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Helping the Yanks

Right-field umpire Rich Garcia wasn't the only one to make mistakes last night. The Yankees and Orioles played terribly in what is theoretically a matchup of the American League's two best teams.

Tim Raines led off the game by hitting a high fly to left field, an easy pop. But B. J. Surhoff raised his arms in confusion; the ball fell in front of him. "He never saw it," said center fielder Brady Anderson.

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The Orioles gave the Yankees three extra outs in the second inning, and it cost them a run. Roberto Alomar mishandled a chopper by Paul O'Neill and was charged with an error. Mariano Duncan hit a double-play grounder to second, but Cal Ripken's throw to first pulled Rafael Palmeiro off the bag. Jim Leyritz hit another potential double-play grounder, but third baseman Todd Zeile fumbled the play.

Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte committed a balk on a strange play, looking to throw to first when Tino Martinez was playing behind the runner.

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Brady Anderson hit a high pop to left in the ninth, and it fell between Raines and shortstop Derek Jeter.

The Orioles went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position, the Yankees 1-for-14.

Orioles manager Davey Johnson was asked after the game if Garcia's call cost his team the game. "I always say that one play doesn't beat you in a ballgame," Johnson said, "but this is about as close as it comes to one play beating you. We had a lot of opportunities. We gave them a couple of runs early in the game and made some fielding mistakes, but it should not have been that close."


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