Norris, Orioles eliminate Yankees from postseason
NEW YORK (AP) — Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter is happy to be in the Bronx, even with the all the distractions of Derek Jeter’s final game at Yankee Stadium.
Nelson Cruz had two of his four hits in a six-run fourth inning and the Orioles eliminated the Yankees from postseason contention with a 9-5 victory Wednesday in Jeter’s next-to-last home game.
“Not everywhere you play in the postseason is going to be a friendly environment, so it is good to have that kind of emotion going on before you get there,” Showalter said of the boisterous, sold-out crowds this week.
Jeter went 0 for 4, ending a seven-game hitting streak and dropping his average to .253.
Baltimore, headed to the playoffs for the second time in three seasons, remained three games behind the Los Angeles Angels for the best record in the league.
“We’ve got an outside shot of catching Anaheim,” Showalter said. “But you don’t ever take some satisfaction out of” eliminating a team.
The Orioles followed their 17-hit night Tuesday with nine more hits to support Bud Norris (15-8).
Trailing three runs early, Baltimore broke out for six in the fourth, sending 11 batters to the plate. Cruz started it off with a single against Shane Greene (5-4) and got the team’s last hit of the inning.
Ryan Flaherty had a two-run double, David Lough an RBI triple, Nick Markakis singled in a run and slugger Adam Jones added a safety squeeze with the third baseman playing deep.
“It’s great to play in this environment,” Flaherty said, “especially headed to the postseason, where the weather is cold and the wind blows in like it did today.”
Norris gave up a run in each of the first three innings despite getting seven of his first nine outs by strikeout. He allowed a leadoff homer in the second to Stephen Drew then fanned five straight, a string stopped in the third inning with Chase Headley’s long ball.
Norris improved to 9-1 against the division in 14 starts. He allowed three runs and five hits in six innings and struck out nine.
“I heard a lot about the AL East being the division, and it’s true,” Norris said. “Playing against these teams really elevates your game.”
The Yankees missed the playoffs in consecutive years for the first time since 1992 and ’93. The only other time New York missed the playoffs during in the retiring captain’s 20-season big league career was in 2008.
“It’s disappointing. It’s frustrating,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “This is not where you want to be at this time of year.”
Jeter was given an extended ovation after he tapped out to first base in the eighth but he remained seated in the dugout and did not come out for the curtain call. The game ended when Brett Gardner struck out looking with Jeter on deck.
Orioles: Showalter said he exchanged texts with suspended 1B Chris Davis. Serving a 25-game ban following a positive test for an amphetamine, Davis reported to the Orioles complex in Sarasota, Florida, and will play in instructional games. Davis could return late in the postseason.
Yankees: Girardi said Carlos Beltran (elbow) will not play the rest of the season. He will monitor Jacoby Ellsbury (hamstring) but it seems unlikely he will play in Boston.
Baltimore’s RHP Kevin Gausman (7-7) and New York’s RHP Hiroki Kuroda (11-9) are scheduled starters in the series finale.
Jones went 2 for 5, his eighth mulithit game against New York this season.
Stars were out to say goodbye to Jeter, though. Former teammates Tino Martinez, Gerald Williams and Cecil Fielder were on hand as was Mo Vaughn, the 1995 AL MVP with Boston. Willie Randolph, a former Yankees co-captain and coach, caught a foul ball behind home plate.