In front of a sellout crowd at Camden Yards the New York Yankees offense finally came to life rallying the club from a 6-1 deficit with five runs in the top of the eighth inning only to watch the Baltimore Orioles storm back with four runs of their own to win the game 10-6. The Yankees are once again tied with the Orioles for first place in the American League East.
The game got off to a poor start for David Phelps and the Yankees. A special tribute to Cal Ripken Jr. complete with the unveiling of a statue may have inspired the Orioles. After Baltimore starter Jason Hammel set the Yankees down in order in the first, the Orioles’ bats jumped all over Yankees hurler David Phelps.
Phelps gave up two one-out singles and then balked as he slipped during his delivery. He then allowed a RBI single to Adam Jones. But, that was just the beginning as Matt Wieters drilled a three-run homer to put the O’s up by four before anyone could break a sweat (besides Phelps).
The Yanks were able to scratch a run across on a leadoff single by Robinson Cano and then a two-out single from Curtis Granderson in the top of the fourth. But, Robert Andino helped the Orioles retake the four-run lead with a home run to right center field.
Phelps only lasted four innings allowing five earned runs as the shine may have left the young right-hander. He has not been nearly as effective as he was during his first rotation stint, since being re-inserted following CC Sabathia‘s and then Ivan Nova‘s trips to the disabled list.
Joba Chamberlain got two outs to close the fifth and looked impressive doing so, but then yielded a home run to newest Yankee killer, Mark Reynolds to open the bottom of the sixth. The Orioles first baseman continues to murder Yankees pitching. At that point it was his fifth home run in the last four games versus New York. Yes, he struck again later.
Before Reynolds busted out again, the Yankees were down 6-1 with two outs in top of the eighth and they finally got to Randy Wolf who took over for Hammel in the sixth. Alex Rodriguez ripped a run-scoring double off Wolf. Eric Chavez followed and worked a walk ending Wolf’s night.
Pedro Strop, who played a big part in allowing the Yankees to win the only game the Bombers took in the series between these teams last week at the Stadium, entered the game with much of the same result. Granderson greeted Strop with a RBI-single. Strop then walked Russell Martin to load the bases. Pinch-hitter Chris Dickerson walked to drive in a run and then Ichiro Suzuki ripped a two-run single by the second baseman Andino to tie the game.
The joy of the comeback was short-lived as David Robertson gave up a solo homer to Jones to start the bottom of the inning. Robertson was missing his spots badly as he gave up a single to Wieters. That was followed by a two-run blast by Reynolds as he continued to bludgeon the Yankees notching his third two-homer performance in the last four games against them. Robertson was lifted and Boone Logan served up another home run this one to Chris Davis. It was the sixth homer of the night for the Orioles. Finally, Joe Girardi found a reliever who could record an out as Derek Lowe finished off the inning, but the Orioles made the Yankee comeback moot.
Jim Johnson came in for a non-save opportunity and wrapped up a game the Yankees must have felt they had a chance to win after tying it in the eighth.
The Yankees (77-60) will have to somehow put the loss behind them and build on the offense’s rally. It will be up to Phil Hughes (13-12, 4.18 ERA) to figure out how to tame the Orioles’ bats tomorrow as he takes on Wei-Yin Chen (12-8, 3.79 ERA) with the winner taking over sole possession of first place.