Game 162 meant potentially everything to the Orioles and nothing to the Yankees.
With Yankees nemesis Kevin Gausman throwing for Baltimore, Sunday afternoon went about as expected. The Yankees were unable to get much of anything going and fell to the Orioles, 5-2, in front of 33,277 at the Stadium.
After going 87-75 last season and losing in the American League wild-card game, the Yankees finished this year at 84-78. The Orioles (89-73) clinched a wild-card spot and will play at Toronto Tuesday night.
“It’s hard,” Joe Girardi said. “You work so hard to try to get to the playoffs and make a run at a championship. When you don’t, it’s a hard pill to swallow.”
Gausman, who was charged with two runs in 7 1⁄3 innings, wound up 3-1 with a 1.10 ERA and 0.95 WHIP in six starts against the Yankees this season. Zach Britton allowed an inherited runner to score on Didi Gregorius’ two-out single in the eighth, which made it 5-2.
Matt Wieters hit a pair of two-run home runs for the Orioles, one from each side of the plate.
The retiring Mark Teixeira, in his final game, went 0-for-3 and was replaced with one out in the top of the seventh by rookie Tyler Austin, who will compete with Greg Bird for the first-base job in spring training. Teixeira received a standing ovation as he left the field.
Rookie righthander Luis Cessa, expected to compete for a rotation spot next March, allowed four runs and five hits in 5 2⁄3 innings.
The Yankees moved within 3-1 when Brian McCann led off the bottom of the fourth with a home run, making it nine straight years in which he reached the 20-homer plateau. “Personally, I wasn’t happy with the year I had,” said McCann, who hit .242 with a .335 on-base percentage and 58 RBIs.
He lost his job to rookie Gary Sanchez in early August and is a candidate to be traded this offseason.
“I hope I’m back,” McCann said. “I love it here, I love everything about it. A bright future, and I hope I’m a part of it.”
Cessa struck out three in two perfect innings before the Orioles took the lead in the third. Jonathan Schoop led off with a double to right, went to third on a groundout by Hyun Soo Kim and scored on J.J. Hardy’s sacrifice fly to left.
Wieters hit a two-out, two-run homer to right off Cessa in the fourth and a two-out, two-run homer to left off Tommy Layne in the sixth to make it 5-1.