LEICESTER LOSES IT
Rookie starter Jon Leicester wanted to make one last impression on the Orioles before the season ended. He did, but it wasn't a good one. He was touched for seven earned runs on eight hits and three walks in 4 1/3 innings. In two starts against New York this season, Leicester surrendered 13 earned runs in 8 1/3 innings. Orioles manager Dave Trembley had said the pitcher will get an extended look in spring training, perhaps for a role in the bullpen. He will finish the season with a 2-3 record and a 7.59 ERA.
1,500 TIMES TWO
A two-run home run off Leicester in the third inning was not only Alex Rodriguez's 54th of the season, but it gave him 1,500 RBIs for his career. The third baseman, 32, became the third-youngest player in baseball history to reach that plateau. Then in the fifth inning, Rodriguez raced home on Hideki Matsui's single, giving him 1,500 runs scored for his career. Rodriguez was 3-for-5 with four RBIs and two runs. Rodriguez has four home runs and 16 RBIs in 16 games against the Orioles this season.
Melvin Mora produced the game-winning hit on a bases-loaded, two-out bunt single in the bottom of the 10th inning. Tike Redman started the threat with a one-out double, and he moved to third on a passed ball. The Yankees intentionally walked Nick Markakis and Miguel Tejada, loading the bases for Kevin Millar, who struck out looking. Mora then placed a bunt down the line in front of Yankees backup third baseman Wilson Betemit and reached base without a throw.
Right-hander Daniel Cabrera (9-17, 5.36 ERA) will make his final start of the season against Yankees left-hander and Orioles nemesis Andy Pettitte (14-9, 3.81). Cabrera, winless in his past seven starts, is 3-5 with a 4.39 ERA in 12 career starts against the Yankees. In four starts against them this year, Cabrera is 1-2 with a 5.25 ERA. Pettitte, who is scheduled to start either Game 1 or Game 2 of the American League Division Series, is 1-1 with a 2.38 ERA against the Orioles this year and 21-6 with a 3.63 ERA over his career.