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By Todd Karpovich,The Sports Xchange May 20, 2013 11:50 PM
New York Yankees catcher Austin Romine said his team was fully confident despite trailing the Baltimore Orioles by a run in the ninth inning of their series opener Monday night.BALTIMORE --
The mantra around the Yankees clubhouse is to keep playing hard to the final out because the entire game could change with one swing of the bat. After Baltimore's Jim Johnson blew his third consecutive save by allowing a game-tying home run to Travis Hafner in the ninth, the Yankees scored twice more in the 10th for a 6-4 victory over the Orioles in the first of a three-game series Monday night. "You can't count this team out," Romine said. "Believe it or not, we have some scrappy guys on this team and we don't give up. This team, you just can't count us out until the last out." The Yankees remained in first place in the American League East and extended their lead to five games over the third-place Orioles. Baltimore has lost a season-high six consecutive games. Yankees starter CC Sabathia allowed four runs on 11 hits with two strikeouts and no walks over 6 1/3 innings. He did not earn a decision for the third consecutive game. Robinson Cano, David Adams and Lyle Overbay also hit solo home runs for the Yankees. "That's what we've been doing this whole year, knowing we got a chance," Overbay said. "Keeping us close is all we ask for from the pitchers." Freddy Garcia had one of his most effective outings in four starts this season for the Orioles. He gave up just two runs on three hits with two strikeouts and two walks through six innings. With the game tied at two, Overbay broke the deadlock in the seventh with a solo home run to center field off left-handed reliever Troy Patton. However, the Orioles tied the game later that inning on a double by Nick Markakis that scored Alexi Castilla, who led off with a single. The Orioles then took their first lead when J.J. Hardy followed with a double that ended Sabathia's night. "I just have to do a better job with two strikes," Sabathia said. "We took the lead and it's up to me to shut the door. It's very frustrating, especially in a tough game like this. Coming in here, you know it's always gonna be a tough game." Darren O'Day pitched a scoreless eighth for the Orioles to set up the save situation for Johnson. After getting Cano to ground out, Johnson delivered a 3-1 fastball that Hafner crushed to left center. Prior to the three blown opportunities in the past week, Johnson had converted a franchise-record 35 consecutive saves. "Obviously I'm not getting the ball to where I need to be," Johnson said. "I'll figure it out. There is no other option." Orioles manager Buck Showalter has not lost confidence in his closer. When asked whether Johnson would get the ball with the lead in the ninth tomorrow night, Showalter said, "Come back tomorrow and watch it again." After Ichiro Suzuki led off the 10th with a double off Pedro Strop, Vernon Wells gave the Yankees the lead with a ground-rule double. Hafner delivered again later that inning with a two-out, RBI single off Brian Matusz. Yankees closer Mariano Rivera then got his league-leading 17th save by retiring three straight batters to end the game. The Yankees jumped on Garcia early as Cano provided a 1-0 lead with his 13th homer of the season in the first. The early margin was a good sign for the Yankees, who entered the game 18-0 when scoring first this season. "They just keep going at it," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "Our bullpen does a good job to keep us right there to give us a chance to come back and win games." The Yankees had seven left-handed batters in their starting lineup against the right-handed Garcia. Lefties were batting .333 against him, but right-handed hitters were batting only .156. However, it was the right-handed-hitting Adams who increased the lead to 2-0 with his first major league home run in the second. Romine was the Yankees other righty in the lineup. Chris Davis answered for the Orioles in the bottom half of the second with another solo home run to center field. He tied Cano for the league lead with 13. Baltimore then tied the game in the fifth when Steve Pearce led off with a double and scored two batters later on a single up the middle by Markakis. NOTES: Romine became the first Yankees rookie to start three consecutive games at catcher since Francisco Cervelli in 2009. ... The Yankees and Texas are the only major league clubs that have yet to lose more than two consecutive games this season. ... Casilla entered the game batting .583 (14-for-24) in his career against Yankees starter CC Sabathia, tied with Manny Ramirez for the highest average with at least 20 plate appearances against the left-hander. ... Orioles CF Adam Jones has been successful in all seven of his base-stealing attempts this season. ... Washington Capitals forward Brooks Laich, who is named after Orioles Hall-of-Fame 3B Brooks Robinson, threw out the first pitch.