NEW YORK—Wade Miley couldn’t hold the lead. Brad Brach couldn’t hold the tie. As a result, the Orioles, who conceivably could have clinched a wild-card berth on Saturday, have to wait until Sunday—and maybe longer—to see if they qualify for the postseason.
The Orioles’ 7-3 loss to the New York Yankees before 33,222 at Yankee Stadium was disheartening because a 3-0 lead disappearned with seven unanswered runs.
Brach, who had been ultra-reliable for much of the year, gave up four runs in the eighth, and the Orioles have to play game 162 on Sunday and still hope for help.
The Orioles’ magic number remains at two. Toronto, which trails the Orioles by a half-game, is playing at Boston, and Detroit, trailing by 1 ½, plays at Atlanta. Seattle, which can only tie for the wild card hosts Oakland on Saturday night.
“I’ll watch them. It would have been nice to watch them with the win today. But at the same time, still watch them and I’ll pull for the Braves and I’ll pull for the A’s and I’ll pull for the Red Sox tonight,” Matt Wieters said.
Miley, who gave up two runs in six innings and took a 3-2 lead into the seventh gave up a game-tying home run to Tyler Austin with one out in the seventh.
After pitching brilliantly a week ago, giving up a run in 8 2/3 innings, Miley went home to be with his wife, who delivered a baby boy.
Miley gave up a run in the fifth on an RBI single to Tyler Austin and an RBI double to Chase Headley in the sixth, but the Orioles (88-73) still led 3-2.
Manager Buck Showalter chose to keep the left-handed Miley in the game for the seventh because the Yankees, with an expanded roster. had a plethora of left-handed hitters on the bench.
“This convoluted thing called ‘September baseball,’ you’re just picking your poison when you’ve got guys like [Gary] Sanchez [Brian] McCann and [Didi] Gregorius and [Jacoby] Ellsbury and all those guys sitting over there,” Showalter said.
“That’s why guys on the field shake their heads about the way it is now. But that didn’t beat us. We just didn’t pitch. The big thing is we didn’t score any runs after the three we put up.”
Austin led off the seventh with a home run to tie the game in the seventh, and Brach (10-4) allowed four runs in the eighth. He walked Ellsbury with one out in the eighth. Chase Headley doubled, and Austin Romine singled to center, and the Yankees (84-77) had a 5-3 lead.
Brett Gardner’s double scored two more runs in the eighth, and New York led 7-3 after eight.
“I was not good today. That was pretty much it. Fortunately, this was game 161,” Brach said. “Just not very good today.”
After Austin’s home run, Ronald Torreyes singled, and Showalter brought Mychal Givens in. Givens got out of the seventh, and after Donnie Hart retired Brian McCann to start the eighth, Brach came in.
“It seemed like we were in control there for six innings and then all of a sudden you look at the scoreboard, and it’s tied, and I just went out there and got out of hand quick and didn’t turn around quick enough,” Brach said.
The Orioles took a 2-0 lead in the second when Mark Trumbo doubled to right. Chris Davis walked with one out, and both runners moved up on an infield out by Jonathan Schoop. Michael Bourn singled to score Trumbo and Davis.
Manny Machado hit his 37th home run in the third off Luis Severino and the Orioles led 3-0.
In the last six innings, the Orioles had just three singles off six New York pitches. Tyler Clippard (2-3) got the win with a scoreless eighth.
The Orioles had a chance to add on in the seventh when Machado walked with two outs, and Mark Trumbo, who had four hits singled, but Machado overslid third and was tagged out.
Miley came out and soon the lead was gone.
“We know what we have to do. We just have to come back tomorrow, flush this game, and win the ballgame tomorrow,” Miley said.
Kevin Gausman will pitch against the Yankees’ Luis Cessa, and while the Orioles will be playing, all the other contenders will be in action simultaneously.
Showalter isn’t surprised that Sunday’s game could decide whether their season goes on.
“It’s a real tribute to our guys to have an opportunity like we have tomorrow. That’s how we look at it. They’ve done a lot of things to give us that opportunity and I’m real proud and honored to be with them today and tomorrow,” Showalter said.