Gallardo allows two hits, eludes trouble
NEW YORK — The last time Orioles right-hander Yovani Gallardo pitched at Yankee Stadium, he suffered the shortest start of his big league career, lasting just 11⁄ innings.
The implications of Gallardo’s start Friday night were much greater: He could pitch the Orioles one step closer to a postseason berth.
Gallardo held the New York Yankees to one run on two hits over six innings in an 8-1 win before an announced 33,995, though constant showers kept the actual attendance well below that number.
With the win, the Orioles passed the Toronto Blue Jays for the first American League wildcard spot with two games remaining in the regular season. Toronto lost to the Boston Red Sox, 5-3, on Friday.
Posting his second straight quality start, Gallardo (6-8) didn’t allow a hit until Brian McCann’s one-out single in the fourth. At least one batter got on base in five of his six innings, but despite Gallardo’s four walks, just three base runners reached second against him.
The Yankees’ only run off Gallardo came in the fourth on Mark Teixeira’s sacrifice fly. Gallardo, who has battled firstinning struggles, pitched a scoreless opening frame after Jacoby Ellsbury opened the game receiving base on a catcher’sinterference call in the batter’s box. Gallardo regrouped, retiring the next three hitters to get out of the jam.
“This past week or so, everyone’s important,” Gallardo said. “Every game’s really important for us, and we understand what we have to do.” Rare company: Jonathan Schoop’s three-run homer in the fifth inning Friday was his 25th of the season, giving the Orioles five players with 25 homers or more.
The Orioles are the 12th team in major league history with at least five players with at least 25 home runs in the same season. The last team to do so was the 2012 Chicago White Sox, who also had five players with 25 or more homers. The major league record is held by the 2003 Boston Red Sox, who had six such players.
“We got a power team, and everybody is capable to catch one,” Schoop said. “The power is just one thing. We pitch, we defend and we prove that we score not only when we hit home runs.” Elite form: Over the first four games of this final regular-season road trip, Orioles starters have a 1.85 ERA, allowing just five earned runs in 241⁄ innings.