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)

Report: Welington Castillo to be suspended 80 games for violating Joint Drug Agreement

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic confirms a report from journalist Américo Celado that White Sox catcher Welington Castillo will be suspended 80 games for violating baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement. Castillo was believed to have used a steroid, but according to Rosenthal, the substance was not a steroid. More details should come on Thursday.

Castillo, 31, entered Wednesday’s action batting .270/.314/.477 with six home runs and 15 RBI in 118 plate appearances. He has gotten the bulk of the work behind the plate, backed up by Omar Narváez.

Castillo’s absence will likely prompt the White Sox to call up Kevan Smith from Triple-A Charlotte. Smith battled an ankle injury in March and April, so he got a late start to the season. In 102 PA at Triple-A, he has hit .283/.343/.457.