NEW YORK -- The ball bounced past a diving Mark Teixeira, ultimately providing what would be the Baltimore Orioles' last run of the game Monday night.
But as J.J. Hardy's single in the seventh inning provided another two-out hit that helped lead the Orioles to a 5-4 win, it also might have contributed to bigger issues for the New York Yankees.
Teixeira left the game after the seventh with a left wrist injury, one he said he first felt on a swing during Sunday night's game against the Boston Red Sox. He aggravated the ailment on the dive for Hardy's ball, which was part of a two-run seventh that also included an RBI double by Nick Markakis, who had three hits.
By the end of the night, X-rays on Teixeira's wrist were negative, but the wrist was in a brace, and Teixeira was facing an MRI exam Tuesday and the prospect of missing at least one game, and the potential for more.
The Yankees lost for the third consecutive game and the eighth time in 11 games, while the Orioles won their second in a row to move 6 1/2 games back in the AL East. Baltimore was two games out in the wild-card race following its victory.
"Every day is important," said Orioles third baseman Wilson Betemit, who hit his 12th homer of the season. "We've got to come in here and win every game."
The Yankees don't quite have that type of pressure, having built a solid cushion. However, they acknowledged they'd like to stop their recent slide, which has also coincided with the recent loss of third baseman Alex Rodriguez to a broken left hand.
"It's been hard," said Eric Chavez, who moved to first base to fill in for Teixeira. He had been subbing for Rodriguez at third base. "It is close ballgames, and our offense has kind of been sputtering a little bit. We seem to do some things once in a while, but not real consistently."
Miguel Gonzalez (3-2) shut down the Yankees for most of the night in his fifth major league start before giving up back-to-back homers in the seventh. He left having allowed four runs on six hits while striking out eight in 6 2/3 innings.
Chavez, Raul Ibanez and Ichiro Suzuki homered for New York, with Ichiro smacking his first as a Yankee and the 100th of his career, earning a long, loud ovation.
With the Orioles up 5-4 in the ninth, closer Jim Johnson gave up a leadoff double to Nick Swisher and a one-out walk in his first appearance since allowing six runs last week against the Oakland A's.
But Johnson got Ichiro to hit into a fielder's choice for the second out and struck out Russell Martin to end the game and earn his 31st save of the season.
"Jimmy's got a lot going on in his gut and his heart," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "I think he's grasped the life of a closer."
Trailing 5-2, the Yankees closed within 5-4 on two-out, back-to-back homers in the seventh, with both reaching the second deck in right. Chavez hit his ninth of the year, taking a moment to admire it. Ichiro followed with his milestone homer, giving him hits in all seven games he's played for the Yankees.
Other than that, Gonzalez was impressive, mixing his fastball and changeup well.
"I'm confident in it," Gonzalez said of his changeup. "Can throw it in any count, was successful with it, and that's all that matters."
Three Orioles relievers shut the Yankees out the rest of the way.
Yankees reliever Boone Logan struck out the first two batters when he came on in the seventh, but his walk of Omar Quintanilla came back to hurt him.
Markakis followed with a double that scored Quintanilla from first, and Hardy singled past a diving Teixeira to drive in Markakis for a 5-2 lead.
"I feel OK about it," Teixeira said of the injury that was tweaked on the play. "It's not too bad."
Yankees starter Freddy Garcia (4-5) allowed nine hits in six innings, but he limited Baltimore to three runs.
The Orioles opened a 3-1 lead in the fifth thanks to back-to-back hits and a pair of sacrifice flies.
NOTES: Yankees left-hander Andy Pettitte (fractured left ankle) should still remain on schedule for an early September return, manager Joe Girardi said a day after Pettitte told the New York Post he had tried to do too much in his rehab in Seattle. ... Swisher (left hip flexor) was in the lineup as the designated hitter for the second consecutive game, and Girardi said he might keep him there for the next three days. ... Yankees reliever Joba Chamberlain (elbow surgery, ankle surgery) said he felt good after making a rehab appearance for Class AA Trenton on Sunday, and he will pitch for the same team Tuesday. He could rejoin the Yankees after that. ... GM Brian Cashman said he would not rule out making a deal before Tuesday's non-waiver trading deadline, but he indicated it was unlikely. He said the team would not be interested in acquiring a player with a hefty contract such as Philadelphia Phillies left-hander Cliff Lee. ... Orioles DH Jim Thome was scheduled to travel back to Baltimore on Monday night to undergo an MRI exam Tuesday due to neck spasms. Thome said his neck didn't improve the way he wanted and he felt it during batting practice. ... Second baseman Robert Andino (strained left shoulder) could be activated from the disabled list Tuesday, manager Buck Showalter said.
Delivered to your inbox
|Best of Yardbarker||NFL News||MLB News|
Today's Best Stuff