Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Getting Wilder

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Getting Wilder

Article excerpt

BALTIMORE - October destiny remains in the Yankees' control.

After posting a wild, heart-pounding 6-5 victory at Camden Yards and further denting the Orioles' playoff hopes, the Yankees move on to Fenway Park tonight, where the first-place Red Sox will be doubly motivated to derail their historic rivals.

By moving closer to clinching an AL East title, the Red Sox would also slow the Yankees' postseason momentum.

"Oh, I'm sure there is," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of Boston's desire to knock the Yankees out of contention. "It's the human nature of the rivalry, sure."

But the road became even tougher on Thursday, when Brett Gardner exited after a first-inning strikeout because of a strained left oblique. There was no immediate word as to the severity of the injury.

He's heading to New York for an MRI.

"I felt like if I went back out there I could make it worse," he said. "I've never had an oblique strain before. It's frustrating, but I'm glad we got the win."

With Tampa Bay's victory, the Yankees remained one game behind the Rays in a bare-knuckle fight for the final AL wild card spot, while the Orioles are 2 1/2 games behind.

"I mean, we've been chasing for the whole year, basically," Girardi said before the game. "You know, every day it has that feeling of a playoff game."

On Thursday night, the Yankees saw a 5-2 lead vanish on Danny Valencia's game-tying, three-run homer off David Robertson with two out in the eighth inning.

In his second straight appearance since a weeklong bout with right shoulder tendinitis, Robertson gave up four straight hits in the eighth. He'd nearly given up a leadoff homer to Manny Machado, only to rejoice when left fielder Alfonso Soriano robbed him with a leaping grab, extending his glove over the fence.

Robertson said his arm was fine.

"I just left too many pitches over the plate," he added.

Newly acquired Brendan Ryan singled to open the ninth off O's closer Jim Johnson. Chris Stewart nearly sacrificed into a double play, but Johnson threw the bunt into center field, putting runners at first and second.

After Curtis Granderson bunted the runners into scoring position, Johnson's wild pitch scored Ryan with the go-ahead run. …

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