First some Sports Writing 101: Games require running game stories, full articles sent to the newspaper immediately after the final out. They’re steadily evolving accounts of the game, and until the eighth, mine was basically an obituary. A loss tonight would have been, for all practical purposes, the end of the line.
Then came a double. And a single. And a two-run home run. A four-run eighth inning gave new life to the Yankees’ slim playoff hopes by sparking a 7-5 win against the Orioles. Down by one with six outs to go, Alex Rodriguez led off with the double, Robinson Cano singled in the tying run, and Alfonso Soriano put the Yankees in front with a two-run home run that was his second homer of the night. Back-to-back doubles by Curtis Granderson and Mark Reynolds added breathing room — giving the Yankees five huge hits in a row — and Mariano Rivera got a four-out save to finish off the win.
It looked bad for a while, the Yankees losing 4-3 because of a four-run fifth inning when the Yankees were — appropriately enough — not awful, but also not quite good enough. Ivan Nova allowed only one hard-hit ball that inning, and there was no truly routine play that the Yankees botched, but Eduardo Nunez wasn’t able to make a couple of tough but makeable plays, Rodriguez cut off a throw that seemed to have a chance of getting an out at the plate, and Nova eventually allowed a two-run home run to Chris Davis. That inning left things looking bleak, but the Yankees started to come back with two solo homers in the sixth before a huge eighth inning breathed a little bit of life into a season nearly left for dead.
Associated Press photo