NEW YORK -- Just before Starlin Castro launched a game-tying homer to set up Matthew Holliday's walk-off blast, powering the Yankees' wild 14-11, 10-inning victory over the Orioles on Friday night, the second baseman issued a bold prediction from the Yankee Stadium infield clay.
Jacoby Ellsbury's seventh-inning grand slam brought New York within three runs, chipping away at what had been an eight-run deficit, and Castro told teammate Didi Gregorius that he sensed something special was brewing against long odds in this wild slugfest.
"After that happened, I told Didi, 'Let's keep the game here. We might win the game today,'" said Castro, who tied the game with a two-run blast off Brad Brach in a three-run ninth inning. "When we scored those runs, we're really close. I just go up to the plate looking for something that I can drive. It happened the right way."
The Yankees (14-7) grabbed a share of first place in the American League East with the victory, sealed as Holliday clubbed the decisive drive into the Yanks' bullpen off Jayson Aquino. Holliday's three-run homer was the fifth one hit by the Yankees in Friday's game.
"I think the good thing about this team is we have a lot of firepower and we can hit homers and get people on base," Holliday said. "I think that's a good recipe to come back in a game like that."
"I kind of let them get off the hook, let them back in the ballgame," Gausman said. "Darren [O'Day] and Brad shouldn't even be getting in the game, especially when we're up, 9-1."
Baltimore took the defeat despite Mark Trumbo's fourth career grand slam, a sixth-inning blast off Bryan Mitchell, and a three-RBI performance from Manny Machado that included the longest home run in the Majors this year: a fifth-inning solo drive that cleared the restaurant over Monument Park and was calculated at 470 feet by Statcast™.
"It felt good to contribute," said Trumbo, who led the Majors in homers last year and hadn't gone deep since Opening Day. "Wasn't enough [to win], but hopefully that can be a nice way to get things moving in a better direction."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Manny being Manny: The Orioles grabbed the lead in the third inning by piecing together a two-out rally against Yankees starter Carsten Sabathia. Joey Rickard reached on an infield dribbler up the third-base line, and Adam Jones worked a walk to set up Machado, who pounced on a 92.2-mph sinker and blasted it over Ellsbury's head in center field for a two-run double. That served as a prelude for Machado's monster blast off Sabathia in the fifth inning; Sabathia allowed seven runs in 5 2/3 innings.
"He was having quality at-bats all night, and then he had that one to center field that I think went over the glass in center," Judge said. "Not too many people do that. It's impressive." More >
Star bright: The seventh homer of the night belonged to Castro, a two-run shot to left field, and it brought everything back to even as the Yankees tied the game against Brach. Chase Headley got the inning started with a leadoff walk, and Holliday banged a long single off the right-field wall to set up Ellsbury's run-scoring fielder's choice. Castro then notched his third hit of the game by jumping on the first pitch he saw from Brach, a 94.9-mph fastball.
"It's an amazing feeling," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "We're down, 9-1, and then we're down, 11-4, but this group is resilient. We never quit. We have the ability to hit the ball out of the ballpark, and that's what we did. We got a bunch of big hits along the way."
"The leadoff walk, I felt, was the bad thing. I know I gave up the home run later, but with a three-run lead, I've got to attack the hitter. I can't be messing around like I did. You just don't want to lose those games." -- Brach More >
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Friday's loss marked the first time since July 29, 2006, that the Orioles have scored 11 or more runs and lost a game. The O's 'pen allowed nine runs just once all of last season, on Aug. 19 against Houston.
• Ranking all eight homers from Yankees' wild win
Orioles:Ubaldo Jimenez will take the ball in Saturday's 1:05 p.m. ET matinee, hoping to get back on track. He's 1-0 with a 5.95 ERA on the season and has been widely inconsistent, though the Orioles are 4-0 in his starts.
Yankees:Michael Pineda (2-1, 3.86 ERA) will make his fifth start of the season on Saturday. Pineda last pitched on April 22 at Pittsburgh, taking a no-decision after permitting three runs and five hits over five innings, including a pair of home runs.
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