A recap of the Orioles' 10-9 victory over the Yankees last night:
Dialing long distance
Playing small ball wasn't an option for either team last night, and most definitely in the second inning. They took some serious hacks and rung up big numbers on the scoreboard. The Yankees homered twice, and the Orioles did the same in the bottom half. When's the last time that happened? Jason Giambi launched a 415-foot bomb onto Eutaw Street to break a scoreless tie, and Johnny Damon lined a three-run shot that barely cleared the out-of-town scoreboard. He came up a few feet short of Giambi, but he gave the Yankees a 4-0 lead. It didn't last long, however. Kevin Millar hit a two-run homer and Ramon Hernandez followed with a solo shot during a four-run inning. The teams combined for eight homers by the fifth.
Brian Burres and Ian Kennedy didn't stick around very long. Neither starter made it past the fourth inning. Burres lasted 3 2/3 , but he permitted eight runs and 10 hits - including four home runs - and had his ERA jump from 3.16 to 4.15. The four homers were one more than he surrendered all season. Kennedy wasn't allowed out of the dugout for the fourth, but it had more to do with a strained right lat. He gave up three earned runs (four total) and four hits. He still doesn't have a victory above Triple-A this year and could lose his spot in the rotation to Joba Chamberlain.
Reducing his pitch count
Dennis Sarfate took a shortcut to escape a jam in the sixth inning that he inherited from Lance Cormier. Sarfate entered with the score tied, two outs and runners on first and second. Rather than pitch to Alex Rodriguez, he spun around and picked off Derek Jeter at second. Matt Albers began to warm up in the bullpen, leading to speculation that Sarfate would leave the game without throwing one ball toward home plate. But Sarfate retired the side in order in the seventh.
The Orioles conclude their three-game series with the Yankees tonight (7:05 p.m.), and they'll face a nemesis whose retirement, whenever it comes, will be celebrated in Baltimore. Andy Pettitte is 23-6 with a 3.77 ERA lifetime against the Orioles. He'll be opposed by Jeremy Guthrie, who hasn't faced the Yankees this season. In four career appearances, including three starts, he's 1-0 with a 4.74 ERA. The Yankees are batting .293 against him. Guthrie held Tampa Bay to one run over 6 2/3 innings Friday night, but absorbed his fifth loss because the Orioles were shut out.