Orioles swoop to peck at Yankees' lead


Posted at Sep 03 2012 09:40 AM | Updated as of Sep 03 2012 05:40 PM

Mark Reynolds smashed a pair of home runs as the Baltimore Orioles pounced on the ailing New York Yankees 8-3 on Sunday to close the gap on the American League East leaders.

The visiting Orioles trailed early before Reynolds launched a three-run homer in the sixth inning, to go along with a solo shot in the fifth to give his team a 5-3 lead and help them take two-of-three games from the Yankees.

The win pulled Baltimore (74-59) within two games of New York (76-57).

"We want to win the division," Baltimore's Nick Markakis told reporters. "That's the ultimate goal. We're in the zone right now. That's where we want to stay, and we're going to take it day by day."

The Yankees suddenly look vulnerable as they played without Curtis Granderson (hamstring) and are also missing injured power-hitters Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez.

"It's going to be a tough month. There's no doubt," said New York's Eric Chavez. "But we've got to bear down. We've got to start to pick it up. There's nothing else to say and nothing else to do."

Chris Dickerson gave the home team a 2-0 lead with a homer in the second. New York also had a 3-1 advantage in the fifth but Baltimore hit back with their sixth-inning rally and added three extra runs in the eighth.

Reynolds finished 3-for-5 with three runs and four RBIs while Markakis added three hits and a pair of RBIs.

Baltimore starter Chris Tillman pitched just three innings before Randy Wolf came on for three innings of work to record the win.

Phil Hughes allowed five runs in five innings and took the loss for New York. (Writing by Jahmal Corner; Editing by Ian Ransom)