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Managers argue as O's down Yankees

The SportsXchange

BALTIMORE -- In a game already carrying playoff implications Monday night, Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter and New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi added to the intensity early on.

Following an apparent accusation of sign-stealing in the first inning, the skippers had to be restrained by umpires behind home plate.

When order was restored, Chris Tillman pitched into the eighth inning and Nick Markakis had three hits as the Orioles beat the Yankees 4-2 in the opener of a four-game series between American League wild-card contenders.

"He was yelling at the (Baltimore) third base coach (Bobby Dickerson)," Showalter said of Girardi. "I'm wearing the black and orange, and I'm not going to let that happen."

Girardi said, "The one thing that I've done, the whole time that I'm here, and everywhere I've been, is I'm going to protect our players at all lengths. That's what I'm going to do, and there was something that I saw, and I'm just going to leave it at that."

Girardi declined to elaborate on what he saw Dickerson doing.

"I was standing there coaching third in the first inning, and I heard somebody yelling at me," Dickerson said, adding when he looked in the dugout it was Girardi.

When asked what Girardi was saying, Dickerson said Girardi told him, "I know what you're doing."

Dickerson said he heard more after the third out.

"As I passed by, that's when something was said and I stopped," he said. "And that's when it started and Buck came out and told me to go to the dugout."

Showalter, who said "obviously we're not, in our mind, it's not happening" regarding sign stealing, was seen on television replays yelling, "That's not right, Joe" at Girardi as the two converged near home plate.

Both pitchers received a warning, and play continued.

Tillman (16-5) tied a career high with nine strikeouts, and Markakis drove in a run and scored another for Baltimore (77-66), which has won four of five.

The Orioles gained a half-game on the idle Tampa Bay Rays, who lead Baltimore by 1 1/2 games for the final AL wild-card spot.

Alex Rodriguez and Lyle Overbay homered for New York (76-68), which lost for the fourth time in five games and fell three games behind the Rays. The Yankees have lost six straight at Camden Yards.

Tillman, who came in with a 7.34 career ERA in nine starts against New York, allowed two runs, four hits and didn't walk a batter. The first Oriole pitcher to reach 16 wins since Mike Mussina won 18 in 1999, Tillman had 16 career wins in parts of four major league seasons prior to this year.

"That's why we got him. We had high hopes for him, and we're seeing it now," Markakis said. "Earlier in his career, he struggled with his command a little bit, but his stuff has always been there."

After a Brett Gardner single in the third, Tillman retired 14 straight Yankees before Overbay homered leading off the eighth. At that point, Tillman was replaced by Tommy Hunter.

"In the middle of the game I had my off-speed pitches going. I used them when I needed," Tillman said, adding that his fastball command was working "I was a little out of sync (early) and found it later in the game."

Hunter struck out the side in the eighth. Jim Johnson, who survived a fly ball to the warning track by Curtis Granderson with a runner on first, pitched the ninth for his 43rd save.

Yankees starter CC Sabathia (13-12) pitched 7 1/3 innings, allowing four runs -- three earned -- on seven hits. He struck out six and walked two. His 12 losses are a career high.

"We didn't score runs," Girardi said. "If we'd been scoring runs like we were the last week, you know, he gets a win tonight."

The Orioles broke a 1-1 tie in the fifth when J.J. Hardy led off with a double. Michael Morse grounded to Rodriguez, and Hardy took off for third when Rodriguez threw to first, beating the return throw. Hardy scored on sacrifice fly by Matt Wieters.

Alexi Casilla followed with a single, stole second and scored on a single up the middle by Markakis to make it 3-1. Manny Machado added an RBI double in the seventh.

They Yankees opened the scoring in the top of the first, and Baltimore responded in the bottom half.

Rodriguez, inserted into the No. 2 spot in the batting order with Derek Jeter out of the lineup, lined a 2-2 Tillman pitch into the right-center field seats for a solo homer.

Markakis, a year and a day since a Sabathia pitch broke his left thumb and ended his 2012 season, led off with a ground-rule double.

"There's a risk you take going out between those white lines every day, and it was just unfortunate bad timing last year, but I'm here now in a similar situation and we have to finish up strong," Markakis said.

He was bunted to third by Machado and scored on an Adam Jones' sacrifice fly to center.

NOTES: Rodriguez hit second for the first time since August 2006. ... Jeter missed his second straight game with a sore left ankle. ... The Yankees reinstated OF Zoilo Almonte (sprained left ankle) from the disabled list. ... Orioles 2B Brian Roberts was given the night off until he flied out as an eighth-inning pinch hitter. Casilla (16-for-31 in his career against Sabathia) got the start, and he wound up 1-for-3. ... Yankees RHP Ivan Nova (8-4, 3.02 ERA) pitches Tuesday against RHP Miguel Gonzalez (9-7, 3.98).

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