Ori­oles grab play­off spot, beat­ing Yanks

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Mike Fitz­patrick The As­so­ci­ated Press

The Ori­oles snagged a play­off spot on the fi­nal day of the reg­u­lar sea­son by beat­ing the Yan­kees 5-2 Sun­day.

Matt Wi­eters home­red from both sides of the plate, Kevin Gaus­man gave Bal­ti­more a clutch pitch­ing per­for­mance and the Ori­oles snagged a play­off spot on the fi­nal day of the reg­u­lar sea­son by beat­ing the New York Yan­kees 5-2 Sun­day.

Bal­ti­more will play at AL East ri­val Toronto in the wild-card game Tues­day night for a chance to face AL West cham­pion Texas in a best-of-five Divi­sion Se­ries.

Zach Brit­ton got five outs and fin­ished per­fect in 48 save chances this year with a 0.54 ERA. Wi­eters had four RBIs and Gaus­man (9-12) was charged with two runs in 7 1/3 in­nings as the Ori­oles closed with their seventh vic­tory in nine games to reach the post­sea­son for the third time in five years.

Seek­ing their first World Se­ries cham­pi­onship since 1983, the Ori­oles (89-73) barely cel­e­brated on the field af­ter Brit­ton struck out Brett Gard­ner to end it. Sev­eral play­ers hugged each other be­hind the mound, but oth­ers sim­ply walked out of the du­gout and formed the cus­tom­ary hand­shake line.

Back in their club­house, how­ever, man­ager Buck Showal­ter and the Ori­oles broke into a rau­cous party com­plete with spray­ing beer and cham­pagne.

In his fi­nal game be­fore re­tir­ing, New York slug­ger Mark Teix­eira went 0 for 3 and showed off his Gold Glove form with a cou­ple of slick plays at first base. Hon­ored dur­ing a 12-minute cer­e­mony and feted with sev­eral gifts be­fore the game, he was re­moved with one out in the top of the seventh in­ning so he could

soak up the cheers while he walked off the field, fully com­posed as he hugged his team­mates one at a time.

“Men­tally and emo­tion­ally, I kind of pre­pared for it,” Teix­eira said. “It wasn’t as weird as I thought it would be.”

Teix­eira tipped his cap to the crowd of 33,277 as it of­fered a stand­ing ova­tion. He pat­ted his chest with his glove and said, “Thank you.”

And with that, one of base­ball’s most pro­lific switch-hit­ters said good­bye to the game.

“I couldn’t have asked for any­thing more but a win,” Teix­eira said. “I got a chance to say good­bye, which was very im­por­tant.”

Bal­ti­more squan­dered a three-run lead Satur­day in a 7-3 loss to New York that made their play­off prospects more com­pli­cated. But the Ori­oles got help that night when Detroit and Seat­tle were beaten, so they knew when they ar­rived at Yan­kee Sta­dium on Sun­day that all they needed was a win to get in.

Jonathan Schoop reached on a pop-fly dou­ble lead­ing off the third and put Bal­ti­more ahead when he scored on J.J. Hardy’s sac­ri­fice fly.

In the fourth, Wi­eters was bat­ting left-handed when he hit a two-run homer into the sec­ond deck in right field on a 3-0 pitch from Luis Cessa (4-4). That came one bat­ter af­ter Mark Trumbo reached on an in­field sin­gle when Teix­eira failed to scoop third base­man Ron­ald Tor­reyes’ short-hop throw.

Manny Machado sin­gled in the sixth and Wi­eters, bat­ting right-handed, greeted lefty reliever Tommy Layne with an­other two-run drive just in­side the left-field foul pole.

Brian McCann went deep for the fourth-place Yan­kees (84-78), reach­ing 20 homers for the ninth con­sec­u­tive sea­son and 10th time over­all.

Didi Gre­go­rius had an RBI sin­gle off Brit­ton with two outs in the eighth be­fore first base­man Chris Davis grabbed Aaron Hicks’ sharp grounder with two on to end the in­ning.

LOOK­ING AHEAD

The Ori­oles went 9-10 against the Blue Jays (8973) this sea­son. They were 4-5 in Toronto, but took two of three cru­cial games there just last week.

KATHY KMONICEK — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Bal­ti­more Ori­oles’ Matt Wi­eters hits a two-run home run off New York Yan­kees start­ing pitcher Luis Cessa in the fourth in­ning of a base­ball game, Sun­day in New York.

KATHY KMONICEK — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

New York Yan­kees first base­man Mark Teix­eira waves to fans as he leaves a base­ball game against the Bal­ti­more Ori­oles, Sun­day in New York. Teix­eira is re­tir­ing af­ter the game.

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