BALTIMORE -- It didn't matter that the Orioles had allowed six runs during one of the ugliest innings of the season. Nor did it matter that it was nearly 1 a.m.
Third baseman Manny Machado was going to take charge -- as he so often has during the second half of the season -- turning a defeat into a dramatic victory.
Machado's two-run home run in the ninth inning gave the Orioles an exciting 7-6 win against the New York Yankees before 14,377 at Oriole Park Sept. 5.
By the time Machado hit his second home run of the game, and his 32nd of the season, it was 12:53 a.m., and fans had sat through a two-hour and 14-minute rain delay at the start of the game.
After the six-run third, the Orioles trailed 6-1, but home runs from Machado, second baseman Jonathan Schoop and designated hitter Mark Trumbo got them to within 6-5.
For the third consecutive game, the Orioles got a short start from their starting pitcher, as right-hander Jeremy Hellickson was pulled after 2.1 innings.
Hellickson's third inning featured two hits, two walks and a hit batsman. He left with the Orioles trailing, 2-1, and the bases loaded. When center fielder Adam Jones muffed Yankees first baseman Greg Bird's fly ball, the Orioles were behind, 3-1, and the error eventually allowed three more runs to score.
"We've just got to fight through it, stay with it, not worry about what happened that inning, go ahead and come back to the plate, and chip away, little by little," Machado said. "You can't win a game with one at-bat with nobody on."
Once Hellickson left the game in the third, the bullpen took over. After left-hander Richard Bleier allowed an unearned run, right-handers Jimmy Yacabonis, Ubaldo Jimenez, Darren O'Day, Brad Brach and left-hander Zach Britton combined to hold the Yankees down.
"You know you have a chance to make a run at them," manager Buck Showalter said. "But the key is keep putting up zeros out there."
Shortstop Tim Beckham walked with two outs in the ninth against Yankees right-hander Dellin Betances. Then Machado followed with his third game-ending home run since Aug. 18.
"See ball, hit ball. Keep it simple," Machado said. "Keep it very simple, and try to get a pitch you can hit."
The win puts the Orioles at 71-68 on the season and 3.5 games behind the wild-card leading Yankees.
"This is a huge game for us," Trumbo said. "This is the time of the year, if you're going to make a push, we need to do it now. It was a picture-perfect inning. You couldn't ask for anything more. The fact that we stayed close in the game and kind of built up a little momentum is pretty cool, too."
The win was Showalter's 1,500th as Orioles manager.
"It's special because … you've got to beat those guys," Showalter said. "I was thinking about it coming up the runway, how many people are home watching that game? First time after Labor Day and people are back at work. [There] will be some late arrivals at work tomorrow. We're fortunate to be able to sleep in today."
NOTES: The Orioles have decided to wait on SS J.J. Hardy's activation. … Total rain delays at home have been 15 hours, 20 minutes. … RHPs Kevin Gausman (10-9, 4.79) and Sonny Gray (8-9, 3.36) are the scheduled pitchers for Sept. 6. … 1B Chris Davis is the Orioles' nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award for his off-field community involvement. … Trumbo's home run was the 200th of his career. … Hellickson's start was his shortest since Sept. 14, 2015 when he worked just one inning.