Orioles miss an opportunity in 5-4 loss to Yankees
The Baltimore Orioles are losing leads, losing games and losing ground in the AL wild-card race.
It's not the kind of combination they were looking for with just over two weeks left in the season.
Robinson Cano hit a tiebreaking homer leading off the ninth inning, and the New York Yankees also got solo shots from Alex Rodriguez and Curtis Granderson in a 5-4 victory over the Orioles on Wednesday night.
For the second straight night, Baltimore gave away a lead in a defeat. To make matters worse, they outhit the Yankees 13-6. The setback dropped the Orioles behind New York in the wild-card hunt, 1 1/2 games in back of Tampa Bay.
''There's a lot of baseball left,'' Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. ''Tonight was a tough night for us, like last night, but these guys will turn the page and compete their rears off (Thursday). Anybody that would want to close the door on us would be making a mistake.''
Orioles slugger Chris Davis drove in two runs with a double, making him the first player in team history to have 40 doubles and 40 homers in a season. Danny Valencia tied a career high with four hits, and Brian Roberts had three singles.
None of it mattered in Baltimore's fifth loss in nine games.
''We control our own destiny, we control our situation,'' center fielder Adam Jones said. ''The rest of the way we're playing against teams that are in the same situation as us, so we've got to play better baseball. That's the cool part. We've just got to play a little bit better.''
Each team has won nine games this year. The series winner will be determined Thursday night.
''We play this team so evenly, it's unbelievable,'' Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
Before the game, the Yankees announced that shortstop Derek Jeter would miss the rest of the season with an injured left ankle. The Yankees captain played in only 17 games this season and made four trips to the disabled list.
Once it became official that Jeter was lost, the team lamented his bad luck and got back to the business of earning another playoff berth.
''This group fights,'' Girardi said. ''They're continuing to fight.''
New York tailed 4-1 on Tuesday before rallying to win. In this one, Baltimore led 3-1 before Granderson homered in the fifth - New York's first hit - and Rodriguez tied it in the sixth with his 653rd career home run.
Jeter's trip to the DL coincided with the arrival of shortstop Brendan Ryan, obtained one night earlier in a trade with Seattle. Although Ryan went hitless, he performed flawlessly and showed good range in the field.
Yankees starter Andy Pettitte gave up three runs and nine hits over 6 1-3 innings. The 41-year-old lefty has made 13 straight starts since September 2007 against Baltimore without losing, going 8-0 over that stretch. Pettitte has lost only twice to the Orioles since 2002 and is 28-6 lifetime against them.
Pettitte has pitched at least six innings in each of his last six starts and is 3-0 in seven outings since Aug. 5.
''It was a great game for us,'' Pettite said. ''The bullpen came in and obviously did a great job. There were some big hits for us. It was a good win, that's for sure.''
Baltimore's Scott Feldman allowed only three hits in 7 2-3 innings, two of them homers. The right-hander struck out six and walked two. His first walk came against the first batter of the game and the second was to the last batter he faced.
New York got a first-inning run when leadoff hitter Brett Gardner walked, stole second and scored on two groundouts.
The Orioles took a 2-1 lead in the third. Roberts and Manny Machado singled with two outs before Davis lined a two-run double through the shift into right-field.
Doubles by Valencia and J.J. Hardy made it 3-1 in the fourth, but Baltimore stranded runners at the corners.
NOTES: New York's David Huff squares off against Wei-Yin Chin in a duel of left-handers in the series finale Thursday night. ... Pettitte has held the opposition scoreless in the first inning over six straight starts after allowing at least one first-inning run in eight consecutive games before that. ... Granderson is 7 for 17 with four homers lifetime against Feldman. ... Feldman threw a season-high 112 pitches.