NEW YORK (AP) — Mark Reynolds hit a three-run shot in the sixth inning for his second two-homer game of the weekend series and the Baltimore Orioles closed in on the AL East-leading New York Yankees with an 8-3 victory Sunday.
Randy Wolf (1-0) made his first appearance for Baltimore when starter Chris Tillman left with right elbow stiffness after the third inning. He helped the Orioles pull within two games of the Yankees with 3 1-3 effective innings.
Reynolds made the ballpark in the Bronx his personal launching pad in this key matchup between the top two teams in the division. He homered twice in Friday’s victory then got Baltimore on the scoreboard Sunday when he hit a mammoth drive leading off the fifth inning. Reynolds connected shortly after being sent to the dirt by Phil Hughes’ high-and-tight offering.
Reynolds’ 16th homer with none out in the sixth finished Hughes (13-12) and put Baltimore ahead 5-3.
Playing under ominous gray skies, the Yankees fell to 19-23 since opening a 10-game division lead on July 18. By the time the stadium lights went on in the eighth, Baltimore was well on its way to its 19th win in 27 games.
Matt Wieters had an RBI single in helping Baltimore win its third series of the year in New York for the first time since 1976.
September call-up Chris Dickerson gave New York a 2-0 lead in the second inning with a homer in his first at-bat of the season. But manager Joe Girardi’s plan in which he juggled his rotation to give Hughes a start at Yankee Stadium — where he has excelled this season — backfired.
Now the Yankees embark on a 10-game road trip against division rivals Tampa Bay, Baltimore and Boston with their first place standing in jeopardy.
But the fill-ins did just fine, building a 3-1 lead after five innings.
Dickerson hit a line drive into the second deck in right field in his first at-bat of the season.
The center fielder also robbed Adam Jones of what might have been a two-run homer in the seventh inning with a leaping catch in front of New York’s bullpen.
Nick Swisher had an RBI single and made two fine plays at first base in place of Teixeira. He slammed into the wall to catch a foul pop while reaching into stands in the second inning and snared Nick Markakis’ scorching liner to end the third.
Despite being 6-0 in seven starts since June 26 at home, Hughes, though, couldn’t hold the lead.
He walked Nate McLouth to start the sixth and Jones followed with a single. Wieters had an RBI single and Reynolds chased Hughes with a drive into the left-field bleachers, silencing a crowd that had been cheering what had been a dominant outing.
Hughes has allowed 32 homers, tying him for the major league lead with the Angels’ Ervin Santana and Baltimore’s Tommy Hunter. Hunter was demoted on Aug. 24. He is scheduled to be recalled Monday and will pitch out of the bullpen.
Wolf yielded an RBI single to Swisher in the fifth but got help from shortstop J.J. Hardy’s sparkling diving stab to start a double play in the sixth inning — one of three double plays for the Yankees. Released by the Milwaukee Brewers on Aug. 22, Wolf gave up three hits and walked one.
Derek Lowe walked Robert Andino with the bases loaded in the eighth, then walked off the field to loud boos. The Yankees used eight pitchers.
Markakis added a two-run single in the eighth.
NOTES: Reynolds has 17 multihomer games, three this season. … Rodriguez went 0 for 7 in two rehab games for Class-A Tampa. He was scheduled to play Sunday but he was given the day off instead. Girardi said the third baseman could be activated from the DL on Monday. … Yankees LHP Andy Pettitte had a 35-pitch bullpen session, pushing off harder than he has since breaking his left leg. He says he feels he is “over the hump” in his rehab. … Orioles RHP Jason Hammel (right knee surgery) pitched five scoreless innings in a rehab start for Class-A Frederick. He is scheduled to fly with the team to Toronto. Manager Buck Showalter said he will know what Hammel’s next step is after his bullpen session this week.
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