Jeter’s infield tapper to the right of reliever Chad Bradford scored Melky Cabrera in the bottom of the ninth inning and gave the New York Yankees a 7-6 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Monday night.
Rivera had converted 19 straight save opportunities before Brian Roberts’ RBI single tied it at 6 in the ninth. It ended up being just a minor nuisance for New York, which has won four straight and nine of 10.
“We’ve been on the balls of our feet,” manager Joe Torre said. “We’re not waiting around for things to happen.”
Bradford (1-5) hit Cabrera with a pitch with one out and pinch-hitter Jason Giambi then singled to right, advancing the speedy center fielder to third. Jeter followed with an infield bouncer that glanced off Bradford’s glove as he tried to bring it in. Second baseman Brian Roberts rushed in to pick up the ball but Cabrera was already crossing home.
“We need contributions from everyone and we seem to be getting that,” Jeter said.
Rivera (3-3) almost allowed Baltimore to go in front in the ninth. Melvin Mora led off with a single and advanced to second on Ramon Hernandez’s groundout. Mora tried to score on Tike Redman’s soft single to center but Cabrera easily threw him out at home.
“It’s easy to second guess the play but I think you play to win on the road,” Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. “You need to be aggressive.”
Given another chance, Rivera still couldn’t hold on. Redman went to second on the throw to the plate and raced around to score on Roberts’ single to right, sliding in to beat Abreu’s high throw home and tie it at 6.
“It wasn’t like we beat him around the yard but hits are hits and a run’s a run and it let us tie the game,” Roberts said.
Corey Patterson homered for the Orioles, who were trying for their second straight dramatic comeback win. Kevin Millar hit a three-run homer in the 10th inning to give the Orioles a 6-3 victory over the Red Sox on Sunday after Miguel Tejada tied it with a drive in the eighth.
“I think both teams kept coming at each other,” Trembley said. “I think we’re as relentless as they are. Our guys don’t give up.”
Baltimore, which took two of three in the weekend series against Boston, jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning Monday but couldn’t hold on.
The Bronx Bombers have scored 109 runs in their last nine games at Yankee Stadium, and improved to 46-22 since May 29 when they were a season-low eight games under .500.
Betemit put New York in front 4-3 with a two-run homer off Jeremy Guthrie in the second inning. It was his 12th of the year and second since the Yankees acquired him from the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 31.
Chien-Ming Wang allowed eight hits and five runs in six-plus innings for the Yankees. He has pitched at least six frames in 13 of his last 14 outings.
Patterson’s solo homer in the fifth was the first allowed by Wang since Roberts connected in the third inning at Baltimore on June 28, a span of 56 2-3 innings.
The right-hander was charged with nine hits and a career-high eight runs in 2 2-3 innings in his previous start, a 15-4 loss to the Blue Jays.
Yankees right-hander Joba Chamberlain electrified the crowd with a scoreless eighth inning. The prized prospect hit 99 mph as he struck out two and retired the side in order in his first home game since he was called up last Tuesday.
“I started getting ahead of myself,” Chamberlain said. “I didn’t even realize who I was facing.”
Guthrie lasted just 4 2-3 innings, allowing six runs and nine hits. He struck out three, walked two and threw a wild pitch that allowed a run to score in the first.
“Tonight we got the cushion but I couldn’t protect it,” he said.
Guthrie remained 5-0 on the road this season but his ERA away from Camden Yards rose from 2.70 to 3.25.
Cabrera doubled in a run in the fourth to extend his career-high hitting streak to 18 games. … Orioles OF Jay Gibbons was placed on the 15-day disabled list and will have season-ending surgery on his injured left shoulder Tuesday. C-1B J.R. House was promoted from Triple-A Norfolk to take Gibbons’ spot. … The Yankees honored 3B Alex Rodriguez in a pregame ceremony for becoming the 22nd member of the 500-homer club on Aug. 4 against the Kansas City Royals. … Posada was back in the lineup after missing three straight days with a stiff neck. … Torre also picked up career win No. 2,040, tying Walter Alston for eighth on the list.