eduardo Nunez fielded but threw away. Urrutia reached on the infield single and the throwing error reslted in Hardy scoring.
Nick Markakis followed with a sacrifice fly that gave the Orioles a 2-1 lead. But Baltimore may have gotten a big break on the play. The ball wasn't hit deep to left and Soriano made a good throw to the plate, but Rodriguez inexplicably cut it off near the mound. Roberts scored easily and Stewart stood at the plate with his hands out wondering what happened.
Later in the inning, Davis crushed a two-run homer to center that gave the Orioles a 4-1 lead.
NOTES: Markakis is likely going to miss some time when his wife, Christina, has labor induced on Wednesday. The Orioles aren't sure how long Markakis will be out. ... The Orioles released their 2014 schedule on Tuesday and they'll start the season at home against the Boston Red Sox on March 31. ... The Yankees shifted Travis Hafner (right rotator cuff strain) to the 60-day disabled list in order to make room on the roster for LHP Mike Zagurski, signed to give them extra left-handed help in the bullpen. ... New York also released its schedule for next year and the Yankees open at Houston on April 1.