UPDATE: The Orioles got out of it. Darren O’Day struck out Alex Rodriguez swinging for the second out before Buck Showalter made another change, this time bringing in Brian Matusz. The southpaw issued an intentional walk to Robinson Cano before getting Nick Swisher to fly out to left field to end the inning. The Orioles lead 3-2 as we move to the bottom of the seventh in Baltimore.
11:07 PM: That extra breathing room didn’t last long. Eduardo Nunez led off the top of the seventh with a double before Derek Jeter brought him home with a single to cut the Orioles’ lead to 3-2. Wei-Yin Chen got Ichiro to ground into a fielder’s choice before Orioles manager Buck Showalter brought the hook.
Chen was given a standing ovation from the Camden Yards faithful as he walked off the field. Darren O’Day is in to face Alex Rodriguez with one out and a runner on first.
10:56 PM ET: The Orioles have a little breathing room over the Yankees.
Matt Wieters led off the bottom of the sixth with a double to right-center before Mark Reynolds brought him home with an opposite field single to push the Orioles’ lead to 3-1. Andy Pettitte was able to strike out Jim Thome and get Manny Machado to hit into a double play to escape any further damage.
Wei-Yin Chen is still in there for the Orioles. He has allowed six hits and a walk while striking out three. Chen wiggled out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth and sat down the Yankees on four pitches in the fifth before working around an error by J.J. Hardy with two outs in the sixth. Pretty impressive for his first career playoff start.
Infielder Brett Lawrie successfully avoided arbitration and signed a one-year contract with the White Sox on Friday, per a team announcement. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman added that the deal was for $3.5 million, significantly lower than the $4.125 million Lawrie was paid by the White Sox in 2016.
The White Sox acquired Lawrie last December in a swap for minor league arms Zack Erwin and J.B. Wendelken. After splitting time at second and third base for the Athletics in 2015, Lawrie slotted in at second base and DH for the White Sox and batted .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs in 384 PA. While it’s strange to see a healthy, fairly productive player receive a salary reduction in arbitration, Lawrie missed nearly half of the season with a strain in his left hamstring, though he’s projected to return at full health by the start of the 2017 season.
Left-hander Brian Duensing signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Cubs on Friday, per a report from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman.
The free agent spent the bulk of his 2016 season with the Orioles after receiving a call-up from Triple-A Norfolk in early June. He underwent elbow surgery several weeks later when a freak bullpen injury revealed cartilage chips and inflammation in his pitching elbow, but recovered to finish the season with a 4.05 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings for the club. The Orioles utilized him for a final out during the AL Wild Card game, during which Duensing recorded a five-pitch strikeout in the ninth inning of their 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays.
The 33-year-old is currently expected to bulk up the Cubs’ left-handed relief corps, with fellow left-hander Mike Montgomery slated for the rotation in 2017.