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Ex-Orioles reliever Miller agrees to join Yankees

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Ex-Orioles reliever Miller agrees to join Yankees

Posted on 05 December 2014 by Luke Jones

In a move that was expected after the Orioles hadn’t pursued him in free agency, left-handed relief pitcher Andrew Miller agreed to a four-year, $36 million contract to join the New York Yankees on Friday.

The news comes at the end of a very difficult week for the Orioles after they had already lost free-agent outfielders Nelson Cruz and Nick Markakis to the Seattle Mariners and the Atlanta Braves, respectively. It remains undetermined whether Miller will assume the closer role in New York, but his deal would be the richest awarded to a non-closer relief pitcher in major league history.

Acquired from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for pitching prospect Eduardo Rodriguez on July 31, Miller was a major part of the Orioles’ push for their first American League East title since 1997. The 6-foot-7 lefty pitched to a 1.35 ERA and struck out 34 hitters in 20 innings for Baltimore to close out the regular season, stepping into a late-inning role to set up for closer Zach Britton.

Miller’s work was even more dominating in the postseason as he pitched 7 1/3 scoreless innings and allowed only one hit while striking out eight.

The Orioles were never in the picture in terms of keeping Miller as he was always expected to receive lucrative money, but his destination is bad news for the rest of the AL East.  Miller will join right-hander Dellin Betances in forming what could be the most dominating relief duo in the major leagues.

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Former Orioles second baseman Roberts announces retirement

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Former Orioles second baseman Roberts announces retirement

Posted on 18 October 2014 by Luke Jones

After 14 major league seasons, former Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts has decided to call it a career.

Spending all but one season in Baltimore, the 37-year-old was released by the New York Yankees in August and confirmed his retirement to multiple outlets on Friday. The two-time All-Star selection is a sure bet to be elected to the Orioles Hall of Fame as he ranks in the franchise’s top 10 in a number of categories including hits, walks, doubles, triples, runs, total bases, and stolen bases.

Of course, the injury-riddled end to Roberts’ time in Baltimore tarnished his legacy in many fans’ eyes as he averaged just under 57 games played per season over his last five years when he dealt with back, hamstring, hip, and concussion-related issues.This came on the heels of a four-year, $40 million extension that ran through the 2013 season.

Roberts signed a one-year deal with the Yankees last winter after the Orioles didn’t express any real interest in retaining his services.

He finishes his career with a .276 lifetime average with 97 home runs, 542 runs batted in, 367 doubles, and 285 stolen bases. His 56 doubles in 2009 set the franchise’s single-season record.

Roberts was a supplemental first-round pick in the 1999 amateur draft. He was named in the infamous Mitchell Report in 2007 and later said he tried steroids only once in 2003.

 

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WFAN’s Giglio thinks Yankees will not make big move before deadline

Posted on 11 July 2014 by WNST Audio

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paulina-gretzky-1-300

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The Kings and I, a sports lovestory

Posted on 07 June 2014 by Tony Wisniewski

Once upon a time, I met a girl who didn’t understand a lick about football.

Or baseball.

Or basketball.  Or golf.  Or fantasy football.  Or beer.  Or funny movies.

Off-the-bat, we had nothing in common other than the fact that I love hot chicks and she was–definitely still is–a chick who is hot.

Though she failed my Diner-themed Baltimore sports assessment, I married her anyway.  It was our shining moment of compromise, due to the fact that I was apparently being held to some sort of standard as well–I failed her health requirements of long walks after dinner and proposed reduction of my caloric intake.

As the story goes, she’s taught me a little about eating vegetables and hot yoga; I’ve taught her what a Mike-Backer is.  She’s helped me understand “normal people portions” of wings and ice cream; I’ve helped her understand why and when Buck Showalter tinkles the game away by over-managing.

Recently, though, we’ve run into a conundrum of sorts.  She’s curious about hockey–and due to her childhood, she even has an idea of how the game is played.  Naturally, being a sports guy and now a writer for WNST, she took it for granted that I knew something about hockey.

It’s like one of those deep dark secrets that now, in the first year of marriage, is finally coming out.  The other night, when the Kings took game one, she asked me who their best player was, and my answer propelled the fertilizer to hit the fan:

“Wayne Gretzky.”  Yes, I said Wayne Gretzky.

All the cliches of people who don’t know sports started flooding my brain.  From the goons roaming Camden Yards once per year wondering when Cal Ripken is batting next, to the dummies who still think Matt Stover is booting field goals at The Bank, I’ve never been among the cretins of general sports knowledge–until I said “Wayne Gretzky.”

Of course I know Gretzky retired years ago.  But it was the only answer I had.  I shot back to the one-season-Saturday-morning-childhood-cartoon Pro Stars, that featured Gretzky teaming up with Michael Jordan and Bo Jackson to save the world.  I remembered he wore Kings garb.  It was all I had to go on.

Naturally, in my emasculated state of mind, I ate some raw ground beef and did what any manly sports man would do: I Googled things.  Let me take you through a little play-by-play:

  • Off-the-bat, I saw that there’s a puck–okay, cool, I knew that.  This is easy stuff.
  • I learned there’s a rule called “Butt-ending.” A penalty where a player jabs another with the end of his stick.  Ok, sounds kind of weird.
  • Next I stumbled on rules like “Checked from Behind,” “Spearing,” and “Hooking.”  Um, yea, maybe I should move away from the rules.

Next I started to look up things like “how to play hockey.”  Let me walk you through that one:

  • Ah, great, an article that will tell me how to play this foreign game.
  • First point “learn to skate properly, even if you’re a goalie.”  Okay, I might have started a little too far back.
  • Next “pass the puck,” and “get in good physical condition.”  Yea, this is worthless.

At least I can say I tried to learn hockey.  As for my wife, well, she’s still way ahead of me; she curbed my misguided disdain over the self-fabricated idea that the NHL sold the naming rights of The “Stanley” Cup to the Black and Decker guys.  Who knew?

She educated me on four specific reasons why I should root for the Kings heading into game-two of the Finals:

  1. They’re playing the Rangers, who are from New York, meaning that naturally, some Yankees fans will be susceptible to disappointment and heartbreak.  Sweet.
  2. They play in LA, meaning that naturally, some Clippers fans have a chance to feel good about something.  I’m cool with that.
  3. Wayne Gretzky was a member of the team.  I enjoyed his cartoon.
  4. Wayne Gretzky’s daughter, Paulina, is a hot chick.  I love hot chicks.

It all makes sense now.  Go Kings.

 

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Be thankful the Orioles don’t have the Toronto pitching staff

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Be thankful the Orioles don’t have the Toronto pitching staff

Posted on 25 April 2014 by Drew Forrester

With my computer out of commission, I bring you an audio version of Drew’s Morning Dish HERE

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Orioles to make multiple Sunday Night Baseball appearances early in season

Posted on 15 January 2014 by WNST Staff

Multiple Appearances by World Series Champion Red Sox, NL Champion Cardinals, Dodgers, Yankees & Orioles

Stars in Action: Miguel Cabrera, Yasiel Puig, Derek Jeter, David Ortiz, Mike Trout, Andrew McCutchen

Dan Shulman, the voice of Sunday Nights, leads new team with John Kruk, Curt Schilling & Buster Olney 

ESPN’s historic 25th season of Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell – Major League Baseball’s exclusive, national game of the week – will showcase baseball’s most exciting teams, best rivalries and brightest stars throughout 2014. The season will begin with an exclusive presentation of MLB’s Opening Night on ESPN presented by Scotts – Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres – on March 30 at 8 p.m. ET.  Baseball Tonight will precede the telecast with a special 90-minute pre-game show at 6:30 p.m. hosted by Karl Ravech.

The early season schedule will include three appearances each by the World Series Champion Boston Red Sox, National League Champion St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles. In addition, the game’s brightest stars, including Miguel Cabrera, Yasiel Puig, Derek Jeter, David Ortiz, Mike Trout, Andrew McCutchen and more will take center stage on Sunday Night Baseball.

Dan Shulman, in his fourth season as the voice of Sunday Night Baseball, will lead a new team, with new analyst Curt Schilling, returning analyst John Kruk and reporter Buster Olney. Sunday Night Baseball airs every week at 8 p.m.  and is available on ESPN, ESPN Radio (with Jon Sciambi and Chris Singleton), ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio and via WatchESPN.

ESPN’s 25th Sunday Night Baseball Season

Date Game
March 30 Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres telecast presented by Scotts
April 6* San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers telecast presented by Taco Bell (ESPN2)
April 13 Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees telecast presented by Taco Bell
April 20** Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Soxtelecast presented by Taco Bell (7 p.m.)
April 27 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at New York Yankees telecast presented by Taco Bell
May 4 TBD
May 11 St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates telecast presented by Taco Bell
May 18 Detroit Tigers at Boston Red Sox telecast presented by Taco Bell
May 25 St. Louis Cardinals at Cincinnati Reds telecast presented by Taco Bell
July 13 New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles telecast presented by Taco Bell
July 20 Los Angeles Dodgers at St. Louis Cardinals telecast presented by Taco Bell

   *ESPN2 telecast

  ** Special 7 p.m. start time

The Sunday Night Baseball game selection for May 4 will be determined and announced in the next few weeks. Additionally, selections for June games and for July 6 and July 27 will be made three weeks in advance, while selections for August and September games will be made two weeks in advance.

More Sunday Night Baseball highlights:

  • The Boston Red Sox will host the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park for a special telecast the night before Patriot’s Day – a Massachusetts state holiday one year removed from the Boston Marathon tragedy in 2013;
  • The Pittsburgh Pirates return to Sunday Night Baseball for the first time since May 19, 2002 against the Houston Astros;
  • The schedule includes several rivalry games: San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers (April 6), Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees (April 13), St. Louis Cardinals at Cincinnati Reds (May 25);

Sunday Night Baseball background:

  • Dan Shulman is entering his fourth season as the voice of Sunday Night Baseball. He debuted in 2011;
  • John Kruk is celebrating his 10-year anniversary at ESPN and his second season in the Sunday Night booth (he joined ESPN in 2004);
  • Curt Schilling, who has served as a Baseball Tonight analyst since 2010, makes his Sunday Night Baseball debut;
  • Buster Olney is entering his 12th season as an ESPN MLB Insider. He joined ESPN in 2003 and has served as Sunday Night reporter since 2011;
  • John Kruk and Curt Schilling re-unite as a “team” two decades after being teammates on the early-1990’s Philadelphia Phillies, who won the National League pennant in 1993.

Sunday Night Baseball history

ESPN’s inaugural Sunday Night Baseball telecast aired April 15, 1990. That night, the Montreal Expos defeated the New York Mets 3-1 at Olympic Stadium. Expos catcher Nelson Santovenia hit a home run off of Mets pitcher Ron Darling and Tim Raines drove in a run to lead the Expos to victory. John Miller and analyst Joe Morgan provided commentary.

Baseball Tonight’s 25th Season

In its 25th season, Baseball Tonight – ESPN’s baseball news and highlights studio show – will preview Sunday Night Baseball each week with one-hour telecasts at 7 p.m.  Karl Ravech will serve as host with analysts from ESPN’s deep roster of MLB commentators, let by Hall of Famer Barry Larkin.

Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN Radio

ESPN Radio – in its 17th MLB season – will continue its coverage as the exclusive, national radio home of Sunday Night Baseball. Play-by-play commentator Jon Sciambi and analyst Chris Singleton will return for their fourth season together calling Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN Radio. ESPN Radio’s weekly coverage starts at 7 p.m. and is also available on ESPNRadio.com and via the ESPNRadio app.

ESPN Deportes’ 11th Season of Sunday Night Baseball

ESPN Deportes will enter its 11th season as the Spanish-language home to Sunday Night Baseball. Commentators Ernesto Jerez and Luis Alfredo Alvarez will provide commentary throughout the season.

ESPN International coverage of Sunday Night Baseball

Sunday Night Baseball is available across Latin America, Caribbean and the Pacific Rim.

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Roberts reportedly agrees to one-year deal with Yankees

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Roberts reportedly agrees to one-year deal with Yankees

Posted on 17 December 2013 by WNST Staff

After spending his entire major league career with the Orioles, second baseman Brian Roberts is apparently on his way to New York.

The 36-year-old has agreed to a one-year, $2 million deal with the Yankees after a 13-year run with the Orioles, according to a FOX Sports report. He became a free agent at the end of a four-year, $40 million contract that he signed before the 2010 season. He’s a two-time All-Star and a career .278 hitter.

New York was in the market for a second baseman after Robinson Cano signed a 10-year, $240 million deal with the Seattle Mariners earlier this month and will reportedly offer incentives in the agreement.

Battling an array of injuries over his final four years with the Orioles, Roberts hit .249 with eight home runs and 39 runs batted in in 77 games this season. He was the club’s supplemental pick in the 1999 amateur draft and the longest-tenured player in the organization.

Earlier in the day, the Orioles signed former Nationals first-round pick Chris Marrero to a minor-league contract. The 25-year-old first baseman never panned out after eight seasons with the Washington organization.

In 125 major league at-bats, Marrero has hit just .232 and is a career .282 hitter in the minor leagues.

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Big week for charity, giveaways, Ravens shows, bus trips and Hooters girls at WNST!

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Big week for charity, giveaways, Ravens shows, bus trips and Hooters girls at WNST!

Posted on 27 August 2013 by WNST Staff

It’s a jam packed week here at WNST, with more chances for you to hang out, mingle, win prizes and meet players than perhaps we’ve ever slammed into a single week before.

THURSDAY NIGHT:

Glenn Clark from “The Reality Check” continues his “Grab a Bud” happy hour series at Hooters in Towson courtesy of Budweiser. Glenn will be rooting the Orioles on against the Red Sox, showing some major support for Towson against UConn and keeping tabs on the Ravens as they visit the Rams. If you stop by Hooters, not only will there be Hooters girls, but you can take advantage of some of their brand new menu additions, including “The Southwestern.”

The WNST.net staff got a taste of this beauty last week. It’s glorious. Everyone who attends Thursday night will be registered to win tickets to see Nick Offerman (Ron Swanson from NBC’s “Parks and Recreation”, who made a hilarious appearance on “The Reality Check” last week that’s worth listening to if you missed it) Sept. 4 or Kenny Loggins Sept. 15 at The Modell Performing Arts Center at The Lyric. Glenn will be giving away tickets on site, so anyone who stops by between 7pm and 8pm will be registered. There will be other great giveaways as well, and rumor has it there are girls at Hooters. Just a rumor.

FRIDAY NIGHT:

As the Grand Prix of Baltimore gets underway downtown (we encourage you to get your tickets now!), WNST has two incredible events lined up. First, we’ll kick off our 2013 Ravens player show series with Super Bowl XLVII champion left tackle Bryant McKinnie at Adams Jeep in Aberdeen. The show gets underway at 7pm. We’ve had a ton of fun with the man known as “Mt. McKinnie” over the years. Sometimes he even gets into song.

If you want pictures and autographs with Bryant Friday night, make sure you go right now to get your ticket. The autograph ticket will cost you just a $15 donation to Living Classrooms Foundation. (ALL proceeds go to the Living Classrooms Foundation.) Get your tickets now, there are a ton of rowdy Ravens fans in Harford County that will be out in full force.

Later Friday night, Glenn Clark and Nestor Aparicio will wander down Route 40 to Exscape Nightclub for a huge orange celebration. Between 8:30 and 10:30, we’ll be rooting on the Birds as they battle the Yankees with a FREE taco bar and $5 Orange Crush Machados. As if that wasn’t enough, every single person who stops by to see us between 8:30 and 10:30 will walk away with a very awesome “Crush Davis” t-shirt courtesy of The Zone Superstore. See a look at the back of the shirt below. Another rumor? There are also girls at Exscape Night Club.

SATURDAY:

Our tradition of taking Baltimore Orioles fans on the road continues, as our Orange Roadtrip to The Bronx to see the Birds battle the Yanks departs White Marsh at 7am. It’s a tremendous chance for you to root on the O’s in an ALDS rematch against a team they’re fighting with again this year for a postseason spot. The trip is just $119 per person and includes the ride up and back, ticket, beer/soda/breakfast/snacks. With an afternoon start, the bus should return at a very reasonable time.

Here’s trip down memory lane to our first ever trip to the new Yankee Stadium…

Keep all of this in mind as you prepare for your Labor Day weekend. It’s going to be a ton of fun throughout Charm City (and beyond) for the WNST crew. Look forward to seeing you around!

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Your Monday Reality Check-What a gutless bunch in Beantown Sunday night

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Your Monday Reality Check-What a gutless bunch in Beantown Sunday night

Posted on 19 August 2013 by Glenn Clark

My love for Leonardo DiCaprio and a set of trailers that were incredibly artistic lead me to choose to see Baz Luhrmann’s take on “The Great Gatsby” earlier this summer.

As I should have realized considering what he did to “Romeo & Juliet” that he was destined to make the special effects in the movie more interesting than the story itself. It wasn’t worth the 10 bucks. It’s probably not even worth a dollar in the Redbox machine. If for some reason you’re not familiar with the story, go get F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book from the library (there are still libraries, right?) instead.

The only saving grace of going to see the flick was the reminder of one of my favorite lines in all of literature. The line is better if you read it through a monocle while sipping a spot of tea.

“‘They’re a rotten lot,’ I shouted, across the lawn. ‘You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.’”

The line was shouted by Nick Carraway to the title character, Jay Gatsby. It came after an ugly scene involving the other characters in the story, all of whom were terribly flawed in many ways.

I was reminded of the famous line upon learning what had happened between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees Sunday night (and to a much lesser degree knowing what has gone on between the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals recently). The entire group in Beantown was an absolutely rotten lot.

Actually, that’s not fair enough. The entire group in Beantown was a cowardly lot. A gutless lot.

You’re almost certainly familiar with what happened at Fenway Park Sunday night, as Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez was plunked by Ryan Dempster in his first at-bat. Dempster made it evident that he intended to hit A-Rod, throwing behind him on the first pitch and hitting him on a 3-0 count after throwing two more pitches inside.

Inexplicably, home plate umpire Brian O’Nora allowed Dempster to stay in the game (and ultimately ejected Yankees manager Joe Girardi for arguing that decision). Boston fans suddenly forgot that intentionally hitting another human being with a baseball is a disgusting act that should be considered criminal and gave Dempster a standing ovation. Rodriguez would later hit a home run off Dempster, forcing those of us with brains in this country to feel the need to take a shower after actually feeling good for the man facing a 211 game suspension for (allegedly) being a lying, fraudulent performance enhancing drug user.

They’re a gutless, cowardly, rotten lot.

For what it’s worth, Rodriguez isn’t absolved of being described with similar adjectives. If guilty of the crimes accused by Major League Baseball, the man whose numbers would otherwise be Hall of Fame worthy deserves to be described the exact same way Nick Carraway described Tom & Daisy Buchanan and company.

But it provides absolutely no excuse for the actions of Dempster, O’Nora, the Red Sox fans and anyone else involved with the activities at Fenway Park Sunday night. Rodriguez’s punishment will be determined in arbitration, a right the MLBPA (which represents Dempster among others) fought for in Collective Bargaining. Dempster himself is the worst perpetrator, and the term “chicken sh*t” is perhaps even more fitting than gutless, cowardly or rotten.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Machado’s key play allows Orioles to turn tables on Yankees

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Machado’s key play allows Orioles to turn tables on Yankees

Posted on 29 June 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

BALTIMORE — Manny Machado knew he was taking a major chance.

Tagging up from second base with two outs and the Orioles trailing the New York Yankees by a run in the bottom of the sixth inning Friday night seemed hardly worth the risk to only move up 90 feet with your cleanup hitter coming to the plate.

Conventional baseball wisdom screams that you never make the final out at third base, but sometimes you need to push the envelope against an ace like CC Sabathia, who hadn’t allowed a hit through the first five innings. Manager Buck Showalter said afterward that you can’t become “a prisoner to the book” in those rare moments as Machado followed his two-run double earlier in the inning with the aggressive decision to move up to third.

“It’s a do-or-die play. It’s something that Buck allows us to do — to play our game,” Machado said. “If you have a shot for it, go for it. I wanted to take the extra base.”

It was an eyebrow-raising decision that paid off as Yankees center fielder Brett Gardner made the catch flat-footed on J.J. Hardy’s fly ball to medium deep left-center and Machado slid into third ahead of the throw, moving 90 feet closer to home plate. Moments later, Adam Jones sent a dribbler down the first-base line for an infield single, allowing Machado to cross the plate with the tying run.

The 20-year-old wouldn’t have scored on the play had he not made the bold baserunning decision.

The good fortune was a case of preparation meeting opportunity as the Orioles tied the game and ultimately completed a 4-3 comeback win to open a three-game set and move a game ahead of the Yankees in the loss column for second place in the American League East.

Machado’s play was reminiscent of the countless times the Yankees would take advantage of a moment of weakness, with shortstop Derek Jeter headlining the list of players to do it against the Orioles time after time. Like clockwork, the underdog Orioles would work to build an early lead in many games prior to last year, only to see the Yankees chip away and ultimately surge ahead in the late innings for a demoralizing loss.

Of course, the Orioles have no reason to be intimidated by the Yankees these days as the division rivals are tied 15-15 since the start of the 2012 season, including the five games played in the American League Division Series last October. Friday night was the latest example of Baltimore turning the tables against an injury-plagued Yankees club.

“I tell guys all the time, if you feel something, you’ve got a good feel, go for it,” said Showalter about Machado’s tag-up. “I have the other part of it after it’s over, but I’m going to be upset if you feel something and don’t go for it. That’s the type of intelligent recklessness you have to have.”

Nate McLouth delivered the big blow an inning later as he homered over the right-field scoreboard to give the Orioles the lead for the first time all night. The game-winning homer brought back memories of last year’s ALDS Game 5 when he hit a potential game-tying drive off Sabathia in the sixth inning that was ruled foul despite the Orioles’ claims that it nicked the right-field foul pole at Yankee Stadium.

The left fielder wasn’t interested in revisiting that call but was asked whether he thought back to that moment last October as he was rounding first base.

“I wasn’t out of batter’s box before I thought that,” McLouth said. “Off the bat, I knew it had the distance. It stayed true, it stayed straight, and I was happy about that.”

The Orioles were also happy with the relief work of rookie Kevin Gausman, who followed T.J. McFarland’s rough start with 4 1/3 shutout innings to keep the early deficit at 3-0 and make the eventual comeback possible. The 22-year-old earned his first major league victory in the process.

Tommy Hunter followed Gausman’s effort with two dominating innings to earn his second career save as closer Jim Johnson received a second night off after working three consecutive games earlier in the week.

It wasn’t a dominating performance by any means, but the Orioles were just a little bit better — possibly as little as 90 extra feet in the case of Machado’s sixth-inning decision.

An early deficit, a critical play or two to orchestrate a comeback, and rock-solid bullpen work to seal the victory. The Yankees painfully showed them that sequence for so many years, reminding that it’s often the little things that lead to big wins.

But the Orioles quickly reminded everyone that even a victory over Sabathia is only as significant as the next day.

“It’s big to win against their No. 1 in the first game of the series,” Machado said, “but it’s a new game tomorrow.”

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