Yankees edge Orioles, tighten wild-card race

Jeff Seidel, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

BALTIMORE -- The New York Yankees couldn't come up with much offense Wednesday night, but they found just enough to score another crucial victory over the Baltimore Orioles.
Robinson Cano led off the top of the ninth with a tiebreaking home run, and Lyle Overbay added an RBI infield single that helped the Yankees pull out a 5-4 victory at Camden Yards.
The result made the battle for the second American League wild card even closer. The Tampa Bay Rays lost to the Boston Red Sox and fell to 78-66, one game ahead of the Yankees (78-68). New York now is a half-game ahead of the Orioles (77-68) and the Cleveland Indians (77-68).
Plus, the Kansas City Royals (77-69) beat the Indians and pulled within a half-game of Baltimore and Cleveland, leaving five teams within two games of each other.
The Yankees finished with only six hits Wednesday. Three were homers, though, and four of the six hits drove in runs.
"We didn't have a whole lot of hits tonight, but we made the most of them," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "This group fights, and they're continuing to fight. We get down tonight and come back again."
Cano crushed an 0-1 changeup from Tommy Hunter (4-4) over the wall in right-center to snap a 3-3 tie. Curtis Granderson followed with a one-out triple and scored when Overbay reached on an infield single to short off Troy Patton, giving New York a 5-3 lead.
"It's always tough to lose," Hunter said. "It's always tough to be the guy to give it up, but (Cano) hit it. It's tough to say tip your cap, but sometimes you got to do it."
Cano said, "I was trying to just use the whole field, not chasing anything (bad). I think that was a good swing."
The Orioles tried to rally late. Nate McLouth hit a two-out double off Mariano Rivera in the bottom of the ninth and scored on a Brian Roberts single. However, Rivera struck out Manny Machado to lock up his 43rd save.
David Robertson (5-1) got the win in relief thanks to a scoreless eighth inning.
Baltimore got a two-run double from Chris Davis in the third inning, and the Orioles led 3-1 after four, but they couldn't hold an early lead for the second straight night.
The loss wasted another strong start from Baltimore's Scott Feldman. He gave up a run without a hit in the first inning but retired 12 in a row at one point. He didn't allow a hit until the fifth, and he surrendered a total of three runs on three hits in 7 2/3 innings.
"He was really good again," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "Especially when you take into consideration they'd kind of seen whatever he has to offer over at Yankee Stadium, too (on Aug. 31). That's pretty impressive, bodes well for some things that he can do for us the rest of the way. "
Yankees starter Andy Pettitte allowed three runs on nine hits in 6 1/3 innings. He settled down after giving up three runs early.
"It was a battle," Pettitte said. "My two-seamer abandoned me tonight ... but thank goodness I was able to make some big pitches when I needed to."
The Yankees rallied thanks to two solo homers off of Feldman. Granderson went deep in the fifth, and Alex Rodriguez tied the game in the sixth. Those homers set the stage for Cano's big blast in the ninth.
New York took 1-0 lead early, manufacturing a first-inning run off Feldman. Brett Gardner led off with a walk, stole second, moved to third on a Rodriguez grounder and scored on a Cano grounder.
Baltimore answered in the third with a two-out rally. Roberts and Machado singled off Pettitte before the Davis two-run double put the Orioles up 2-1.
The Orioles added another run in the fourth. Danny Valencia (4-for-4) continued his hot streak versus left-handers with a leadoff double against Pettitte and later scored on a J.J. Hardy double to right-center for a 3-1 edge.
NOTES: Orioles RF Nick Markakis wasn't in the starting lineup, although he did get to the ballpark after his wife delivered a baby boy earlier in the day. He grounded out as a ninth-inning pinch hitter. Michael Morse started in right field and went 0-for-3. ... With the double, Davis became the first Orioles player to hit 40 homers and 40 doubles in the same season. ... The Yankees placed SS Derek Jeter (ankle) on the 15-day disabled list, essentially ending his season. Jeter appeared in only 17 games and batted .190 this year, never overcoming his ankle problems. ... New York designated RHP Jim Miller for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for newly acquired SS Brendan Ryan, who went 0-for-4.

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