Danny Valencia provided some Orioles Magic with a two out three run home run in the bottom of the eighth to tie the game, but Jim Johnson gave up the go ahead run in the top of the ninth as the Baltimore Orioles dropped their third straight to the New York Yankees 6-5.
Camden Yards was rocking with electricity following the Valencia game tying home run, but seemed to deflate a little bit when Johnson was brought in and they went completely flat once the top of the ninth was over.
Johnson began the inning by giving up a leadoff single to the light hitting Brenden Ryan, and then Yankees catcher Chris Stewart laid down a terrible sacrifice bunt and when Johnson fielded it, he had an easy opportunity to get the lead runner at second, but he threw the ball into centerfield to put runners on first and second and no outs. Curtis Granderson followed with a sac bunt of his own to put runners on second and third with one out and Alex Rodriguez coming up.
Since A-Rod had only driven in one of the six runners on third base with less than two outs he has had this season, Orioles Manager Buck Showalter decided to pitch to him with his infield in, but Johnson proceeded to throw a wild pitch that Matt Wieters had essentially zero chance of blocking to allow the go ahead run to score. Thus the ninth inning showcased a leadoff single, a throwing error by Johnson and a wild pitch by Johnson and it all added up to his eighth loss of the season.
Starting pitcher Wei-Yin Chen (7-7) struggled early as he allowed a two run home run to Mark Reynolds and a two run single to Vernon Wells to put the Birds in an early 4-0 hole, but then retired 13 straight Yankees. Unfortunately the 14thbatter in that sequence, Granderson, hit a solo homer in the seventh to end Chen’s night. Chen finished the night throwing 6 1/3 innings, while allowing five runs on seven hits, two walks and nine strikeouts.
Manny Machado got the Orioles on the scoreboard in the fourth inning with a RBI single, and led off the bottom of the eighth inning with what looked to be a solo home run off the bat, but Alfonso Soriano leaped and robbed Machado of the homer to keep the score at 5-2.
Baltimore now hits the road for a HUGE ten game road trip that begins tonight with three game set in Toronto with the Blue Jays. Jason Hammel (7-8) will make his return as a starter against Toronto's Todd Redmond (3-2). The Orioles are at the point where they almost need to sweep the Blue Jays if they want to keep their playoff hopes alive.
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