Orioles 3, Yankees 2
BALTIMORE (AP)—Corey Patterson spent much of the night running the bases and sprinting after fly balls in center field.
At the finish, however, he won the game with a leisurely jog from third to home.
Patterson capped a perfect performance at the plate by scoring on Scott Proctor’s bases-loaded walk in the ninth inning, giving the Baltimore Orioles a 3-2 victory over the skidding New York Yankees on Tuesday night.
Patterson led off the ninth with a walk and Brian Roberts singled. Proctor (1-5) then made a sensational diving catch on a bunt by Chris Gomez, but missed an opportunity to double up Patterson, who had strayed three-quarters of the way to third base.
After a walk to Nick Markakis loaded the bases, Proctor appeared to hit Ramon Hernandez with a pitch. Plate umpire Rob Drake ruled otherwise, but Hernandez drew a walk when Proctor missed on a 3-2 count.
“We walked ourselves right out of this game,” Yankees manager Joe Torre said.
Torre and Proctor agreed that the leadoff walk to Patterson was as excruciating as the game-ender to Hernandez.
“The first guy is everything, especially when you walk them,” Proctor said. “I let everybody down. I’m just (mad) at myself. You can’t walk people. It’s embarrassing.”
Patterson went 3-for-3 with a walk, stole a base, scored two runs and drove in one as the No. 9 hitter. In the process, he upped his batting average 11 points to .224.
“He was our secret weapon tonight,” Orioles interim manager Dave Trembley said.
Johnny Damon hit a two-run homer for the Yankees, who have lost three straight and six of seven. New York stranded seven and went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position.
Baltimore starter Jeremy Guthrie allowed two runs and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings, his shortest outing in nine starts since May 8. Five of the seven hits he allowed came in his final 1 1-3 innings of work.
“I sensed that the momentum was getting on their side, that it was time to make a change,” Trembley said.
Guthrie struck out six and walked one. The rookie right-hander is 3-0 with seven no-decisions in his last 10 starts.
Chris Ray (4-5) worked the ninth to complete a solid performance by the Baltimore bullpen, which gave up one hit over 2 2-3 scoreless innings.
Baltimore is 4-3 under Trembley, who took over after the Orioles fired Sam Perlozzo.
Yankees starter Andy Pettitte yielded two runs and eight hits in seven innings, striking out two and walking five. He entered with a 20-5 record against Baltimore, including 12-3 at Camden Yards.
Down 2-0, New York pulled even against Guthrie in the sixth. Miguel Cairo hit a one-out single and Damon, who had previously struck out twice, followed with his fifth home run—a drive to right on a 1-1 pitch.
Damon, who had four ribs realigned by a chiropractor Monday, was in a 4-for-31 skid before connecting.
In the seventh, however, Damon hit into a fielder’s choice against Jamie Walker with runners at the corners and two outs.
Through the first five innings, Baltimore stranded eight and was 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
The Orioles missed a chance to jump in front in the second when Jay Payton grounded out with two outs and two on. In the third, however, Patterson hit a leadoff single and came around to score on a groundout by Markakis.
Baltimore made it 2-0 in the fourth. Melvin Mora walked and Kevin Millar dropped a single between outfielders Melky Cabrera and Bobby Abreu before Patterson blooped a two-out, run-scoring single to center.
After the inning, Pettitte made no effort to hide his disgust over the manner in which Millar reached base. But he refused to single out Cabrera or Abreu after the game.
“What I’m frustrated with is we’re not playing good baseball. I was scuffling big-time out there with my command,” Pettitte said. “I’m bitter because we’re not playing good baseball. I feel like we’re a better team than we are—and we’re not getting it done.”
“We contributed more than the Orioles did to our demise, with the walks and our play in center field,” he said.
New York’s Derek Jeter went 2-for-4 on his 33rd birthday and made a fine play at shortstop in the fifth inning, avoiding the broken bat of Hernandez while fielding his grounder, then throwing to first. … The crowd of 39,934 was the largest at Camden Yards since the home opener. … Last month, Proctor issued a pair of bases-loaded walks in the seventh inning against the Angels, letting Los Angeles rally to complete a three-game sweep at Yankee Stadium. … New York’s Roger Clemens, who missed the game to attend the funeral of his mother’s friend, will seek his 350th win Wednesday night.