Miguel Gonzalez left the game with a 4-3 lead, but a four run eighth inning propelled the New York Yankees past the Baltimore Orioles 7-5 to even the series. Other than to the Yankees and Royals, the Orioles did not lose any ground in the wildcard race.
Gonzalez (9-7) did not have the best outing of his career, but he certainly did not have the worst either as he was exactly what Orioles fans have come to expect from him, he was a bulldog and battled all the way through and gave the Orioles a chance to win the game. Miguel stranded a leadoff double in the first inning and through the first five innings had allowed just one run, but in the sixth inning he left two balls over the plate that were hit a long way. Both Alfonso Soriano and Mark Reynolds both hit solo home runs off Gonzalez in the sixth, but Miguel finished the sixth and left with a lead.
On the night, Gonzalez tossed six innings while allowing three runs on six hits, zero walks, and six strikeouts on 94 pitches, 65 of which were for strikes.
Kevin Gausman (2-5) came in relief of Gonzalez in the seventh and had a quick, clean seventh inning that gave Manager Buck Showalter the confidence to send him back out in the eighth. Unfortunately for Gausman and the Orioles the eighth inning was not as kind as Gausman allowed a leadoff double, then a single and a home run to allow three runs without recording an out. Suddenly a 4-3 lead turned into a 6-4 deficit.
Francisco Rodriguez then came into the game and allowed back-to-back doubles to see the deficit increase to three.
Baltimore scored their other four runs in the fifth inning courtesy of a Yankees error, a Nick Markakis sacrifice fly, and a two run home run by Davis. Crush's two run homer was his league leading 49th of the season and is now tied for the second most home runs in a season in Baltimore franchise history with Frank Robinson. Davis is now just one behind Brady Anderson's franchise mark of 50 home runs.
The Orioles will look to take the lead in this four game set tonight and will send Scott Feldman (5-4) to the mound against Andy Pettitte (10-9) of the Yankees. Baltimore is still just 1 1/2 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL Wildcard race and it is now extremely tight. The remaining 18 games are certainly setting up to be quite a three weeks of baseball.
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