Nate McLouth's 10th-inning, walk-off home run led the Baltimore Orioles (24-21) to a 3-2 victory over the New York Yankees (28-17) on Tuesday night at Camden Yards.
For the second straight game, relief pitching decided things between these AL East contenders. Baltimore's Jim Johnson earned the win for his scoreless inning. He had allowed eight earned runs his three previous appearances (all blown saves).
Travis Hafner put the Yankees ahead initially with a two-out single in the first inning. Journeyman outfielder Chris Dickerson evened the score with a solo blast off Hughes in the third. Then Hafner regained the lead for New York with another single through the right side. But guess who? Dickerson went deep again, a no-doubter to right field, to make it 2-2.
The Orioles stayed with Miguel Gonzalez through seven. In his first start back from the disabled list, the right-hander threw 62 of his 92 pitches for strikes (67.4 percent). Tommy Hunter set the Yankees down in order during the eighth and ninth, and Johnson followed suit in the 10th.
Phil Hughes lasted six innings and allowed two runs on five hits. It was an improvement from last week's embarrassing effort (0.2 IP, 7 ER), as Baltimore failed to take advantage of pitches over the middle and up in the zone. Relievers Boone Logan, Shawn Kelley, David Robertson and Preston Claiborne took the reins from there.
Finally, Vidal Nuno slipped up. In his third career major league appearance, the 25-year-old served up a solo shot to McLouth, the leadoff man and left fielder.
His 92nd career home run was only his second off the walk-off variety. The other came against Jose Contreras on April 20, 2010.
The rubber game takes place tomorrow evening with probable starters Hiroki Kuroda (6-2, 1.99 ERA) and Jason Hammel (5-2, 5.72 ERA).
|1. Brett Gardner (1-4, 2B, R)||CF|
|2. Robinson Cano (0-4, K)||2B|
|3. Vernon Wells (1-4, 2B, R)||LF|
|4. Travis Hafner (2-4, 2 RBI, K)||DH|
|5. Lyle Overbay (0-4)||1B|
|6. Curtis Granderson (0-4, K)||RF|
|7. David Adams (0-4, K)||3B|
|8. Jayson Nix (0-4, K)||SS|
|9. Austin Romine (0-3)||C|
|1. Nate McLouth (2-5, HR, RBI, K)||LF|
|2. Manny Machado (1-4)||3B|
|3. Nick Markakis (1-4, 2 K)||RF|
|4. Adam Jones (0-4, K)||DH|
|5. Chris Davis (0-3, 3 K, BB)||1B|
|6. Matt Wieters (0-4, K)||C|
|7. J.J. Hardy (0-4)||SS|
|8. Chris Dickerson (3-4, 2 HR, 2 RBI)||CF|
|9. Yamaico Navarro (1-3, BB, K)||2B|