Orioles’ bullpen still clutch, game still tied (O’s lose 7-2)

Left-hander Troy Patton replaced starter Jason Hammel with two outs in the sixth and a runner on first, gave up a single and retired Curtis Granderson on a fly ball to keep the game tied.


Darren O’Day only let six of 43 inherited runners score during the regular season. He inherited two in the seventh inning tonight and stranded them to keep the game tied.


Brian Matusz retired the first two batters in the eighth, walked Mark Teixeira and struck out Granderson on three pitches to keep the game tied.


Granderson was 6-for-18 with a double, four homers and eight RBIs against Matusz before tonight. He homered off the lefty back on Aug. 31. But Matusz blew him away, sending the Camden Yards crowd into another frenzy, and pumped his fast as he walked off the mound.

The Orioles may view Matusz as a starter down the road, but he’s morphed into a dominant lefty specialist this season.

We’re still tied heading to the top of the ninth. The Orioles wasted J.J. Hardy’s leadoff double in the eighth. Adam Jones struck out - he’s 0-for-4 and hasn’t hit a ball out of the infield - Matt Wieters fouled out and Mark Reynolds bounced to short.

Wieters made a sensational play in the seventh to assist O’Day, fielding Robert Andino’s throw in the dirt and applying the tag on Russell Martin to prevent the go-ahead run from scoring. Not many catchers come up with that ball. Andino was spared a critical error.

Here comes Jim Johnson to pitch the top of the ninth.

Tonight’s attendance: 47,841, the highest total in 2012.

Instant update: Russell Martin got ahead of Johnson, 2-0, leading off the ninth and crushed a 93 mph fastball for his second career postseason home run.

Martin is 3-for-6 lifetime against Johnson, who loaded the bases Friday night before recording the final out and sending the Orioles to the Division Series.

Johnson hadn’t allowed a run since Sept. 8 against the Yankees. Twenty-six of his last 27 appearances had been scoreless.

It got worse for Johnson tonight. Raul Ibanez and Derek Jeter singled and pinch-runner Eduardo Nunez scored on Ichiro Suzuki’s infield hit. Robinson Cano’s one-out double scored two more, and Johnson was done.

Update II: Johnson was charged with a fifth run on Nick Swisher’s sacrifice fly, and the Orioles lost Game 1, 7-2.

CC Sabathia came within an out of going the distance, throwing 120 pitches before David Robertson replaced him following Lew Ford’s double.

The Orioles went 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position and stranded seven. Adam Jones and Matt Wieters were a combined 0-for-8.

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