BALTIMORE - Didn't think a critical, come-from-behind victory to keep the Yankees in the wild-card chase would come without a price, did you?
The Yankees rallied from a three-run deficit Tuesday night, closing within one before erupting for four runs in the eighth inning to post a 7-5 victory over the Orioles at Camden Yards. But par for the course, three more players went down in this Yankees season that began with a slew of injuries.
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"I always believe these guys are going to fight back, I think that's the belief that you have to have,'' Joe Girardi said. "I've seen them do it. And with the punch that we have now, you feel you can come back now.''
Alex Rodriguez, 2-for-4 with an RBI, left the game in the bottom of the eighth after scoring on Robinson Cano's single in the top half. He had tweaked his left hamstring.
"I just felt it a little bit rounding third,'' Rodriguez said. "They iced it. It feels pretty good.''
Girardi said if A-Rod is able to play Wednesday night, he likely will be the designated hitter.
A-Rod's injury wasn't the only one Girardi had to discuss after the game.
He said Ivan Nova's right triceps tightened up -- something the pitcher said he's been dealing with for a while -- causing his exit after six innings. Neither Nova nor Girardi thinks he will miss a start.
Finally, backup catcher Austin Romine was headed for the hospital for tests after suffering a concussion when he was hit by a foul tip and had to leave the game in the eighth.
"That was a big win for us today,'' Rodriguez said.
The Yankees (77-68) moved within two games of the Rays -- who lost to the Red Sox -- for the second wild-card spot. They hit three home runs, two by Alfonso Soriano, the spark for the offense's resurgence since he joined the club July 26.
The Yankees are a half-game behind the Orioles (77-67) and Indians, who also lost, and a game ahead of the Royals.
Girardi again showed he's going to manage every game as if it's already the postseason, going to 43-year-old Mariano Rivera for the third time in a week to record an inning-plus save. Rivera responded with 11/3 scoreless innings for his 42nd save.
"Right now, that's what I have to do,'' Rivera said of the additional workload. "We need as many wins as we can get.''
The Yankees got homers from Soriano and former Oriole Mark Reynolds in the sixth to make it 4-3. Reynolds added an RBI double in the four-run eighth as the Yankees took a 7-4 lead.
A-Rod had perhaps the most eventful night of all. The 38-year-old had an RBI double in the third and started the eighth-inning rally with another double. But after running as if on soft beach sand in scoring from second on Cano's single, A-Rod left with the hamstring injury.
"If I don't score there,'' he said, "Robbie doesn't talk to me for a week.''
Catcher Chris Stewart seemed to lead that line in the fifth, appearing to show up the third baseman.
Nova (four runs, six hits) had allowed two hits and led 1-0 heading into the bottom of the fifth, which started with back-to-back singles by J.J. Hardy and Brian Roberts. The Orioles tied it, and with a runner on third, Nick Markakis sent a fly ball to medium left.
Roberts tagged and Soriano delivered a throw that appeared as if it might make the play at the plate close. But A-Rod cut off the throw, slightly up the line, and an exasperated Stewart put his hands up to express as much, staring at Rodriguez, whose back was turned. Soriano also appeared to gesture in irritation.
Chris Davis' two-run homer, which gave him 49, later in the inning made it 4-1.
"I thought we had enough time for me to grab the ball and put a play on,'' Stewart said, "but he thought otherwise. It's good it ended up working out OK. That's all we care about. We got the win.''