After two straight games in which Yankee starters got pounded, Darrell Rasner pitched a pretty good game tonight against the Baltimore Orioles, taking a 2-1 lead into the 7th inning.
But, Damaso Marte, who replaced Rasner in the 7th, quickly let things get out of hand, allowing the two runners Darrell Rasner put on base, to score; and, then, also, allowed four more runs of his own, turning a 2-1 Baltimore lead, into what looked like another bashing of the Bronx Bombers, 6-1.
The Yankees did mount a comeback, by scoring two runs in he 8th, to cut the O’s lead to, 6-3.
Mariano Rivera hadn’t pitched in awhile, so Joe Girardi brought the future Hall of Famer into the game to pitch the top of the 9th. Mariano gave up a solo homer to Aubrey Huff, that looked like a meaningless run in this game, that the O’s now led, 7-3.
In the bottom of the 9th, the Yanks tried to put meaning back into the game, by putting together another rally against Orioles closer, George Sherrill.
A single by Johnny Damon, a walk to Derek Jeter, and a RBI double by Bobby Abreu made the game interesting, as the Yankees were now only behind, 7-4, with two runners on, no outs, and the tying run up at the plate, Alex Rodriguez.
But, A-Rod, who homered earlier in the game, struck-out [swinging] on a high, inside, fastball, making the first out of the inning.
Jaason Giambi [3-for-5, with two RBI’s in the game] hit a ball up the middle, that hit the pitcher, and deflected towards the open hole at short, for a two-RBI single, cutting the Orioles lead to only a run, 7-6.
Justin Christian pinch-ran for Giambi, and stole second base, easiely, on the first pitch by Sherrill, with the winning run, Robinson Cano, at the plate; also, there was only one out, and a base hit would tie the game.
Cano (1-for-5), could not deliver the big hit, as he struck-out on a breaking pitch that was well out of the strike zone. Two outs.
Then, Wilson Betemit, with no hits in four at-bats up to this point, was the batter. The Yankees had right-handed, power hitter, Richie Sexson on the bench, who is batting over .300 against left-handed pitchers, and was brought to New York in big part because of his outstanding hitting against lefty’s.
Girardi decided to let Betemit hit, though, in this important, two out, possible game tying, or game winning situation.
Wilson Betemit was totally over-matched by George Sherrill as he struck-out swinging to end the Yankees rally, and watch the Orioles celebrate their, 7-6, victory.
The Yankees have now lost three straight games, and hope to break that losing streak with Joba Chamberlain pitching the final game of this series tomorrow afternoon at Yankee Stadium.