The Orioles have a little bit of life left.
J.J. Hardy just delivered an RBI double off David Phelps in the top of the 13th inning to give the Orioles a 2-1 lead over the Yankees. It broke the team’s 0-for-15 streak with runners in scoring position.
Manny Machado got the inning started with an opposite-field double. He moved over to third base on a ground out by Nate McLouth. It might have been a close play if Robinson Cano decided to throw to third base, but he went the safe route to get the out at first. Hardy then followed with the double. The Orioles had the chance for more, but Clay Rapada got Chris Davis to ground out and Derek Lowe retired Adam Jones on a comebacker.
The Yankees have Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, and you guessed it, Alex Rodriguez due up in the bottom of the 13th. Meanwhile, Jim Johnson will try to save it for the Orioles. Oh, sweet narrative.
No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.
First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.
On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.
Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.