BALTIMORE - It was bound to happen. The Baltimore Orioles bullpen wasn't going to hold, and on a dreary Monday night, it didn't.
After Jason Hammel couldn't get an out in the sixth inning, the nearly perfect Luis Ayala allowed a long two-run home run to Mark Teixeira in the seventh, and the New York Yankees had an 8-5 win over the Orioles before 16,492 at Oriole Park.
The game was 14 minutes late in starting, and as it plodded along, the first-place Orioles lost a 5-3 lead and are now tied with Tampa Bay for AL East supremacy.
"Hammel had good stuff early," manager Buck Showalter said. "We jumped out and took the lead. We just couldn't hold onto it."
In the seventh, Ayala (1-1) allowed a leadoff single to Alex Rodriguez. After Robinson Cano flied to left, Teixeira hit his fifth home run of the year for a 7-5 lead.
David Phelps (1-1) got his first major league win. Rafael Soriano pitched the ninthfor his second save.
Baltimore threatened in the seventh. J.J. Hardy led off with a long drive that Curtis Granderson ran down in center field. With two outs, Adam Jones and Matt Wieters singled off Phelps, but Boone Logan struck out Wilson Betemit to end the inning.
Eric Chavez's sacrifice fly in the ninth off Dana Eveland gave New York its final run.
The Orioles (22-14) scored two runs in the first off Ivan Nova. Xavier Avery led off with a double, his first major league hit. He scored on Hardy's single. Hardy came home on Adam Jones' double.
The Yankees tied the score at 2 in the fourth on a two-run double by Nick Swisher off Hammel.
Granderson's long home run to Eutaw Street in the fifth gave New York (20-15) a 3-2 lead.
In the bottom of the fifth as it began to rain, Robert Andino led off with a walk. Avery tripled to score Andino, and Hardy homered to left, his ninth of the year, to make it 5-3.
In the top of the sixth Cano doubled. Teixeira and Swisher walked. Hammel exited with the bases loaded and none out. With Ayala on, Raul Ibanez bounced to Chris Davis at first. He was handcuffed, and the ball went into right field. Cano and Teixiera scored to tie it at 5.
"I tried to make a throw before I caught it," Davis said. "It was a really good ball to turn two on."
Hammel allowed five runs - one unearned and seven hits in five-plus innings, striking out three and walking three.
"Honestly, we should have won that game," Hammel said. "I was very much in command."
Nova left after suffering a bruised and sprained right foot and ankle fielding Betemit's leadoff grounder in the sixth. He gave up five runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings, walking three and striking out four.
NOTES: Showalter said that outfielder Nolan Reimold, who received an epidural injection on Friday, had not progressed as quickly as hoped. He may get another and could receive as many as three. Reimold is eligible to come off the disabled list on Wednesday, but won't.
Matt Lindstrom has a sprained ligament in his right middle finger. He expects to be back when he's eligible to come off the disabled list on May 26.
Dylan Bundy pitched five innings for Delmarva. He allowed two hits and an unearned run to Lakewood. In seven starts, Bundy hasn't allowed an unearned run and just four hits in 25 innings. He's struck out 36 and walked only two. His next start should be on Sunday in Hagerstown. He's expected to be promoted to Frederick early next month.
Billy Rowell, the team's first choice in the 2006 draft, has been suspended 50 games for testing positive on a drug of abuse. Rowell, who spent three seasons at Frederick and never advanced beyond Bowie, was attempting to convert to pitching.
Derek Jeter singled in the third inning for his 3,143rd lifetime hit. That passed Robin Yount for 16th place on the career hit list.
Infielder Zelous Wheeler, who was designated for assignment last week, has cleared waivers and assigned outright to Bowie.