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Yankees have another power surge in rout of Orioles

Yankees have another power surge in rout of Orioles

NEW YORK -- Young and old, from top to bottom, the New York Yankees are quickly growing into a powerful force at the plate.

Brett Gardner, Aaron Judge and the thundering Yankees picked up right where they left off the previous night, steamrolling past the Baltimore Orioles 12-4 on Saturday for their fourth straight victory.

Gardner homered twice from the leadoff spot and had his first four RBIs of the season. Austin Romine, the No. 9 batter, also went deep and knocked in five runs.

"It's fun when everybody's hittin' the ball out of the yard," Romine said. "We're enjoying it and we're just trying to stay on the roll, ride the wave."

Judge, not to be outdone, clocked his latest colossal homer and scored four times as the Yankees won their 14th in 17 games to boost the top record in the majors to 15-7. They are 10-1 at home.

And all this without injured catcher Gary Sanchez, who did his own Babe Ruth impression as a rookie last year with 20 homers and a whopping 1.032 OPS in 53 games.

"We've gotten contributions from everybody, all over the place, and that's why we've been successful," manager Joe Girardi said.

Michael Pineda (3-1) did not allow an earned run in 5 1/3 innings, striking out eight, and the Yankees knocked Baltimore out of first place in the AL East for the first time this season.

Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez (1-1) got chased with one out in the fourth for the second consecutive start. The veteran right-hander issued three costly walks and was tagged for a season-high seven runs -- six earned.

"I'm not helping the team at all," said Jimenez, who has a 7.43 ERA after five starts. "I have to find a way to get back on track and I know I can."

In a series-opening slugfest Friday night, the Yankees hit five homers and rallied from eight runs down for a 14-11 victory capped by Matt Holliday's three-run shot in the 10th inning.

Less than 15 hours later, it was a little guy who got them going.

Gardner, who began the day batting .188, sent Jimenez's second pitch into the second deck in right field for his seventh leadoff homer. It was his first long ball since July 30 last season, ending droughts of 66 games and 261 at-bats.

"Two or three years, it seemed like," Gardner said. "Guys have been giving me a hard time, asking me how many I've got. So it's nice to get that first one out of the way."

In the second, the 33-year-old Gardner added a three-run shot for his third career multihomer game.

Romine hit a sacrifice fly in the second, a two-run single in the fourth and a two-run homer in the sixth, making him the first No. 9 batter with a five-RBI game for the Yankees since Girardi drove in seven runs during a 21-3 rout at Texas in August 1999.

Judge, the muscular, 6-foot-7 rookie who entered tied for the AL lead in homers, socked his 10th of the year in the seventh inning, an opposite-field shot that soared beyond the right-center bullpen.

It was his third home run in two days and fourth in four games. Judge also walked twice and singled during a perfect afternoon at the plate.

"We knew he was extremely talented," Girardi said. "It's been fun to watch, I can tell you that."

RELATED: ORIOLES EIGHT RUN LEAD NOT ENOUGH TO HOLD OFF YANKEES

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Wade Miley roughed up again, Orioles shut out in St. Pete

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USA Today Sports

Wade Miley roughed up again, Orioles shut out in St. Pete

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Evan Longoria and Logan Morrison homered Friday night and the Tampa Bay Rays clinched third place in the AL East with a 7-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.

Longoria led off the fifth with his 20th homer off Baltimore starter Wade Miley, marking Longoria's fifth straight 20-homer season and the ninth of his 10-year career.

RELATED: WILD CARD RACES WITH THREE DAYS REMAINING

Morrison hit his 38th homer off reliever Chris Tillman in the seventh.

Rays starter Jake Odorizzi left his final start of the season after four innings with a sore right knee.

Brad Boxberger (4-4) got the win as the first of four Tampa Bay relievers.

Miley (8-15) lost his fifth straight start, giving up four runs and five hits in four innings. He walked five, raising his major league-leading total to 93. The Baltimore bullpen gave up five more walks.

Trey Mancini had one of Baltimore's four hits. It was Mancini's 158th hit, tying Cal Ripken (1982) for second-place all-time among Oriole rookies.

The Orioles, shut out for the 11th time, lost for the 17th time in 21 games and dropped three games behind Tampa Bay with two games left in the season.

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MLB Wild Card Standings: Projecting the standings with three days left

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USA TODAY Sports

MLB Wild Card Standings: Projecting the standings with three days left

With the MLB postseason only five days away and three more days in the regular season the playoff field is almost set.

After Thursday night’s action, the St. Louis Cardinals were eliminated from the second Wild Card spot in the National League. Their 2-1 loss to the Cubs put them too far out of reach of the Rockies.

In the American League the AL East race is all but done after the Yankees lost on Thursday.

RELATED: NEW MLB BRACKET PROJECTION WITH ONE WEEK TO GO

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Not too many changes in the American League race after yesterday.

The New York Yankees (89-70) lost to the Tampa Bay Rays 9-6 at home after entering the day only three games back in the division. While the Boston Red Sox (92-67) lost too, three games to surpass is too much for even the Bronx Bombers to overcome.

It will be interesting though to watch both teams sweat. Boston hosts the Houston Astros who are trying to overtake the Indians for the top seed in the AL. New York hosts division rivals Toronto.

The Minnesota Twins (83-76) lost to the Indians after allowing 10 hits in the contest. Win or lose it does not matter how they end the season because they will be the No. 5 seed and the visitors in the American League Wild Card Game. Presumably it will be against the Yankees.

AL WILD CARD RACE (AS OF SEPT 29):

New York Yankees:     +6.0 
Minnesota Twins:           ---
 

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Colorado was off on Thursday night in preparation for their final series of the year against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Milwaukee Brewers (84-75) did manage to gain a half game with their nail biting 4-3 win over the Reds. Brett Phillips hit a go-ahead double in the sixth inning and the final three frames remained scoreless for both squads.

They now move to two games back of the Colorado Rockies (86-73) with three games to go.

Colorado will host their final series against the Dodgers. Milwaukee is traveling to the St. Louis Cardinals (82-77) for their final three games. St. Louis is now out of contention, four games out of the final Wild Card spot.

FanGraphs.com now has Colorado at a 93.3 percent chance of taking the final postseason spot.  Milwaukee moved up slightly to 6.7 percent.

MORE NATS: WALK-OFF FOR THE NATS, COURTESY OF DE AZA

NL WILD CARD RACE (AS OF SEPT 29):

#4 Arizona Diamondbacks:  +6.0
Colorado Rockies:                   ---
Milwaukee Brewers:              -2.0