BALTIMORE (AP) — Chris Tillman took a three-hitter into the eighth inning and the Baltimore Orioles beat the New York Yankees 4-2 on Monday night in a game that featured an on-field confrontation between the teams’ managers.
With the victory, the Orioles moved within 1 1-2 games of idle Tampa Bay for the second AL wild card. The Yankees fell three games behind Tampa Bay.
Tillman (16-5) allowed two runs and four hits in seven-plus innings. He walked none and struck out nine, matching his career high.
Both dugouts emptied briefly after the first inning, when Orioles manager Buck Showalter angrily exchanged words with Joe Girardi after the Yankees manager apparently said something to Baltimore third base coach Bobby Dickerson. Showalter had to be restrained by home plate umpire Ed Hickox.
Alex Rodriguez and Lyle Overbay hit home runs for the Yankees. Rodriguez’s first-inning blast to right-center was the 652nd of his career, leaving him eight short of tying Willie Mays for fourth place all-time.
CC Sabathia (13-12), who came into the game with an 18-5 career record against the Orioles, yielded four runs — three earned — and seven hits over 7 1-3 innings. He walked two and struck out six.
Tommy Hunter relieved Tillman and struck out the side in the eighth. Jim Johnson got the last three outs for his AL-leading 43rd save.
The Orioles were 2 for 29 with runners in scoring position in their last two games, and their percentage improved in the opener of the critical four-game series, as they went 2 for 8 in such situations.
The Orioles tied it 1-1 in the bottom of the first when Nick Markakis led off with a ground-rule double to center, went to third on Manny Machado’s sacrifice and scored on Adam Jones’ sacrifice fly.
Between the first and second innings, a red-faced Showalter bolted from the first-base dugout, gesturing angrily and shouting at Girardi before being held at bay by Hickox. Girardi followed from the third-base dugout in calmer fashion as players from both teams spilled onto the field.
Once order was restored, television cameras showed Showalter shaking his head and glaring at Girardi from the Orioles dugout.
Baltimore went up 2-1 in the fifth when J.J. Hardy doubled into the left-field corner and advanced to third by beating the relay from first base on Michael Morse’s third-to-first groundout. Matt Wieters’ sacrifice fly scored Hardy.
Alexi Casilla followed with a single past Rodriguez at third, stole second and came home on Markakis’ single.
In the seventh, the Orioles added an insurance run when Machado’s 49th double, a two-out poke off the scoreboard in right, scored Wieters from third.
Overbay’s homer leading off the eighth chased Tillman.
NOTES: Yankees SS Derek Jeter, sidelined with a sore left ankle, took Monday off from baseball activities and will be re-evaluated Tuesday, said Girardi. … Rodriguez batted second, his first time in that position in the batting order since Aug. 26, 2006. … The Yankees reinstated OF Zoilo Almonte (sprained left ankle) from the 15-day DL. He missed 45 games. … Showalter said it’s unclear whether Markakis will miss a game as he and wife Christina prepare for the birth of their third child. “The plans are to induce labor on Wednesday if things don’t happen,” Showalter said. “Nicky’s talking about if everything goes well doing it real early in the morning so that he’ll be there for the game if everything goes well. That’s the way he’s got it set up. We’ll see.”… The Orioles sent IF Alex Liddi outright to Triple-A Norfolk after he cleared waivers. Liddi was designated for assignment Sept. 6.