The Yankees won a back-and-forth contest against the Orioles on a damp Friday night in Baltimore, 6-5. The Bombers' bullpen could not hold a two-run lead late in the game but a bit of good base running fortune involving Johnny Damon and then a key single by Derek Jeter in the ninth was enough to put the Yanks on top to stay. Kyle Farnsworth redeemed himself after Thursday's outing in Detroit, pitched effectively and earned the win.
Offensively, Damon and Jeter had nice games, and so did Andy Phillips and Jason Giambi (who both hit home runs). Giambi's dinger was a rainmaker to right and he's swinging the bat considerably better than he was just a week ago. Phillips has caught fire at the right time too. Jaret Wright pitched relatively well and Melky Cabrera made a good throw home to nail Javey Lopez in the second inning.
With the score tied at 5 in the ninth, Johnny Damon reached base with a two-out single off of Baltimore's closer, the gangly hard-thrower, Chris Ray. He then tried to steal second. Ramon Hernandez's throw beat him to the bag but second baseman Brian Roberts could not hold onto the throw. Damon slid into Roberts' glove. As the Orioles ran off the field and the TV prepared to go to commerical, the umpire changed his initial call of "out" to "safe." The ball fell to the ground as Roberts still tried to sell the call to no avail.
The play kept the inning alive. Jeter then sliced a low fastball into right for a single--his signature base hit and his third hit of the game. In all, it was a satisfying win for the Yanks. With all of the injuries the team is facing, and with the likes of T. Long (who didn't play tonight) and Scott Erickson (who did pitch, and pitched poorly) playing vital roles for the Bombers at the moment, every win feels that much sweeter (while every loss feels that much worse). Alex Rodriguez missed the game due to a stomach virus but Jeter, Giambi and company held it down.
The team will look to the Big Unit tomorrow to live up to his moniker and give them some length, just as Mike Mussina did the other night against the Tigers. Camden Yards is a far cry from Comerica so it should be interesting to see how he performs.