Orioles 14, Yankees 8
BALTIMORE (AP)—The Baltimore Orioles would prefer to be vying for a playoff spot this month. They’ll have to settle for helping determine who advances to the postseason.
Baltimore has two games left against New York and eight against Boston, so it appears as if the Orioles will be playing several important games over the next few weeks.
“I don’t like the position we’re in—the so-called spoiler—but that’s where we are,” said Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli, New York’s first base coach from 2000-2003. “I wish we didn’t have any bearing on it that way, but the reality of it is that we might.”
Baltimore trailed 3-2 before sending 13 batters to the plate in the third against Javier Vazquez (13-9) and two relievers. Bigbie had two singles and scored twice, and Roberts had a bunt single and a two-run double.
The double was Roberts’ 46th, tying the AL season record for a switch hitter, set in 1901 by John Anderson of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Even with a 10-3 lead, Mazzilli wasn’t certain that Baltimore had enough runs to win.
“When you put the nail in the coffin against that team, you’ve got to hammer it shut,” he said. “They can come back. Believe me, I’ve seen it. I’ve been there. I know.”
Rodrigo Lopez (12-8) beat New York for the second time in eight days despite allowing five runs and eight hits in 5 2-3 innings.
New York received another poor outing from Vazquez, who yielded eight runs, five hits and two walks in 2 1-3 innings. He is 0-3 with a 9.99 ERA in his last five starts.
Vazquez came unglued in the third after three singles loaded the bases with one out. He forced in the tying run with a walk to Tejada, then hit Rafael Palmeiro with a pitch and walked Javy Lopez on a 3-2 pitch, putting Baltimore ahead 5-3.
“I don’t remember going through a stretch this bad, this inconsistent,” Vazquez said. “I’m just disappointed in what I’m doing.”
C.J. Nitkowski then gave up a two-run single to Surhoff before striking out Jay Gibbons. Bigbie followed with a single and Roberts doubled in two runs to make it 10-3. The eight-run inning tied the Orioles’ biggest of the year.
Javy Lopez singled in a run and Surhoff hit a two-run triple in the sixth to make it 13-5. John Olerud singled in two runs during New York’s three-run seventh, and Mora homered off Steve Karsay in the eighth.
“We were trying to climb out of a foxhole all night,” Yankees manager Joe Torre said. “It was just too high of a mountain.”
The game drew a crowd of 48,026, the Orioles’ sixth sellout of the year.
“It’s easy to get up to play when there’s more excitement in the ballpark,” Surhoff said. “I’d rather be playing these guys than someone with a record like we have or worse.”
Tejada put the Orioles up 2-0 in the first with his 27th home run, a two-run shot to left. It was the 29th homer allowed by Vazquez, two short of his career high.
Jeter gave New York a 3-2 lead in the second, hitting a two-out drive into the right-field seats after singles by Olerud and Cairo. It was his 20th homer, the second in two games.
Yankees 1B Jason Giambi went 0-for-3 for Columbus on Friday night and is 0-for-6 in a Triple-A rehabilitation stint. … New York fell to 18-2 when Jeter homers, with both losses coming against Baltimore. … Orioles RHP Jorge Julio was suspended for four days and fined $1,000 for throwing at the head of Minnesota’s Augie Ojeda on Tuesday. He has appealed the decision. … Cairo extended his season-high hitting streak to 10 games. … Jeter is 14-for-28 with three homers against Lopez. … Surhoff’s triple was his first since May 2001.