Settling the Score: Friday’s results

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Many have predicted that the Orioles’ negative run differential would eventually catch up with them. Yet here we are on September 1 and the Orioles are just two games behind the Yankees for first place in the American League East. Fun times.

The Orioles continued to put the pressure on last night, topping the Yankees 6-1 in the Bronx. They got there behind seven shutout innings from Miguel Gonzalez, who notched a career-high nine strikeouts. Who? Yes, Miguel Gonzalez. Symbolic of the surprising Orioles, the 28-year-old right-hander now owns a 3.31 ERA over 10 starts and three relief appearances this season.

Mark Reynolds was the big hero on the offensive side, slugging a two-run homer off Hiroki Kuroda in a three-run second inning and a solo shot off Derek Lowe in the top of the ninth. J.J. Hardy also homered while Nick Markakis went 3-for-5 with an RBI single. The Yankees could only muster five hits all night and didn’t get a run until a solo homer by Curtis Granderson in the ninth.

The Orioles will try to close the gap even further this afternoon when they send Wei-Yin Chen to the mound against David Phelps.

Your Friday box scores:

Giants 4, Cubs 6

Rangers 5, Indians 3

Cardinals 0, Nationals 10

White Sox 4, Tigers 7

Mets 3, Marlins 0

Phillies 8, Braves 5 (10 innings)

Rays 1, Blue Jays 2

Reds 9, Astros 3

Red Sox 2, Athletics 20

Pirates 3, Brewers 9

Padres 5, Rockies 4

Angels 9, Mariners 1

Diamondbacks 4, Dodgers 3

Twins/Royals — PPD (Doubleheader Saturday)

Rangers sign Chris Martin to a two-year deal

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Ken Rosenthal reports that the Texas Rangers have signed free agent righty Chris Martin to two-year, $4 million deal.

Martin pitched for the Nippon Ham Fighters for the past two seasons, posting 1.12 ERA in 88 relief innings with excellent strikeout and walk rates. Martin pitched 40 games in the bigs, appearing with the Rockies in 2014 and the Yankees in 2015 with some pretty underwhelming results.

He’s tall — 6’8″ — and tall guys sometimes take a long time to put it all together. Maybe he finally put it all together. The Rangers obviously think he has.