It happened again.
Closer Jim Johnson blew his third consecutive save opportunity, serving up a solo home run to Travis Hafner with one out in the top of the ninth to tie the game 4-4.
Robinson Cano grounded out with the count full, but Hafner drove a 3-1 pitch into the seats in left-center field.
Johnson shouted at himself as the ball cleared the fence, his head snapping down. And the Yankees fans in attendance erupted.
Hafner is now 2-for-4 against Johnson.
Lyle Overbay followed with a single, but Curtis Granderson struck out and David Adams grounded to second while Pedro Strop warmed in the Orioles’ bullpen.
Johnson has surrendered eight runs and nine hits in 2 1/3 innings in his last three appearances.
Update: Pedro Strop replaced Johnson in the 10th and gave up back-to-back doubles to Ichiro Suzuki and Vernon Wells to give New York a 5-4 lead.
Strop had allowed one earned run in his last 11 1/3 innings over 13 games before tonight.
The Yankees put runners on the corners with two outs - Strop walked Cano intentionally - and Hafner singled off Brian Matusz to increase the Yankees’ lead to 6-4.
Matusz had stranded 16-of-17 inherited runners this season and 30-of-32 since moving to the bullpen last summer.
Mariano Rivera will try to close it out for the Yankees and extend the Orioles’ losing streak to six games, all the defeats coming at Camden Yards.
Update II: Mariano Rivera retired the Orioles in order, striking out Chris Dickerson to complete the Yankees’ 6-4 victory.
Rivera has 41 saves at Camden Yards, his most at any visiting ballpark and the most by any visiting player any any ballpark, according to Elias. He’s 75-for-83 in save chances against the Orioles, his most saves and chances vs. any opponent.
The Orioles are two games above .500 at 23-21, the fewest since April 21.