It took a while, but the Orioles made a long afternoon at Camden Yards worth the wait Sunday.
After a 97-minute rain delay, catcher Matt Wieters came off the bench as a pinch hitter to clear the bases with a two-out, bases loaded single in the eighth inning that gave the Orioles a 3-1 win over the New York Yankees.
The victory, their fifth of the season when trailing entering the seventh inning, pulled the Orioles back atop the American League East. They lead the Boston Red Sox by percentage points.
"Ever since I've been with the Orioles, that's kind of been our motto: Late in the game, if we are close, it's like we like to make it dramatic," starting pitcher Kevin Gausman said.
Sunday's drama came after hours of fallow baseball. Manager Buck Showalter said his team didn't square a ball up until that eighth inning.
The Orioles had runners on first and second with one out in that eighth when the storms rolled in, and Yankees manager Joe Girardi went to closer Aroldis Chapman when the game resumed. With two outs, catcher Francisco Pena collected his second hit of the game to load the bases, and then Weiters cleared them, with help from an errant throw by the Yankees.
New York scored its only run on a two-out single by designated hitter Alex Rodriguez in the third inning. Left-hander T.J. McFarland earned the win with two scoreless innings in relief of Kevin Gausman, and closer Zach Britton posted a clean ninth for his 17th save of the year.
Gausman goes six: A spiraling rotation was stabilized, at least for a day, by Gausman. The former first-round pick scattered seven hits over six innings and walked two with five strikeouts in six innings. He lowered his ERA to 3.52, second-best among Orioles starters behind Chris Tillman.
"A guy gave us six innings of one-run ball," Showalter said. "Take that every night."
Gausman's finest moment came when he struck out center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury with the bases loaded to end a threat in the fourth inning. He also helped his own cause with a smart play to erase Yankees speedster Brett Gardner at third base on a chopper back to the mound.
Wasted opportunities: The Orioles made Yankees starter CC Sabathia work a bit harder than last time he was here, but never made him pay for the early base runners he allowed. Their half of the third and fifth innings both ended with the bases loaded and designated hitter Mark Trumbo striking out on three pitches.
As a team, the Orioles left 10 men on base, and were 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position. Trumbo accounted for a significant portion of that.
Sloppy Sunday: Every member of the Orioles infield had a play they're sure to want back. Second baseman Jonathan Schoop dropped a lazy fly ball in the fourth inning, and shortstop Manny Machado had an error on the following play, his seventh of the season.
Third baseman Paul Janish couldn't scoop a slow dribbler near the mound in the sixth inning, and first baseman Chris Davis fell down trying to field a ground ball from Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius in the eighth.