Yanks swept by O’s, still chasing home field for wild card
BALTIMORE (AP) -- The New York Yankees failed to clinch home field in the AL wild-card game, getting swept in a day-night doubleheader Saturday by the Baltimore Orioles, 9-2 and 4-3.
Only needing one win to host Tuesday's one-game playoff, reliever Dellin Betances allowed the go-ahead run in the second game to score on a wild pitch in the eighth inning. The Orioles roughed up Ivan Nova in the opener.
New York (87-74) has lost five of six but can still get home field if Houston (85-75) loses at Arizona later Saturday. Otherwise, home field will be on the line in Sunday's regular-season finales. Should the Yankees and the Astros end up tied, Houston holds the tiebreaker and the game would be played at Minute Maid Park.
In the night game, Paul Janish led off the eighth with a single, reached second on a wild pitch by Betances (6-4), and got to third on Gerardo Parra's bunt single before scoring on a second wild pitch with one out.
T.J. McFarland (2-2) pitched two scoreless innings for Baltimore and Zach Britton got his 36th save in a ninth inning in which pinch-runner Rico Noel was picked off first.
Manny Machado hit his 35th home run, connecting for a fourth consecutive game, and Nolan Reimold hit the first leadoff homer of his career.
Despite splitting his regulars between two starting lineups on a cold and crisp day, manager Joe Girardi insisted when Saturday began that home field remained important.
"Obviously you want to play in front of your home fans," said Girardi, whose team is 8-10 over its last two homestands. "Our club is built for that ballpark. You get to sleep in your own bed. You don't have to travel as much. I think it means a lot."
New York was 3 for 19 with runners in scoring position in the doubleheader.
In the first game, Nova (6-11) allowed eight hits in 5 2-3 innings, walked three and hit a batter to raise his ERA to 5.07 in in the final start of his first season since Tommy John surgery
Baltimore's Wei-Yin Chen (11-8) allowed two runs in six-plus innings in what may have been his final start as an Oriole. Parra had four hits and three RBIs. Machado also drove in three runs and J.J. Hardy had three hits.
Chen, a pending free agent, struck out three while allowing four hits and three walks to finish the season with a 3.34 ERA. He's 46-32 with a 3.72 ERA in four seasons with Baltimore.
"I will be happy if I get given the chance to come back here," said Chen, a client of agent Scott Boras, through a translator. "But sometimes as a professional player, sometimes it's inevitable that you have to change team and adapt to a new environment."
NOEL BREAKS THROUGH
Noel reached on an infield single in his first big league plate appearance, a month after he came within moments of reaching the plate at Fenway Park.
A September callup who has been used primarily as a pinch runner with New York, Noel was on deck Sept. 2 when Girardi sent up Jose Pirela to pinch hit for him. The Yankees led 12-5 in the eighth inning.
On Saturday, Noel batted for Pirela leading off the ninth and hit a 60-foot bouncer to third off Oliver Drake, reaching first without a throw.
"I've been waiting for it for a long time," the 26-year-old Noel said.
In the first game, reliever Chasen Shreve allowed two runs while getting just one out as he continues his late-season struggles. He's allowed nine runs in six innings (13.50 ERA) since Sept. 1, raising his overall ERA more than a run in that stretch to 3.09.
"I'm going to put him back out there tomorrow if the situation presents itself," said Girardi, who added that he's unsure if Shreve could make New York's wild-card squad.
Yankees: 3B Chase Headley (back stiffness) was in the lineup for Saturday's first game. ... OF Jacoby Ellsbury (back stiffness) played the second.
Orioles: 2B Jonathan Schoop will have a follow-up exam later Saturday on his bruised right hand. "He's getting a fluoroscope - I don't know if that's the right word, but it's a sort of next-step X-ray," said manager Buck Showalter.
Yankees RHP Michael Pineda (12-9, 4.24) looks for his third win in four starts Sunday against Orioles RHP Chris Tillman (10-11, 5.05), who last finished a season with an ERA of five or higher in 2011.
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