Yankees 11, Orioles 2, 1st game; Orioles 3, Yankees 2, 10 innings, 2nd game
NEW YORK (AP)—Yankees rookie Jorge De Paula was not going to pitch a no-hitter Friday night. Manager Joe Torre wouldn’t have allowed it.
De Paula took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning in his first major league start, but New York was denied its 100th win as Baltimore rallied for a 3-2 victory in 10 innings Friday night and a doubleheader split.
Jorge Posada hit his 30th homer to tie Yogi Berra’s club record for a catcher as the Yankees won the first game 11-2.
New York clinched home-field advantage throughout the postseason when Oakland lost 9-3 to Seattle on Friday night.
The Yankees were looking for a doubleheader sweep, but their bullpen couldn’t hold a 2-0 lead after De Paula left.
“I told (pitching coach) Mel (Stottlemyre) I’ve taken two guys out with no-hitters twice before, and this is going to be the third,” said Torre, who did it before with David Cone and Tommy Boggs. “His health is more important than anything else. You don’t want to push an arm like that to a dangerous length.”
Larry Bigbie broke up De Paula’s bid with a one-out single in the seventh, Jerry Hairston tied the game with a two-run triple in the eighth, and rookie Robert Machado had a one-out single in the 10th off Chris Hammond (3-2) for the go-ahead run.
De Paula received a standing ovation from the crowd and a pat on the head from manager Torre as he left the game. Bigbie’s bouncer off an outside sinker ticked off the tip of De Paula’s glove and went cleanly into center field to ruin his chance of becoming the first pitcher in more than 50 years to throw a no-hitter in his first career start.
The only player in modern major league history to do it was Bobo Holloman of the St. Louis Browns in 1953.
“I always dreamed of a situation like this, not that I thought I would take a no-hitter into the seventh,” the 24-year-old Dominican right-hander said through a translator.
In the first game, Posada thrust his fists in the air as his home run cleared the wall in right-center field, knowing the homer not only tied Berra but also gave him a career-high 101 RBIs. Posada had 99 RBIs in 2002 and 95 the previous season.
Berra set the homer mark in 1952 and matched it 1956.
“Yogi has been a mentor. He’s been more than a friend,” Posada said. “To be right next to him, it’s kind of neat. I’m more than honored.”
The run support made things easy for Andy Pettitte (21-8), who tied his career high for victories set in 1996. Pettitte allowed six hits and an unearned run in five innings while winning for the 17th time in his last 20 decisions. It was his fourth straight victory.
“It would have been nice to go a few more innings,” said Pettitte, who threw 89 pitches—66 strikes. “It was a good start, it felt good, and obviously the guys scored a lot of runs.
Boone also had a two-run double and an RBI single.
Soriano’s homer, his 37th of the season, was the most prodigious of the Yankees’ five home runs in the two games. The ball easily cleared the 399-foot sign in left-center field, landing at the base of the monument park. Soriano is two homers shy of his career high set last season.
Torre went with a second-string lineup in the second game, using old-timers Luis Sojo and Sierra along with youngsters De Paula, Michel Hernandez, Drew Henson, Fernando Seguignol and Erick Almonte. Designated hitter Jason Giambi was the only New York regular in the starting lineup.
Mariano Rivera worked the ninth inning of the nightcap, striking out two. Hehas not been scored upon in his last 14 appearances.
Yankees SS Derek Jeter has been hit by a pitch a career-high 13 times. … The Yankees have 227 home runs, second-most in team history behind the 240 hit by the 1961 club. … Yankees reserve OF David Dellucci, sidelined for almost a month, tested his sprained left ankle in pregame drills and said it held up well, meaning there is a possibility the Yankees will activate him this weekend to give him a pre-playoff test. … The first game was the makeup of last Thursday’s 1-1 game in Baltimore that was called after five innings because of Hurricane Isabel. … Jay Gibbons of the Orioles became the 15thplayer in team history to reach 100 RBIs.