NEW YORK (AP) — Orioles rookie Miguel Gonzalez struck out a career-high nine over seven shutout innings in a masterful pitching performance and Mark Reynolds homered twice as Baltimore tightened the AL East race Friday night with a 6-1 victory over the skidding New York Yankees.
J.J. Hardy added a solo shot for the surprising Orioles, who moved within two games of first-place New York by winning the opener of their big three-game series. That’s the closest Baltimore has been since a 1 1/2-game deficit on June 22, less than a month before the Yankees opened a season-high 10-game cushion on July 18.
Buck Showalter’s young team has been gaining ground since, winning 18 of its last 25 to head into September as serious playoff contenders for the first time in 15 years.
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