Orioles stun Yanks


By MIKE FITZPATRICK

AP Sports Writer

NEW YORK — Three straight one-run games in sweltering heat at Yankee Stadium, and the Baltimore Orioles had nothing to show for it.

That is, until Adam Jones stepped to the plate in the ninth inning.

Jones hit a two-run homer against Mariano Rivera, and the Orioles beat the Yankees 2-1 on Sunday to end New York’s longest winning streak of the season at six games.

“It’s off the greatest closer in the history of the game,” Jones said. “I’ll always remember it.”

A healthy Hiroki Kuroda pitched seven innings of three-hit ball for the Yankees, unable to finish off a three-game sweep after Baltimore took all three games from them at Camden Yards last weekend.

David Robertson worked a 1-2-3 eighth and the 43-year-old Rivera (1-2) entered looking to reach 30 saves for the 15th time, which would break a tie with Trevor Hoffman for the major league record.

With one out, Nick Markakis made a bid for a tying homer but his drive hooked just wide of the right-field foul pole. Markakis then singled sharply to center for his third hit and Jones, elected to his first All-Star start on Saturday, drove an 0-1 pitch to left for his 16th home run.

“I wanted it to be more in. Didn’t get in enough,” Rivera said. “It wasn’t really a mistake, just good hitting.”

It was Rivera’s second blown save in 31 chances during his farewell season. Baseball’s career saves leader, chosen for his 13th All-Star squad, had converted 41 tries in a row at home since his last failure on Sept. 26, 2010, against Boston.

“Whenever it happens you’re kind of shocked, that’s how good he is,” manager Joe Girardi said.

Darren O’Day (5-0) got two outs and Jim Johnson, who blew a save in the series opener Friday, struck out two in a perfect ninth for his major league-leading 30th save in 36 attempts.

Baltimore finished 2-4 on its road trip against the Chicago White Sox and Yankees.

“Obviously, that’s what you want. You want the ball as soon as possible. You want to try and redeem yourself and get back in a groove,” Johnson said. “I felt like I was more aggressive with my fastball today and located it a little better.”

New York fell to 40-2 when leading after eight innings.

The only other home run Rivera allowed this season was to Tampa Bay slugger Evan Longoria on April 23. The last long ball he gave up at Yankee Stadium was to Russell Branyan of the Angels on Aug. 11, 2011.

“You don’t want to go out there and get swept, especially against the teams in your division in games you need to win,” Markakis said. “The way Kuroda threw the ball and, like I said, the conditions, we’ll take it.”

Kuroda outpitched Jason Hammel on a day when the 92-degree temperature seemed to sap power from the bats on both sides — until Jones connected. During the game, the Yankees put an announcement on the big video board informing fans about several stations around the ballpark where they could cool off and get water.

Kuroda, beaten Sunday night at Baltimore in the series finale, skipped a turn because of a tweaked hip flexor. But the 38-year-old right-hander felt fine during his latest bullpen session and just ended up getting pushed back two days.

Helped by some solid defense, Kuroda struck out four and walked one while throwing 88 efficient pitches.

Hammel threw 69 of 102 pitches for strikes, but that only got him through five innings as the Yankees fouled off many of his best offerings. He is 0-3 in seven starts since beating Washington on May 27.

Orioles third baseman Manny Machado made a jaw-dropping play to end the sixth, showing why he was selected to the All-Star team Saturday on his 21st birthday.

Machado knocked down Luis Cruz’s high bouncer with a backhand behind the bag, but the ball was rolling away from him when he picked it up with his bare hand. In one twisting motion that almost defied the physics of athletic momentum, he zinged a perfect throw across his body to first base — from deep in foul territory.

After he was called out, Cruz looked across the diamond in disbelief at Machado, who ended up near the dugout railing.

Eduardo Nunez hit a sacrifice fly for New York in the second.

“Hiroki pitched a tremendous game and we should’ve, should’ve won that game,” Rivera said. “That would’ve been a great game to save.”

RAYS 3, WHITE SOX 1

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — David Price went the distance to win his second straight start since returning from an injury, helping the Rays finish a three-game series sweep.

Price (3-4) worked around eight hits. The 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner spent 47 days on the disabled list with a strained left triceps, then came back and struck out 10 in seven shutout innings against Houston.

The Rays have won eight of nine to move a season-high nine games over .500.

Josh Phegley hit his first major league homer for Chicago, which has lost nine of 11. John Danks (2-6) allowed three runs and five hits over seven innings.

ATHLETICS 10, ROYALS 4

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Josh Reddick homered and drove in four runs, and Jed Lowrie and Eric Sogard also went deep for Oakland.

A.J. Griffin (7-6) rebounded from a miserable start against the Cubs to go five innings for the A’s. The only damage he allowed came on solo homers by George Kottaras and Alex Gordon.

Jesse Chavez earned his first career save with four scoreless innings of relief.

Luis Mendoza (2-5) allowed five runs in the second inning for the Royals, and was yanked to a round of boos after retiring just four batters. It was the right-hander’s shortest start in exactly five years — since an outing on July 7, 2008, when he was still with Texas.

BLUE JAYS 11, TWINS 5

TORONTO — Todd Redmond pitched one-hit ball over five innings for his first major league win and Toronto beat Minnesota for the 10th time in the last 13 meetings.

Rajai Davis hit a three-run homer and Jose Reyes and Colby Rasmus also connected for the Blue Jays.

Redmond (1-1) allowed two runs, with three walks and four strikeouts. He was making his first start of the season for Toronto and just the second of his career. The right-hander was called up from Triple-A last week after the Blue Jays designated Chien-Ming Wang for assignment.

All three Toronto homers came off Scott Diamond (5-8), who lost for the fourth time in six starts.

The Blue Jays took two out of three and have not lost a series against Minnesota since May 2007.

INDIANS 9, TIGERS 6

CLEVELAND — Michael Brantley’s two-run homer in the eighth inning off Al Alburquerque helped Cleveland snap a seven-game skid against Detroit.

Brantley hit a solo homer in the sixth and had a career-high five RBIs. He drove a 3-1 pitch from Alburquerque (1-2) over the wall in right as the Indians recovered after their bullpen blew a five-run lead.

Detroit had overpowered Cleveland in the first two games of the four-game series, and the Tigers rallied to tie it 6-all in the eighth on Torii Hunter’s three-run homer.

Cody Allen (4-1) got one out in the eighth and Chris Perez gave up a single in the ninth before getting his ninth save.

RANGERS 5, ASTROS 4

ARLINGTON, Texas — A.J. Pierzynski hit a three-run homer, Nelson Cruz had a tiebreaking single in the fifth inning to lift Texas.

Five Rangers relievers, including right-hander Joakim Soria in his first appearance in nearly two years, pitched a scoreless inning apiece after rookie starter Justin Grimm couldn’t get an out in the fifth.

Cory Burns (1-0) got the win, and Joe Nathan pitched a perfect ninth for his 29th save in 30 chances a day after making his sixth All-Star team and second in two seasons with Texas.

Pierzynski gave the Rangers a 3-0 lead in the first inning with his 8th homer, a shot into the Texas bullpen in right field after consecutive walks to Elvis Andrus and Cruz by Erik Bedard (3-5).

 

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