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Orioles, Yankees drop one-run games

Sep 23, 2012, 5:08 PM EDT

Matt Wieters Reuters

A pair of lengthy winning streaks came to an end Sunday, as both the Yankees and Orioles lost one-run games to keep the status quo atop the AL East.

The Orioles saw their six-game streak conclude in losing 2-1 to Boston. Baltimore caught a very bad break in the top of the ninth, when Jim Thome‘s hard shot to right skipped over the low right-field wall at Fenway for a ground-rule double, preventing Mark Reynolds from scoring from first and tying the game. The O’s went on to strand the bases loaded against Andrew Bailey.

Today’s game did mark the debut of the game’s top pitching prospect, 19-year-old right-hander Dylan Bundy. Bundy got flyouts from both batters he faced and showed a 92-94 mph fastball in his first appearance since starting for Double-A Bowie on Aug. 28.

The Yankees, who had won seven straight, fell a few minutes later, as the A’s salvaged one game in Yankee Stadium by prevailing 5-4.

The game featured more shaky umpiring, most of it coming from home-plate umpire Mike Estabrook. Complaining about the first of his three strikeouts on the day, Alex Rodriguez could be heard telling Estabrook that the called third strike was “on the ground.” It was a slight exaggeration, but it was definitely low. Later, Nick Swisher was rung up on a pair of curveballs that were clearly outside. Robinson Cano also had something to say about the called strike three that ended the game in the ninth, but that one seemed to have plenty of corner.

Also damaging: Larry Vanover missed on a bang-bang play at first base in the second inning, giving Josh Donaldson a single. Cliff Pennington later hit a two-run homer in the frame.

Oakland’s bullpen deserves much of the credit for the win. Jerry Blevins, Ryan Cook, Sean Doolittle and Grant Balfour combined to pitch 4 2/3 scoreless innings in relief of A.J. Griffin. Hiroki Kuroda took the loss for the Yankees after giving up five runs — four earned — in 5 2/3 innings.

Since both the Orioles and Yankees both ended up winning two out of three this weekend, the Yankees still have their one-game lead in the AL East. The A’s will have either a 2 1/2- or 3 1/2-game lead in the wild card, pending the Angels’ outcome today.

  1. randygnyc - Sep 23, 2012 at 5:36 PM

    What an embarrassing, ugly, uninspired game by the Yankees. It’s amazing to see this kind of effort from a team in the middle of a playoff hunt. I’m disgusted I wasted +3 hours watching that garbage.

  2. bronxbomber213 - Sep 23, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    I wouldn’t call that play bang bang..that was a terrible call..but in other news the joke is over with the kid at short…he can’t even make routine plays and now is not the time to be giving free runs away!

  3. uyf1950 - Sep 23, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    An open comment to ANY Yankee official that may read this. Please stop using Nunez in the field. In fact so as to remove any temptation to play him there in the future, please trade him.

  4. gotampabay52 - Sep 23, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    keep it going beotches

  5. bigharold - Sep 23, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    “Larry Vanover missed on a bang-bang play at first base in the second inning, … ”

    That play wasn’t close by an measure. While winning margin was in effect the difference in that blown call it wasn’t the reason the Yankees lost. The Yankees subsequently had the lead AND the home plate umpire was far worse and had a greater detrimental effect on the game.

    It’s a great playoff race that the Yankees find themselves in and I’m enjoying every minute of it.

  6. inthearex - Sep 24, 2012 at 8:28 AM

    You can’t give up on Nunez so easy. He has the potential to be a great hitter in this league and has speed to spare. His D has been bad but you’re also asking a young, everyday ss to play 3b, ss, 2b and even left field almost every other time he’s playing. That’s pretty difficult to do. Be patient with him. He’s worth it.

  7. sportstalker12 - Sep 24, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    Already given up on Nunez. How many guys are given as many chances as he has been given? I like the kid’s personality, but let’s be real, he is not a pro caliber infielder. Maybe they could make an outfielder out of him, but we need a backup shortstop. Chavez is much better at third than he is, even at his age. However, I can not understand why Gerardi is not playing A-Rod, Jeter, and the rest of the starters every game. Come on, we need the division win or we don’t have much of a chance at the world series. Let’s be real.

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