Yanks will have to wait for win over O's
Bombers take lead on Jeter's single; game to resume July 27
BALTIMORE -- As the rain came and went and New York's leads appeared and disappeared like the grounds crew at Camden Yards on Thursday, the pressure slowly mounted in front of the largest crowd in Baltimore since Opening Day.
The result will have to wait, however, as umpires suspended the game after a 1-hour, 25-minute delay with two outs in the top of the eighth inning and the Yankees leading, 8-6.Shortstop Derek Jeter sliced through both the tension and the torrent when he stroked a single up the middle in the eighth inning that scored two runs and broke a 6-6 tie just seconds before umpires stopped the game due to the downpour. The game will resume July 27 from where it left off before the next scheduled New York-Baltimore contest at Camden Yards. It seemed only fitting that a wild contest that featured five lead changes, two errors, two home runs and two stoppages due to wet weather would end without a result. Down 4-2 in the seventh inning, the Orioles pieced together a four-run rally thanks to a triple from Kevin Millar and a double from Jay Gibbons that drove starter Chien-Ming Wang from the game. Wang has thrown past the seventh inning in six of his 13 starts, but couldn't finish off the O's and left after surrendering six runs on nine hits. New York then faced an uphill battle, as it hasn't come from behind to win a game since June 8. But the maligned Orioles bullpen allowed two walks and hits to catcher Jorge Posada and designated hitter Johnny Damon before Jeter's clutch single. Despite not finishing with a win, several Yankees said the four-run rally to take the lead in the eighth inning was an important step for the club. "To have the lead and lose it and then to bounce back the way we did does a lot for our personality," New York manager Joe Torre said. "The road trip was horrible, but the last thing we did -- and are hopefully are still doing -- helped us get our personality back." First baseman Andy Phillips, starting just his second game of the season, began the scoring when he smacked a 2-2 fastball from Baltimore starter Daniel Cabrera into the left-field bleachers in the third inning. But a Brian Roberts home run in the Orioles' half of the third erased New York's edge and gave Baltimore a 2-1 advantage. The Yankees stormed back, adding two runs in the fourth and one in the seventh on RBIs from Alex Rodriguez, Melky Cabrera and Damon, and capped their night with Jeter's two-run single. "We didn't give up," Jeter said. "We had the lead there with Wang pitching and we felt pretty good. Then they scored those runs, but we came back. We've been stressing playing all nine innings, and we feel pretty good going home." Going home will be a welcome change for New York, which won only one of its eight contests on the road trip. Over those eight games, the Yanks averaged less than three runs per outing, so posting an eight-spot on the rainy scoreboard was a good sign. "We just kept coming back," said Posada, who was 1-for-2 with two walks. "We did a lot of good things, especially with guys on base, and with two outs, we never died. We'll forget about [the road trip] real quick. We haven't won the game, but it's a good feeling, what's going on. We'll just forget everything and start over again." Before the eighth-inning dramatics, New York had a brilliant chance to take the lead when Rodriguez stepped to the plate with one out and the bases loaded in the seventh. But Baltimore starter Daniel Cabrera bested the 10-time All-Star, as Rodriguez grounded into an inning-ending double play. "I think it was tremendous the disappointment with that, especially with how big Alex has been for us," Torre said. "You sort of automatically expect something good to happen. Then to lose the lead and come back I thought was important for us. "We had to call on our resources. We had to find out if we were just going to settle for that or fight back, and we saw a lot of fight."
Geremy Bass is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.