Is there still a reason to platoon Danny Valencia?
Valencia's three-run homer off Yankees set-up man David Robertson in the eighth inning tied the game 5-5, but Jim Johnson allowed the go-ahead run in the ninth on a wild pitch.
The Rays have won. The Indians are beating the White Sox 14-2. The Orioles are in danger of slipping further back in the wild card race.
Losing three straight to the Yankees would be crushing.
Valencia had four hits last night, the last coming against Robertson. Orioles manager Buck Showalter mentioned earlier today how Robertson has backward splits, which is why Valencia faced him.
Right-handed hitters were batting .248 versus Robertson before tonight, compared to .162 by left-handers.
Valencia, who began tonight's game on the bench, was 6-for-32 against right-handers before facing Robertson again. He sent a ball 412 feet into the Orioles' bullpen and pumped his fast as he rounded first base.
So does he only play against left-handers and Robertson?
Valencia has 23 hits in his last 42 at-bats. Let's see if he starts Friday night against Toronto right-hander Todd Redmond.
As for Johnson, he allowed a leadoff single to light-hitting Brendan Ryan, then fielded Chris Stewart's bunt and sailed a throw into center field for an error. The runners moved up on Curtis Granderson's bunt, and Johnson bounced a pitch past catcher Matt Wieters to score Ryan.
Alfonso Soriano bounced into a 6-4-3 double play after an intentional walk to Alex Rodriguez, but the unearned run looms large.
Here comes Mariano Rivera. He has a bronzed broken bat as a retirement gift. Can the Orioles also hand him a blown save?
Update: Game over. Orioles lose 6-5.
The official scorer credited Mariano Rivera with the win after the future Hall of Famer retired the side in order, citing how Robertson was "brief and ineffective."
Insert joke here.
The Orioles lose the last three games of the series and are 16-27 in one-run game.