Orioles can’t find plate, lose lead in 7th (lose game, 4-3)

NEW YORK - The Orioles are 8-54 when they trail after the seventh inning.

That’s the task facing them today after a 3-1 lead went up in smoke.

The Orioles walked three batters in the bottom of the seventh, with Pedro Strop losing Derek Jeter to force in the tying run with two outs. Shortstop J.J. Hardy committed an error on Nick Swisher’s bouncer with the count full, allowing Eduardo Nunez to score and give the Yankees a 4-3 lead.

Hardy committed his sixth error on a ball that appeared to take a bad hop. Hardy couldn’t smother it against his chest and couldn’t pick it up cleanly.

Wei-Yin Chen is charged with four runs (three earned) and four hits in 6 2/3 innings, with two walks, four strikeouts and one home run. He threw 101 pitches, 67 for strikes.

Former Oriole Steve Pearce singled with one out and Jayson Nix walked with two outs. Nunez followed with an RBI single, bringing Strop into the game.

Strop, who had allowed six of 18 inherited runners to score before today, walked Ichiro Suzuki to load the bases and Jeter after getting ahead, 0-2. Swisher reached on Hardy’s error, and Yankee Stadium erupted.

Left-hander Brian Matusz ran the count full to Robinson Cano before inducing a fly ball to the edge of the warning track in left field. Cano was 9-for-26 with a double and two home runs lifetime against Matusz.

Update: The Orioles went down quietly against Yankees closer Rafael Soriano in the bottom of the ninth and lost, 4-3.

This one feels like a typical Yankee Stadium loss. I’ve witnessed enough of these late-inning comebacks to last a lifetime.

The Orioles were 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and stranded six runners. They should have been ahead by more than two runs in the seventh. Their inability to pad the lead came back to bite them.

The Orioles again trail the Yankees by three games in the American League East.

The Orioles’ streak of victories in one-run games ends at 13.

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