The Yankees were eliminated from playoff contention a couple days ago, but they still fought spiritedly this afternoon to rally and spoil the Orioles’ hopes. Luis Severino exited early, but timely late hitting and strong bullpen work opened the door for a 7-3 win on the penultimate day of the season.
This was just Severino’s second start after returning to the rotation from the bullpen, and he was looking to last a little longer than his previous outing in Toronto. He was tossed in the second inning of that start for throwing intentionally at Justin Smoak, in retaliation for J.A. Happ’s beaning of Chase Headley.
He began fairly inauspiciously. Mark Trumbo led off the second with a ground rule double, and Chris Davis walked to put two on with one out. Severino retired Jonathan Schoop but Michael Bourn lofted a soft single into right to score Trumbo and Davis for a 2-0 lead.
The Orioles lead the majors in home runs, a fact of which they reminded the Yankees when they smashed three home runs in the fifth inning last night. They continued to make themselves at home at Yankee Stadium in the third. Manny Machado made the score 3-0 with a solo shot that narrowly cleared the short porch in right.
Severino quickly reached his pitch limit and was removed in the fourth. He totaled 3.2 innings, striking out three and walking two while allowing three runs. That will end a tough season for Severino, one which saw him vacillate between Triple-A and the majors, between starting and relief roles. His ERA for 2016 will land at 5.83, a disappointing figure, but one which the Yankees will surely expect to be an aberration for the still promising 22 year old.
Baltimore starter Wade Miley appeared rather unlike himself to begin the game, which is to say he pitched effectively. He faced just one batter over the minimum through four innings, allowing only two baserunners as he entered the fifth. Mark Teixeira singled to lead off the fifth before being replaced by pinch-runner Rob Refsnyder, as the Yankees continued to give Teixiera a bit of limelight as his career comes to an end.
From there, Headley walked, and Tyler Austin singled to make it a 3-1 game. Brett Gardner came up with a chance to do further damage with two on and two out but could only muster a fielder’s choice.
However, the Yankees continued to fight back in the sixth. With two outs, Billy Butler and Refsnyder singled, and Headley cut the lead to 3-2 with an RBI double. Miley struck out Austin Romine there to end the threat.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter somewhat curiously left Miley in to begin the seventh inning. That decision seemed to backfire when Tyler Austin tied the game with a solo homer to tie the game at 3. Ronald Torreyes followed with a single to chase Miley after six-plus innings of work.
As the Yankees rallied the bullpen proved sufficient. Jonathan Holder relieved Severino and managed four uneventful outs. Richard Bleier, Kirby Yates, and Tyler Clippard all tossed scoreless innings to hold down the Orioles.
In the bottom of the eighth the Yankees finally took their first lead of the night. Jacoby Ellsbury drew a pinch hit walk, and Headley pushed him to third with a double. Romine then came through with a two run single. After a Torreyes walk, Gardner doubled home two more for a 7-3 advantage. Dellin Betances entered the game in a non-save situation to record the final three outs.
The win doesn’t change much for the Yankees, who had already clinched a winning season for the 24th consecutive year. Instead, it’s the Orioles who have increased the pressure on themselves. With the Blue Jays, Mariners, and Tigers playing tonight, the Orioles could lose crucial ground in a Wild Card race that they entered the day in control of. Tomorrow, Kevin Gausman and Luis Cessa will square off in the season finale, with at least one team’s season in the balance.