Down to their final four outs, the Orioles offense came to life and one big swing was the key. But closer Jim Johnson allowed an unearned run in the top of the ninth as the Yankees beat the Orioles in a wild 6-5 game tonight at Camden Yards.
With the game tied at 5-5, No. 8 hitter Brendan Ryan led off the ninth with a single off Johnson and Johnson’s throwing error to second on a bunt by Chris Stewart put two runners on. A sac bunt by Curtis Granderson advanced the runners and Ryan scored the go-ahead run on Johnson’s wild pitch with Alex Rodriguez at the plate.
Hot-hitting Danny Valencia hit a three-run homer to tie the game in the last of the eighth. The O’s were down 5-2 in the eighth, and had two outs and no one on, when Adam Jones and Nick Markakis singled off David Robertson. Valencia’s three-run bomb to left-center followed as Camden Yards came to life.
Valencia has 23 hits in 42 at-bats his last 12 games with seven doubles, four homers and 10 RBIs.
Wei-Yin Chen gave up four runs over the first three innings and allowed seven hits and five runs over 6 1/3 innings in taking a no-decision.
It was certainly a disappointing series for the Orioles that ends with three straight losses and the Birds now 1 1/2 games behind New York for third place in the American League East and 2 1/2 games back of Tampa Bay for a wild card berth.
Not only did the Orioles lose the last three games of this series, but they had three chances to win the season series for the first time since 1997, but instead lose it 10 wins to nine.
Now, after losing this series, the O’s take their fading playoff hopes on the road for a 10-game trip that begins tomorrow night at Toronto.