Orioles' Jones beats Rivera with ninth-inning homer

Larry Fleisher, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- On Friday, Adam Jones gained notoriety for making hard contact when he slammed his helmet to the ground after a key strikeout in the seventh inning.
Facing Mariano Rivera with one out in the top of the ninth inning on Sunday, Jones made hard contact again.
The difference was that the ball cleared the left-center field wall for a go-ahead, two-run homer that lifted the Baltimore Orioles to a 2-1 victory over the New York Yankees.
Jones had five hits in his previous 24 at-bats and had struck out three times in the first two games of the series, including Friday when robotic television cameras followed him up the tunnel and caught him slamming his helmet and shattering his bat.
"You go through those at the plate. I'm just trying to stay aggressive, trying to stay positive," Jones said. "That video went viral of me tossing my helmet -- it was the hardest hit ball until today."
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said, "I told him after he hit the home run that if really thinking this through, you take your helmet and your bat and make sure that robotic camera is on you again and you let it rip on the dugout again."
Jones did not have any reason to slam any part of his equipment because he turned on a 0-1 fastball and handed Rivera (1-2) his second blown save in 31 opportunities and first in 42 chances at home since Sept. 26, 2010, against the Boston Red Sox.
"That's a professional hitter you know and you make a mistake and they will hit the ball, it wasn't really a mistake -- just good hitting," Rivera said after allowing his first home run at Yankee Stadium since Russell Branyan connected for the Angels on Aug. 11, 2011.
It was Jones' seventh career go-ahead home run in the ninth inning or later and fifth on the road.
"You don't want to go out there and get swept," Baltimore right fielder Nick Markakis said. "It shows you what our team is made of."
Jones' big home run was set up by Markakis, who highlighted a three-hit showing with a 0-2 single up the middle against Rivera. That came after his long drive down the right field line hooked inches foul.
"They were getting good swings, I don't know what else to say," New York catcher Chris Stewart said. "The ball Markakis fouled was actually a pretty good pitch in. I think he was just sitting on it. He threw his hands at it and got good wood on it.
"Fortunately, it was foul, but then he made a mistake with a two-seamer that just stayed over the plate. Same to Jones, (Rivera) left a two-seamer on the plate and he hit it out."
Markakis said, "He's still the best closer in the game. You just got to go up there and battle and you got to hit his mistakes."
Darren O'Day picked up the win after getting the final two outs of the eighth. Jim Johnson struck out two in the ninth for his 30th save and first since blowing his league-leading sixth save on Friday.
Before Baltimore won for the sixth time in 10 games, Jason Hammel gave them a chance by allowing one run and six hits in five innings. T.J. McFarland pitched two scoreless innings and Troy Patton recorded the first out of the eighth.
The Yankees had their season-high six-game winning streak snapped and fell to 1-26 when scoring two runs or less. Their only run came on a Eduardo Nunez sacrifice fly against Hiroki Kuroda, who gave up three hits in seven innings a week after allowing three home runs in Baltimore.
Kuroda did not allow a hit after Markakis led off the fourth with a double. He retired the next 11 hitters before walking Matt Wieters and was finished after 88 pitches.
"I mean it's difficult, it's a loss," Rivera said. "But the way Hiroki was pitching, he was doing outstanding. He did great. That would've been a great game to save."
NOTES: New York SS Derek Jeter (ankle) was 1-for-2 with two walks and two runs scored in his second rehab game for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. On Saturday, he played five innings in the field and Sunday was the designated hitter, though he fielded several ground balls in pregame infield practice. ... The Yankees claimed INF Travis Ishikawa off waivers from Baltimore and transferred 3B Kevin Youkilis to the 60-day disabled list. Ishikawa was designated for assignment by the Orioles on June 29. ... The Philadelphia Phillies had their director of player development and assistant director of player development attend Double-A Trenton's game. The Yankee had a scout in Philadelphia. The Yankees have been linked to Michael Young and Carlos Ruiz in recent trade rumors. ... Baltimore LHP Wei-Yi Chen is expected to come off the DL and likely pitch Tuesday or Wednesday against Texas. Chen, who has been out since mid-May with an oblique injury, threw a 43-pitch bullpen session on Saturday. ... After the game, the Yankees announced that RHP Michael Pineda was activated from the 60-day DL and optioned to Triple-A and that OF Curtis Granderson was transferred to the 60-day DL.

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