The final game of the the first half of the Orioles’ season ended not with any drama like a walk-off win or on a big defensive play, but it ended with a lot of rain.
Too much to resume play, and the Orioles beat the Yankees 3-1 tonight in a game shortened to five innings by rain. Play was halted at 9:48 p.m. with Steve Pearce on first after a walk and Adam Jones at bat. There was a delay of 2 hours, 22 minutes before the game was called.
Kevin Gausman gets credit for a complete-game win and and Chris Davis hit a two-run homer as the Orioles reached the break with a record of 52-42 and four-game lead in the American League East over Toronto.
The Orioles have won three consecutive three-game series against the Yankees for the second time in the last three years. They also did it during the 2012 season.
The Yankees took a 1-0 lead when Brett Gardner led off the game with his ninth homer on a 2-1 pitch. He turned around a 94 mph Gausman fastball for his third career leadoff homer.
The Orioles left the bases loaded in the second, but broke through for three runs in the last of the fourth. Nelson Cruz led off with a walk against Chase Whitley and scored on a Davis two-run homer into the left field seats. It was No. 15 for Davis, who was 0-for-12 with eight strikeouts over his past four games. Davis began tonight batting just .124 in 27 games since June 12.
J.J. Hardy followed Davis’ homer with a double left. Two outs later, he scored on Jonathan Schoop’s single to right for a 3-1 O’s lead.
Gausman settled down after the leadoff homer. He gave up just three singles after that, pitching five innings before the rain hit. He gave up four hits and one run with no walks and two strikeouts. He improves to 4-2 with an ERA of 3.29.
Over his last six starts, Gausman has given up one run or less five times and has an ERA of 2.36. He is now 3-1 with an ERA of 2.40 in six career appearances against the Yankees.
The O’s hit the All-Star break winners of six of the last eight, 10 of 13 and 15 of their last 22 games. They are 26-15 since May 31 and are now 26-18 in AL East games. The Orioles are in first place at the break for the first time since 1997.
The second half resumes on Friday night when the Orioles play at Oakland to begin a three-city, 10-game road trip.