Orioles manager Buck Showalter couldn't fault Matt Wieters' pickoff attempt on Robinson Cano at second base in the top of the 11th inning. Wieters had the right idea, but the wrong execution.
Cano was credited with a steal of third base after Wieters' made a wide throw, and the Yankees scored three times in a 6-3 victory over the Orioles that completed a sweep of this abbreviated series.
"It was a good heads-up play by him and (Robert) Andino," Showalter said. "Cano's kind of like getting a return from a mistake a little bit. I think he saw he was out there in no-man's land and did the only thing he could have done. The throw was just a little bit to Robert's left or he would have been out. It was a close play at third. I haven't looked at it. Tough to fault Matt or anybody there. Just an example where they made a poor baserunning play and got away with it."
The Orioles rallied against future Hall of Fame closer Mariano Rivera to tie the game in the ninth.
"I was real proud of everybody," Showalter said. "We kept battling for a spot there. It was tough making adjustments to their starter (Freddy Garcia). He's obviously different than (CC) Sabathia last night. Not a split but a forkball that was coming in knuckling. You could tell we had some tough swings off him. I think a lot of people forget how good Garcia was. He was really good.
"I was really proud of Jake (Arrieta) the way he battled and kept us in the ballgame, and we got some good innings out of the bullpen. I don't think 'sad' is the word. We got after them, competed. After last night, I was proud of the way everybody came out and got after it. We were a call away from winning that game. I think (Derek) Jeter had four hits today - a couple swinging bunts and a ground ball down the first base line. But we'll get some breaks go our way. Keep battling."
Adam Jones kept the score tied in the 10th by catching Alex Rodriguez's fly ball and throwing out Jeter, with Wieters blocking the plate and applying the tag.
"It was great," Showalter said. "The throw was about as good as the block of home plate. I don't think there's any way Matt was going to let him get through there. And those are the things I'm talking about and make me go home at night and feel good about the effort, and they'll get a good return on it if they keep playing like they are."
The Orioles had a chance to take the lead in the eighth, but Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner made a sensational running catch to rob Luke Scott and prevent two runs from scoring.
"He made a great play," Showalter said. "That's why you have a center fielder in left field, some of the things you're able to do. Center fielders make those plays. Great play. I wish he had been right-handed. He's left-handed and he's able to make that play. We've seen him make it before. It was a great play."
The Orioles are 0-4 against the Yankees this season, and playing some close games doesn't provide comfort to Showalter or his players.
"No, I think we're 0-4 against the Yankees, bottom line," he said. "Close isn't good enough for those guys in that clubhouse. They're frustrated right now because they know that there's a very fine line and we'll get some breaks to go our way."
The go-ahead run scored in the 11th on Russell Martin's infield hit and a throwing error by Andino, who made a diving stop and tried to start a double play.
"A couple feet on Martin's ball and we turn a double play and get out of it," Showalter said. "Robert did everything he could do."
Andino was thrown out at the plate to end the ninth on Brian Roberts' double. Adam Jones scored the tying run, but Cano's relay cut down Andino on an extremely close play.
Was Andino safe?
"I haven't looked at it yet," Showalter replied. "I hear conflicting whatever. If it's that close and nobody knows for sure... We had other opportunities. I'm not going to dwell on it. I think the guy behind the plate (Angel Campos) does a good job, all things considered for a young umpire."