Mental mistakes cost the Orioles in a 5-2 loss to the New York Yankees, the most critical one coming when Gold Glove center fielder Adam Jones dropped a two-out fly ball, allowing three runs to score and break a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the seventh inning.
The Orioles and outfielder Nate McLouth, one of their key stretch run players from last year¿s playoff season, agreed to a one-year deal Wednesday, essentially shutting the door on acquiring more major league outfielders, including free agent Nick Swisher.
The Orioles head into free agency — which starts in earnest Saturday with free agents permitted to negotiate with all 30 teams for the first time this offseason — in a much different situation than this time last year. Executive vice president Dan Duquette is not only in place as club's decision-maker, but he seems to be established as a man with a plan.
Orioles left-hander Brian Matusz said he "got chills" when the crowd at Oriole Park gave him a loud, standing ovation on his way off the field after a strong 6 1/3-inning performance against the Boston Red Sox.