Tonight's game was one of the most ridiculous exercises I've witnessed in recent history. The game started late due to rain and even when it started it was still pouring. Both teams played through the sloppy weather and the sloppy umpiring until they finally called a rain delay with two outs in the top of the 7th at about 11:30 PM. They could have called the game but instead started playing again at just about 12:50 AM. Yes, they resumed a game at nearly 1 o'clock in the morning, when the teams play again at 1 p.m., just twelve hours later.
Andy Pettitte, the Orioles arch-nemesis, didn't look so tough tonight. In the 2nd inning the O's scored their first run off of him on back-to-back doubles by Melvin Mora and Luke Scott. They'd strike again in the 5th. Brian Roberts got his first RBI of the night on a sacrifice fly to score Felix Pie (who'd reached base on a walk). Three batters later, with the bases loaded, Pettitte hit Mora on the elbow to force in a run. Melvin was in quite a bit of pain. He took his base but eventually had to come out of the game.
Damaso Marte relieved Pettitte to start the 6th inning and the O's greeted him quite rudely. They loaded the bases on two singles and walk for Brian Roberts. Roberts lined a hit into left center to score two runs and Cesar Izturis followed him with another RBI single. Nick Markakis would knock in the fourth run of the inning with a sacrifice fly.
The O's weren't finished, though. They came back in the 7th for 3 final runs off of Kevin Millar's BFF Edwar Ramirez. Ramirez struck out Wieters and Fiorentino to start the inning, then proceeded to give up RBI singles to Izturis and Markakis. The Orioles wouldn't score again after the rain delay, but 10 runs is pretty impressive.
Although he allowed four runs, Chris Tillman pitched a pretty good game. It didn't look good in the first inning. After striking out Derek Jeter to get things started, he walked Nick Swisher, gave up a single to Mark Teixeira, and then did what he does every now and again. He left a fastball up and over the plate and Alex Rodriguez just CRUSHED it. It was a no doubter into the second deck in left field and gave the Yankees at the time a 3-0 lead. They'd score their fourth and final run in the fourth inning as a result of some sloppy fielding. With two outs and a runner on first, Brett Gardner hit a ground ball to Luke Scott at first base. Luke ranged wide to get it and looked a little uncertain on the throw. He finally shuffled it to Tillman, who was hesitantly running to first. Gardner was hustling down the line and beat Tillman, which extended the inning so that Jeter came to bat and got an RBI single to right.
Tillman only pitched 5 innings and gave up 4 runs on 9 hits and 2 walks. He struck out a career high of 8 and earned his 2nd career win. The line wasn't that pretty but I'll take it for Tillman's first ever start against the Yankees and in New York, especially on a night when the crowd was especially electric and loud for some reason.
Mark Hendrickson pitched the final three innings after the rain delay, saving most of the bullpen for the game later today. In doing so, Hendrickson earned his first ever major league save.
Finally, I guess I should address a history making hit that occured tonight. In the top of the 9th inning, at approximately 1:17 a.m., rookie Justin Turner got his first major league hit, a clean single up the middle to center field. Congratulations, Justin! I hope it's the first of many.
You can put this one in the win column as the Orioles get their first win in New Yankee Stadium. They play again on Saturday afternoon at 1:05 PM as Brian Matusz looks to lead the O's to back-to-back wins.