Ori­oles stum­ble at New York

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Ron­ald Blum

NEW YORK >> Brad Brach picked up Austin Romine’s bat be­hind home plate and slammed it to the turf. On the verge of mov­ing into po­si­tion to clinch no worse than a tiebreaker game for a play­off berth, the Baltimore Ori­oles let the op­por­tu­nity slip away.

“To­mor­row is what we’ve been play­ing the whole sea­son for any­way,” Matt Wi­eters said af­ter Baltimore wasted a three-run lead Satur­day in a de­flat­ing 7-3 loss to the New York Yan­kees. “It shouldn’t be hard to get ready for a game to­mor­row.”

Fit­tingly in this sea­son of al­ter­nat­ing promise and frus­tra­tion, game No. 162 will be needed to de­ter­mine the Ori­oles’ fate.

They had a 3-0, fifth-in­ning lead against an al­ready elim­i­nated op­po­nent and an 81.5 per­cent prob­a­bil­ity of win­ning the game, ac­cord­ing to Fan­graphs. A vic­tory plus a loss by Toronto or Detroit later Satur­day would have clinched a wild-card berth.

New York closed with two runs in the fifth, and Tyler Austin tied the score in the sev­enth when he drove Wade Mi­ley’s slider into the Yan­kees bullpen in right cen­ter. Romine then dumped Brach’s slider over a drawn-in in­field and into short left for a tiebreak­ing, two-run sin­gle in the eighth, and Brett Gard­ner fol­lowed with a tworun dou­ble against Oliver Drake.

“It seemed like we were in con­trol there for six in­nings, and all of a sud­den you look at the score­board and it’s tied,” Brach said.

Baltimore dropped into a tie with Toronto for the AL’s two wild cards at 8873, with Detroit and Seat­tle both 1½ games be­hind at 86-74. The Mariners played Satur­day night, and a four-way tie re­mained pos­si­ble.

Brach planned to watch the other games on tele­vi­sion.

Not Ori­oles man­ager Buck Showal­ter.

“I’ll find some­thing else to do. Maybe even sleep,” he said. “There’s an in­ter­est­ing thought.”

De­spite Satur­day’s dis­ap­point­ment, Baltimore could clinch with a vic­tory over the Yan­kees on Sun­day.

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