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Yankees 8, Orioles 6: The word is Bird

The Yankees were down early, but rallied from behind to beat the Orioles 8-6 on Monday afternoon with Greg Bird acting as the hero.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Despite some inauspicious beginnings, the Yankees celebrated Labor Day by rallying back for a huge win against the Orioles this afternoon. We're all celebrating the working man, so I'll get to the specifics quickly and efficiently and then let everyone get back to their barbecues.

After Pineda sent the Orioles down 1-2-3 to start the game, the Yankees took the lead in the bottom of the first with a little help from the Orioles defense. Chase Headley singled with one out, and Beltran singled with two outs which brought up Chris Young. Young hit a soft popup to first base, but Chris Davis and Jonathan Schoop got confused and the ball fell in allowing Headley to score for the 1-0 Yankees lead.

Happy days weren't here for long, as Pineda darn near imploded in the top of the second. Davis walked to open the inning, and Jimmy Paredes followed with a single to set the Orioles up for the big inning. Schoop wasted no time making up for the bad defense in the first, blasting an 0-2 mistake from Pineda well over the left field fence for a three-run homer. It was an awful pitch by Pineda and Schoop made him pay dearly. The Orioles kept the rally going as Nolan Reimold got hit and Ryan Flaherty singled on a sacrifice bunt attempt due to bad Yankees defense. After a successful sacrifice by Caleb Joseph, Manny Machado singled off the glove of Headley. Reimold scored, but Flaherty was thrown out at home, which ended up being a big break for Pineda and the Yankees. Gerardo Parra doubled to set up second and third, but Adam Jones lined out to Headley to end the threat. It could have been worse, but 4-1 seemed bad enough.

To his credit, Pineda settled down and let the Yankees offense go to work. Young got the comeback started with an RBI double in the third, and they would take the lead for the first time in the bottom of the fifth. Alex Rodriguez led off the inning with his 29th home run of the year, making the score 4-3. Greg Bird walked with two outs, and John Ryan Murphy followed with a big time two-run homer to right to put the Yankees up 5-4. The Yankees have shown a knack for coming back over the last few games, and today was no different. Huge hit by the backup catcher.

Unfortunately, the lead wouldn't last long, as Machado homered off of Justin Wilson in the top of the seventh to tie things up. The Yankees wouldn't let the game remain tied for long, however, as they took the lead for the last time in the bottom of the seventh. Carlos Beltran walked to lead off the inning and Young followed with a single, which chased reliever Jorge Rondon, who had pitched a scoreless sixth before that. Buck Showalter brought in Brian Matusz to shut the rally down, but Bird had other ideas. Bird hit an 0-2 pitch over the right-center field fence for a three-run home run to give the Yankees an 8-5 lead they wouldn't relinquish.

After a shaky eighth inning from Dellin Betances in which he walked three and struck out the side, Andrew Miller came in to shut the door in the ninth. He allowed a run, but was able to close the Orioles out and gain the Yankees a game in the standings as Toronto was busy getting housed 11-4 by the Red Sox.

Kudos in this game go to the Yankees offense for never giving up, chipping away and then delivering the death blow when they needed to, but also to Michael Pineda. Big Mike settled in after that terrible second inning, and ended up pitching six innings and leaving with a lead. He didn't get the win, but he contributed greatly to the cause.