BALTIMORE (AP) — CC Sabathia wasn't very effective on the mound and the New York Yankees went 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position, so they couldn't complain too much about losing to the Baltimore Orioles.
Except for the fact that the final out may not really have been the final out.
A 5-4 defeat Saturday night that dropped the Yankees back into a first-place tie with Baltimore ended with a gimpy Mark Teixeira desperately diving headfirst to first base in an effort to beat out a double-play grounder as the potential tying run crossed the plate.
Umpire Jerry Meals called Teixeira out. Replays — and the Yankees — indicated otherwise.
"It was not a bang-bang play. He was safe. He was clearly safe," New York manager Joe Girardi said. "You hate to lose a game that way, but he missed it."
Trying to secure a victory for Joe Saunders (2-1), Baltimore closer Jim Johnson entered with a 5-3 lead in the ninth. He promptly gave up three straight singles, the last a bunt by Derek Jeter, to load the bases with no outs.
Nick Swisher drove in a run with a forceout. Johnson then went to 3-0 on Teixeira, who was playing for the first time in 11 games following a left calf strain. On a 3-2 pitch, Teixeria hit a grounder to second that turned into a double play.
Well, at least that's how it looked in the box score.
"I didn't really feel like we lost the game. I feel like we got cheated out of it," New York catcher Russell Martin said. "Umpires are human. They're going to make mistakes. We made our share of mistakes today, and that's probably one of the reasons we lost."
The final out gave Johnson his 42nd save, improved Baltimore's record in one-run games to 25-7 and delighted Baltimore fans in the sellout crowd of 46,067.
Mark Reynolds, Lew Ford and J.J. Hardy homered for the Orioles, who have won 11 of 15 overall and nine of the last 13 against the Yankees. With a victory Sunday, Baltimore will win the season series (10-8) for the first time since 1997.
The Orioles have hit 12 home runs, three by Reynolds, in the first three games of a four-game series that concludes Sunday.
But Baltimore lost right fielder Nick Markakis for six weeks with a broken left thumb, the result of being hit by a pitch from Sabathia in the fifth inning.
Markakis can only hope the Orioles make a lengthy postseason run and he has a quick recovery.
"It's just a matter of healing," he said. "I'll be in a brace for a while and hopefully it will heal up quicker than I think it will."
White House Program Cuts Up to $1k off Monthly Payments! (3.05% APR)