Written by Lee Tackett
For a second straight night the Orioles took a lead into the late innings, but this time were felled by a Robinson Cano solo home run in the ninth to lose 5-4. Scott Feldman worked into the 8th and the Birds put together 12 hits, but went scoreless after the fourth inning until a late run in the ninth that came up short.
Scott Feldman's outing was fairly easy to encapsulate. He showed up one batter late for the start of the game and threw two pitches in the middle of the plate that the Yankees hitters didn't miss. Other than those three mistakes, Feldman was fantastic. Bad news first. Feldman began the game with a lead off walk to Brett Gardner, who stole second, then advanced on consecutive ground outs to give the Yankees an early 1-0 lead. After the Gardner walk, Feldman retired 12 straight before he gave up a solo home run to Curtis Granderson onto Eutaw Street. Five outs later, Alex Rodriguez drove a fastball out to right center to tie the game at 3. Robinson Cano followed A-Rod with a single, but Feldman retired the next six before ending the game as he began it, with a walk to Gardner.
Save for two bad pitches, Feldman was fantastic. He consistently kept the ball down to the Yankees hitters, mixed speeds well, and succeeded changing the hitters eye levels both up and down. Feldman's innings went quickly and he seemed in command of his full arsenal.
Final Line: 7.2 IP 3 H 3 R 3 ER 2 BB 6 K
Tommy Hunter came on in the eighth with two down and Gardner on first and got Rodriguez to fly out to center. Hunter gave up a lead off home run to Robinson Cano to lead off the ninth. After a fantastic play by Manny Machado, Granderson smoked a triple to deep center. Hunter struck out Reynolds to conclude his action.
Troy Patton was called upon to stop the bleeding and did get a weak ground ball to short, but Hardy was unable to make the long throw in time. Patton got out of the inning without further damage.
On the heels of Feldman's nine in a row retired, the Orioles staged a two out rally in the third. Brian Roberts started with a two out single through the left side and Manny Machado followed with a line drive to right to put two on with two out. Chris Davis then fed a ball through the Yankees shift into the right field corner that scored both Roberts and Machado to put the Birds up 2-1.
Danny Valencia grabbed his second hit of the game with a double to lead off the fourth and came home two batters later on a J.J. Hardy double. The Orioles continued to threaten after a Nate McLouth single, but left runners on the corners.
Danny Valencia went 4-4, but his night was largely negated by Matt Wieters. In the second with a man on and none out, Wieters hit into a double play. In the fourth, after a Valencia double, Wieters struck out swinging. In the sixth, Valencia singled and Wieters failed to advance him with an infield pop up. Finally, in the eighth, Valencia singled again to put two on with two out, but Wieters weakly tapped out to the pitcher.
Defensive Highlights/ Lowlights
Machado followed the Cano home run with an amazing barehand pick up and throw at full speed to get Soriano.
Tommy Hunter's tendency to give up the gopher ball reared its head again. The Cano home run put a damper on what again looked like a night where the O's would be able to pick up a game in the Wild Card race.
Observations and Musings
-I hate second guessing managers, but our refusal to play matchup baseball in the late innings is astounding. The gap for Cano isn't as vast as most, but he hits .287 against lefties as opposed to .320 against righties per Baseball Reference. Given Hunter's propensity for occasionally putting balls right down the middle, as he did to both Cano and Granderson, it may have been beneficial to play the splits.
-This team is running out of opportunities.
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