Baseball is fun again. Nothing like a pennant race to invigorate a guy.
“I love it,” Morse said after the Orioles’ 7-3 win over the Yankees. “This is what we play for. This is a great team, a great organization and there’s so much upside to this organization and this team. And I think these guys are just starting to touch what they are capable of doing.
“These guys came together right there in the seventh. I got a hit and got something started, we knocked out a couple line drives and we got (Andy) Pettitte out of the game. That was big. He’s a tough pitcher. Adam (Jones) came through with that home run and it was pretty good.”
J.J. Hardy contributed a three-run homer to the seventh-run seventh.
“A seven-run seventh. That’s nice,” Hardy said. “We were a little flat. We could all see it. We could all feel it. That was big for us. Hopefully, that jump starts our September.
“That whole inning, Morse getting that hit, starting us off with a bullet to left center. (Danny) Valencia, then (Matt) Wieters. It was really the whole lineup that inning did their part and it was good. It was big.”
Kevin Gausman won his second major league game with two scoreless innings. He was pitching on back-to-back days out of the bullpen and won’t be available Monday in Cleveland.
“The biggest thing is just getting back to it and getting used to it, getting used to my surroundings,” he said. “I’ve never really pitched back-to-back days in my entire life other than like Little Leagues. It was something that was kind of different for me. I feel good about it, but now I can kind of expect it and kind of know that feeling and get used to it.
“My body feels good, my arm feels fine. My delivery was fine. I know that I can do that.”
Wei-Yin Chen was spared a loss. He walked a career-high five batters in four innings and allowed three runs.
“This is a part of baseball,” Chen said through interpreter Tim Lin. “Sometimes, when I throw right in the middle of home plate, the umpire didn’t pick it up. Sometimes, the strike zone was a little small today.”
Chen has totaled only 7 2/3 innings in his last two starts.
“I think today just the command issues,” he said. “I feel like my stuff is pretty good today. That’s the thing I need to work on.
“Even though I’ve had the two bad starts, I still have the confidence in me. I give out a lot of free passes today. The last time, I gave out free pass, too. This is the thing I need to work on. Next time, I believe I will bounce back, and we’ll see.”
Adam Jones has 15 home runs in day games this season, second-most in the American League behind Chris Davis (17).