BALTIMORE — Out of nowhere, Chris Young is delivering on a daily basis for the New York Yankees.
Young doubled and stole home in his latest surprising September performance and the Yankees beat AL East-leading Baltimore 3-2, ending the Orioles’ longest winning streak of the season at six.
“He’s been really, really good,” Yankees Manager Joe Girardi said. “He’s swinging the bat well and that’s why he is in there.”
The Yankees won after being swept in a doubleheader Sept. 12. New York stayed on the fringe of the wild-card race while Baltimore’s magic number for clinching the division remained at five.
“It’s a nice bounce-back win,” Girardi said.
Cut by the New York Mets in mid-August after batting .205, Young has produced in a big way for the Yankees. He’s hitting .400 with seven extra-base hits for his new team.
Coincidentally, Young’s picture was on some preprinted tickets the night of Sept. 13 for the Mets’ home game against Washington at Citi Field.
Young doubled during a three-run second off Miguel Gonzalez (9-8). Speedy Antoan Richardson followed with an RBI single and then took off for second, beating the throw by Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph while Young scampered home without a return toss.
“If I put the ball in tagging area he’s out and we’re not talking about it,” Joseph said. “I just didn’t execute. I threw it up the line a little bit. If I put it on the money, he’s out. I didn’t do my job and it cost us a run.”
Shane Greene (5-3) improved to 4-0 in seven road starts this season, including a victory at Camden Yards in July. He allowed two runs and seven hits, striking out nine in 5 1-3 innings.
“I was just trying to make one pitch at a time,” Greene said. “I felt like early my slider was good and I could throw it for a strike a little bit more. It’s good to come away with a win, for sure.”
Orioles Manager Buck Showalter was impressed the way Greene handled his powerful lineup that leads the league in homers.
“He’s good. He was their minor league pitcher of the year,” he said. “You can see why they’re so high on him. A lot of cutters, a lot of command, a lot of different looks. You can tell he’s pitching with a lot of confidence.”
David Robertson earned his 36th save, retiring Nick Markakis on a grounder for the final out with a runner on third.
Brian McCann stopped an 0-for-12 skid with his 19th homer, a solo shot in the second. Gonzalez lost despite giving up just three hits in six innings.
“The stretch we’ve had the last three games, we haven’t really swung the bat well,” McCann said. “It was nice to get on the board. We just needed a win. At this point in the season, every win is a big win.”
Steve Pearce had two hits, including his 17th home run, for the Orioles. Adam Jones, Jimmy Paredes and Markakis also had two hits each.
Nelson Cruz hit an RBI single in the Baltimore third. Pearce homered in the sixth.