For the second time in eight games, the Yankees beat Koji Uehara and the Orioles on a ninth inning homer.
A-Rod’s three-run shot off Koji on a 2-2 pitch gave the Yankees a 4-3 comeback win over the Orioles on a night when the O’s were a strike away from a win over the New Yorkers.
“I feel bad. The pitch before the home run, the fastball inside, I didn’t get that call. Little disappointed,” Koji said through his interpreter.
He was asked again if he felt that 1-2 pitch to A-Rod, the fastball inside, was a strike?
“That’s what I felt, yes.”
Was he a little down after not getting the strike and did it impact him on the next pitch?
“I wasn’t able to locate the ball on the next pitch. For the most part I was able to pitch inside effectively, but the last one was a little in the middle.
“It’s not that I’m going to die from it. Just start all over tomorrow.”
It appears that Koji is not throwing many split-finger fastballs in recent outings. He said he did consider throwing one on the 2-2 offering to Rodriguez.
“It went through my mind.”
Meanwhile, for just the seventh time in 29 starts, Kevin Millwood left a game with a lead. But he was denied his fourth win of the season on the late homer.
“Tough for us. Feel like we played a pretty solid game all the way around. Koji made some good pitches, but it just didn’t happen tonight. I think we all feel good when we have a lead in the ninth and Koji runs out there. We feel like he’ll get the job done,” Millwood said.
A-Rod hit a solo homer off Millwood in the second and produced his 57th career multi-homer game.
“Funny thing about the A-Rod home run. It was a little shocking we shot off fireworks for an opposing team’s home run. That wasn’t the best thing in the world.”
With the loss, the O’s missed a chance to beat New York for the fourth time in five games and improve to 12-2 in series opening games under Buck Showalter. The O’s are now 26-16 for Showalter and are 9-3 over the last 12 games.
With Showalter and Koji indicating they felt the 1-2 pitch to A-Rod could have been a called third strike, Millwood was asked if he saw that Uehara pitch?
“I was up here (in the clubhouse) and saw it. It was a good pitch, it was a ball. It was a good pitch and, you know, you can’t fault an umpire for calling a ball a ball.”