Ivan Nova left today's start with a chance to win his ninth straight game and sixteenth of the season, but the Yankees bullpen could not hold the lead and Robert Andino's game tying and game winning hits lifted the Orioles to a victory.
The Yankees scored three runs in the third behind RBI singles from Eric Chavez and Derek Jeter, and later added a fourth run the next inning behind another RBI single from Chavez.
But after the fourth, the Yanks had just two baserunners the rest of the way - Curtis Granderson was hit by a pitch in the seventh and Alex Rodriguez walked in the tenth. That kind of offense will not win games. But, give credit where credit is due. The Orioles bullpen allowed only two Yankees to reach base and tallied eight strikeouts over six innings.
Nova didn't have his best stuff, as he allowed eight baserunners and three runs in 5 1/3 innings of work, but he gave the Yankees a chance to win the game.
He was removed for Boone Logan in the sixth, who immediately served up a double to Chris Davis and allowed an inherited runner to score, bring the score to 4-3.
Rafael Soriano entered in the eighth and allowed a single to Mark Reynolds, who advanced to second on a rare error from Brett Gardner. After a single from Chris Davis, Granderson saved the Yankee lead for the time being by throwing Reynolds out at the plate. Andino would knock in the tying run in the next at bat.
Scott Proctor entered and pitched a scoreless ninth, but gave up a single, a walk, and the game winner to Andino in three consecutive at bats to give the O's a walk off victory.
Play of the Game: Andino's game winner (31.8%).
Thoughts and observations after the jump.
- Where was Mariano Rivera today? I'm not sure why he would be unavailable, as he didn't pitch on Wednesday afternoon. If Rivera was available, I have to wonder why Proctor pitched the ninth and the tenth innings. I wouldn't be surprised, but I'd be disappointed if Girardi waited on using Rivera for a save situation.
- Watching Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano work a relay is a thing of beauty. They combined again today to get Nick Markakis at the plate. Credit Francisco Cervelli for holding onto the ball as Markakis ran him over.
- A-Rod hasn't looked too good at the plate since returning from the DL. It's an admittedly small sample size (7-for-33, .212), but he's still getting on base (8 walks in nine games).
- I know I mentioned it in the recap, but I was impressed with the Orioles bullpen. The ability to hold the Yankees scoreless and hitless over six innings says something about them, as do their eight strikeouts.
- With that said, the Yanks seemed like they were in a groove, which made the Orioles bullpen dominance that much more surprising. Prior to the bullpen taking over, the Yanks had 12 baserunners in four innings against starter Alfredo Simon.