Ahead of the pack
Gallardo’s gem, Schoop’s 5 RBIs give O’s 1-game wild-card lead
NEW YORK — Yankee Stadium hardly held the atmosphere of a playoff chase Friday night, with the Orioles playing under a constant rain in front of a sparse crowd in the Bronx.
But these Orioles brought their own energy to New York, moving one step closer to a postseason berth with an 8-1 victory anchored by three homers into the dreary night.
The Orioles took a one-game lead over the Toronto Blue Jays in the hunt for the first wild card, which would enable them to host the wild-card game at Camden Yards on Tuesday night.
The Orioles (88-72), who have won six of their past seven contests, broke Friday’s game open with three homers in a six-run fifth inning, capped by a three-run blast by second baseman Jonathan Schoop, who matched his career high with five RBIs on the night.
“That’s why we say in spring training that’s the goal, the playoffs, and we’ve got two more games,” Schoop said. “We’ve got tomorrow and then the next day, and get in the playoffs.”
A team that had scored three runs or fewer in 10 of its past 12 games coming into this weekend’s final regular-season series, the Orioles had their best offensive output in nearly three weeks since an 11-3 win at Detroit on Sept. 10.
The Orioles had lost five of seven games at AL WILD-CARD STANDINGS O’s 88-72 +1 Tor. 87-73 — Det. 86-73 Sea.* 85-74 *late game 11⁄
Yankee Stadium this year and were outscored 27-14 in their previous visit here last month. They opened their most important series of the season going back to their roots by relying on the long ball.
The Orioles were aggressive at the plate against Yankees pitchers.
Both of Schoop’s run-scoring hits came on the second pitch of the at-bat, and Adam Jones solo homer came on the first pitch of the Orioles’ three-homer, six-run fifth inning.
Schoop, who scuffled through a dreadful September that saw him hit just .149 over his first 24 games of the month, broke out with a two-run double with two outs in the fourth off Yankees starter Michael Pineda that opened the scoring.
Adam Jones then hit the first pitch he saw in the fifth against Yankees starting pitcher Michael Pineda — an 85-mph changeup — off the second-deck facade in left field.
Two batters after a single by Hyun Soo Kim, Mark Trumbo followed a monstrous foul ball with a drive down the left-field line for his majors-leading 47th homer of the season.
Schoop then hit his 25th homer of the season on an 0-1 slider from Yankees reliever James Pazos.
All year long, the Orioles have Mark Trumbo, left, is greeted by Hyun Soo Kim after hitting a two-run home run against the Yankees during the six-run fifth inning. shown the ability to put up runs in a hurry with the home-run ball. Their three-homer fifth inning marked the 10th time this season that the Orioles have hit three homers in one inning, according to STATS LLC.
Right-hander Yovani Gallardo recorded a quality start, holding the Yankees to one run on two hits over six innings. Despite walking four, Gallardo didn’t allow a hit until one out in the fourth inning.
“They know what’s at stake and they aren’t going to not give themselves an opportunity to get a chance,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.
Jonathan Schoop doubles to right field in the fourth inning to give the Orioles a 2-0 lead Friday night at Yankee Stadium. Schoop also hit a three-run home run in a six-run fifth inning after Adam Jones hit a solo homer and Mark Trumbo connected for a two-run shot.
Reliever Tyler Wilson (63) and catcher Matt Wieters celebrate the 8-1 victory against the Yankees. With two games left in the regular season, the Orioles pulled ahead of the Blue Jays in the hunt for the first wild card.