Baltimore's bullpen falters, Orioles in 2-1 hole

Associated Press Modified: October 11, 2012 at 12:32 am •  Published: October 11, 2012
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"I'm not satisfied that I didn't catch the ball," Jones said. "To make an excuse, that's definitely not me. I just plain didn't catch the ball."

Baltimore's Nos. 8 and 9 hitters provided early power, with Ryan Flaherty sending a slider from Hiroki Kuroda over the right-field short porch in the third and Manny Machado putting another slider in the Baltimore bullpen leading off the fifth. They became the first pair of rookies to homer in the same postseason game. Just 20, Machado became the second-youngest player with a postseason home run, behind only Atlanta's Andruw Jones who was 19 in 1996.

Then it all unraveled in the ninth.

"It breaks your heart, but we've been doing great," Gonzalez said. "Can't complain. The guys have been battling the whole year and things happen. It's part of baseball. It was a tough game for us tonight, but I know we're going to come out tomorrow and play a better game."

Orioles manager Buck Showalter already was looking ahead.

"Stunned left me a while ago. I got a grip on how hard this is to do. The problem with a lot of coaches and managers, they forget about how hard the game is to play and how tough a night they've had on given times. It's very hard to do what they do," Showalter said. "Jimmy is a big-hearted, talented guy, that — believe me, we'd be at home watching without people like Jim Johnson. He's a special guy. We're real proud of him, and you'll see him again tomorrow night, I hope."

In the playoffs for the first time since 1997, the Orioles must win Thursday night to save their season.

"You've got to stay positive through this," Matusz said. "We've all worked so hard this year to get to this point. And you can't let one bad pitch or one game ruin it. You've just got to keep positive."