BALTIMORE—The Orioles hadn’t scored. Therer was hardly a hard-hit ball, and as they mounted a rally, rain came.
In the first seven innings, the Orioles had plenty of baserunners, but left nine runners on base.
In the eighth, they had two on and one out, and after a 97-minute delay, Matt Wieters got a big hit against baseball’s most intimidating reliever.
The 3-1 win over the New York Yankees before 28,807 at Oriole Park on Sunday put the Orioles (32-23) back in first place in the AL East.
Mark Trumbo, who struck out in his previous three at-bats on just nine pitches, leaving the bases loaded twice, walked against Dellin Betances (2-4).
Chris Davis singled, and after Nolan Reimold struck out, the rain came, and the game was delayed.
Aroldis Chapman, who was warming up before the rain, struck out Jonathan Schoop before allowing a single to Francisco Pena, loading the bases.
Wieters singled to center, Trumbo and Davis scoring. Pena came home when Ellsbury bobbled the ball.
“You go in there and you know he has one of the best fastballs in the game,” Wieters said.
“I'm just trying to be short. I thought I was being short the first two pitches and I was still way behind. I tried to get even shorter the last pitch and I was able to find a hole.”
Manager Buck Showalter didn’t want to attribute the sudden turnaround to the rain.
“It’s easy to say after the finish, the way it ended, but I think there was a possibility of that happening regardless,” Showalter said.
In four of the past five games, the Orioles have spotted their opponents a lead and came back and won.
“I think baseball is big on kind of been there, done that, so that anytime you get down, it’s kind of nice to have games to look back on, and sort of draw from that a little bit, and that experience can be used. So we’ll see as the season goes on, we’ll draw from the good and try and improve on the bad,” Wieters said.
Pena, who is backing up Wieters while Caleb Joseph rehabs, has watched these comebacks since joining the team on Tuesday.
“We don’t give up. We were sitting here for like an hour and a half, and our thought process was winning a ballgame,” Pena said.
T.J. McFarland (1-1) pitched two innings for the win. Zach Britton pitched the ninth for his 17th save.
The Orioles lead the Boston Red Sox by percentage points and have beaten New York (26-30) in four of six this season, and are 13-8 against the AL East.
“Regardless of who it’s against, it’s in your division,” Showalter said.
“We tried real hard here to get to the point where beating certain teams isn’t what you make it out to be. You got to beat them because it’s an opportunity and they count.”
The Orioles continue a difficult stretch with three games against Kansas City, four at Toronto and three at Boston.
Showalter doesn’t want his players to be intimidated by a bullpen such as the one the Yankees have with Betances, Chapman and Andrew Miller.
“Sometimes, the guy that wins the game is the guy with a 90 mph good sinker. That’s the beauty of baseball. It’s not always the biggest, strongest, fastest, most expensive guy,” Showalter said.
Though Showalter said the Orioles didn’t hit any balls particularly hard for much of the game, they had scoring opportunities against CC Sabathia.
In the first five innings, they had just two hits, singles by Joey Rickard in the third and Pena in the fifth.
Nine runners reached against Sabathia. He walked six, hit a batter and allowed two hits. He left after he walked Davis to start the sixth.
Kevin Gausman still is looking for his first win of 2016. In his ninth start, Gausman wasn’t efficient, but allowed only one run in six innings.
New York scored its run off Gausman in the third when Ellsbury singled with one out, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on Alex Rodriguez’s single to center.
Gausman had been out of the game for about three hours by the time the Orioles won it. He’s getting used to watching this comeback win.
The Orioles had been 1-20 when trailing after seven innings.
“It’s awesome. Ever since I’ve been with the Orioles that’s kind of been our motto. Late in the game, if we are close, it’s like we like to make it dramatic,” Gausman said.
NOTES: The Orioles have experienced five hours, 11 minutes of rain delays this season. … The Kansas City Royals begin a three-game series against the Orioles on Monday night. Danny Duffy (1-0, 3.44) faces Mike Wright (2-3, 5.88).