The Baltimore Orioles did it again as they have beaten the New York Yankees in New York and are now 6-6 on the year against them. The Orioles also happen to be 5-2 overall in New York and have won six of their last eight against them – talk about having a team’s number lately.
Orioles rookie starter, Miguel Gonzalez pitched seven scoreless innings while striking out a career-high nine batter and lowering his ERA to 3.31. He improves to 6-3 on the year and the Orioles are 7-3 in his last 10 starts. Even more impressive is the fact that he went 3-1 with a 1.91 ERA in August (five starts) and in two starts against the Yankees, both in New York, he has allowed just 10 hits and four runs over 13.2 innings of work.
But Gonzalez wasn’t the only one dominating the Yankees last night as Mark Reynolds – remember him? – blasted two home runs and has looked like a bona fide Gold Glove first baseman as of late. This was Reynolds’ 16th multi-homer game of his career and his second of the season.
The funny thing about this is that the Orioles continue getting contributions from players who just emerge from the shadows. Gonzalez was in the Mexican League before being signed by the Orioles, fans were asking for the release of Reynolds from May through the All-Star Break, Omar Quintanilla has performed admirably at second base since being acquired from the New York Mets, and so-on and so-forth.
Had I told you that Reynolds would be a key contributor to the team’s playoff push two months ago you would have had me committed. Now it seems my faith, and the faith that many other Orioles fans maintained in the slugger, has finally paid off and we look pretty good for not giving up on him.
This is why the Orioles have moved within two games of the Yankees in the American League East and why they now find themselves in a legitimate pennant race.
Now 73-58, the Orioles improved to 15 games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 1997 season.
After taking game one of this series, the O’s now look to make it two in row this afternoon at 1:05 p.m.