NEW YORK (AP) – The New York Yankees’ season-long dominance of the Baltimore Orioles ended with Gary Sanchez and Gleyber Torres being linked to Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth.
And while Sanchez was modest in his thoughts about the achievement, other Yankees did not hesitate to express their amazement.
Sanchez’s three-run homer gave him 10 against Baltimore and New York beat the Orioles for the 16th straight time this season, winning 6-5 Wednesday in their final meeting this year.
“The funny thing about that is that we’re not thinking about records or anything like that,” Sanchez said through a translator. “We’re trying to go out there to have good at-bats.”
The Yankees hit 61 homers off Orioles pitching this season and outscored them 151-83. Sanchez and Torres (13 homers) joined Gehrig and Ruth as the second set of Yankees to hit double-digit homers against an opponent in the same season – Gehrig and Ruth each hit 11 against the Boston Red Sox in 1927 when teams played each other 22 times apiece.
“A couple of great young players that not only have done a lot in this game but the future’s very bright and they’re going to a lot of special things like that,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “It just so happens they’ve had really good results against the Orioles this year.”
The Yankees went 17-2 against the O’s, their most wins versus any opponent in a season since going 17-5 over the Kansas City Athletics in 1959. New York’s winning streak is its longest against anyone in a season since a 21-game string over the St. Louis Browns in 1927.
Sanchez’s homer capped a four-run burst in the first inning. He sent a 2-0 changeup from Dylan Bundy (5-13) over the center field fence on top of the netting above Monument Park with two outs to give New York a 4-1 lead.
“It’s wild to kind of put that in perspective that way with those names,” Yankees starter J.A. Happ said. “I think it just shows you how locked in they can be.”
New York, which began the day tied with the Dodgers for the best record in the majors, improved to 81-41 and moved 40 games over .500 for the first time since 2009. Baltimore dropped to 39-82 and became the first big league team eliminated from division title contention.
Didi Gregorius hit an RBI single in the first and Mike Ford hit a two-run single in the sixth as the Yankees won their fifth straight.
Renato Nunez had five hits, including a two-run double in the seventh off Adam Ottavino, for Baltimore. Jonathan Villar drove in two runs for the last-place Orioles.
“I love the way we came back again,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “Yeah, we’re a little short at times, but yeah, it’s not a good feeling walking out of here having losing that many.”
Happ (10-7) allowed two runs and six hits in five innings. He struck out six, walked two and did not allow a homer for the first time in six starts.
Bundy allowed six runs and five hits in 5 2/3 innings. He retired 16 of 17 hitters before consecutive hits by Sanchez and Torres finished him.
Ottavino struck out pinch-hitter Chance Sisco to end the seventh and Zack Britton pitched a scoreless eighth. Aroldis Chapman converted his 33rd save in 38 chances.
The Orioles lost for the ninth time in 10 games and allowed their 250th homer, extending the American League record. Baltimore is eight away from matching the big league record set by the Cincinnati Reds in 2016.
“We don’t have to play them anymore, so I guess that’s a good thing,” Bundy said.
Both teams made moves to add relief pitchers to their 40-man rosters.
New York claimed RHP Ryan Dull off waivers from San Francisco and designated RHP Brady Lail for assignment.
Baltimore claimed RHP Ryan Eades off waivers and optioned him to Triple-A Norfolk. The Orioles designated RHP Jimmy Yacabonis for assignment.
Orioles: OF D.J. Stewart (concussion) was to begin a rehab assignment with Norfolk Wednesday and was expected to be activated Friday.
Yankees: LHP CC Sabathia (inflamed right knee) will come off the injured list and start Sunday against Cleveland. … 1B/DH Luke Voit (sports hernia) took grounders, hit in the cage and did some throwing. He could work out next week at the Yankees’ complex in Tampa, Florida, or Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes/Barre.
Orioles: RHP Aaron Brooks (2-6) opens a three-game series in Boston on Friday.
Yankees: New York will use an opener for the start of a four-game series Thursday against Cleveland.
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