BALTIMORE – The Orioles come back on Sunday with something to play for—a .500 record. After their doubleheader sweep of the New York Yankees, the Orioles are within one win of their fourth straight non-losing season.
Saturday night’s 4-3 win over New York before 35,198 at Oriole Park was their fourth straight.
Tied at 3 in the bottom of the eighth. Paul Janish singled, advanced to second on a wild pitch by Dellin Betances (6-4), moved to third on a bunt single by Gerardo Parra and scored on another wild pitch and the Orioles (80-81) led 4-3.
Parra had six hits in the doubleheader.
T.J. McFarland (2-2) pitched two perfect innings for the win.
Zach Britton pitched the ninth for his 36th save.
Ubaldo Jimenez struggled through six innings, allowing three runs on five hits with three walks and two hit batters.
Manny Machado homered in the third, his 35th of the year. He homered in the first game, too. It was the fourth straight game he’s hit a home run. He’s the second player in team history with 100 runs, 30 homers and 20 stolen bases. Brady Anderson in 1996 was the other.
“I don’t know what else you can ask a guy to do. He’s stolen a base for us, he’s played as good of defense as you can play, he helped us in the one hole when we had a need there. And I think you are seeing a guy evolve into somebody capable of hitting some other spots in the order. And that’s kind of how you hope the process goes when you first bring him up,” Showalter said.
Nolan Reimold had a leadoff homer in the first, his sixth of the season.
New York (87-74) needed a win or a Houston loss to secure home field advantage for their wild-card game, but didn’t get it.
“It’s just what you are supposed to do, regardless of who you are playing. And our guys have all year. They’ve never given in, and they’ve competed and I’m real proud of them,” manager Buck Showalter said. “I know I put myself in Houston’s shoes, I know how I would expect a team to play. But I think we all know that’s not always the case. They ran everything they had at us.”
Jimenez had a rough 2014, but a much better 2015. He finishes 12-10 with a 4.11 ERA.
“It was way better than last year, for sure. It’s not like a great season. It’s an improvement compared to last year,” Jimenez said.
Wei-Yin Chen’s probable last outing with the Orioles was another fine one, allowing two runs in six-plus innings in a 9-2 win in the first game of the doubleheader.
Chen (11-8) gave up four hits and three walks, and didn’t allow a run for the first six innings. By then, the Orioles led 7-0.
He presumably finishes his Orioles career with a 46-32 record.
“During these four years, I really want to thank all my teammates, my manager, everyone on the team. Everybody really helped me a lot. I learned a lot in these four years,” Chen said through his translator.
Chen is expected to do well on the free agent market. He should be one of the top second-tier starting pitchers.
“I would be happy if I was given the chance to come back here. But sometimes as a professional player, it’s inevitable that you have to change teams and adapt to a new environment. I don't know where I will pitch next year, I just know I will do my best to pitch [in] each game,” Chen said.
Machado had three RBIs. Another run scored in the first when he grounded into a double play.
“There’s something about Wei-Yin. He comes out every day and grinds and pitches to the last [out] is made. He’s a guy we definitely want in this organization. He’s a guy we love to play behind. He’s definitely going to be missed. Hopefully, we’ll re-sign him back because we need him here,” Machado said.
The Orioles scored single runs in the first, third and fifth off Ivan Nova (6-11). They scored four runs in the sixth and three in the seventh.
If the Orioles win their game on Sunday, they’ll finish with a .500 record.
If you're not the last team standing, then those type of things are for people who look at stats,” Showalter said. “There's been so many positives this year. There's that negative feeding frenzy that goes on this type of year when you're not in the playoffs."
NOTES: Machado is the first Oriole to homer in four straight games since Caleb Joseph in Aug. 2014. … Michael Pineda (12-9, 4.24) faces Chris Tillman (10-11, 5.05) on Sunday at 3:05 p.m.