NEW YORK (AP) - Eduardo Nunez and the Yankees were as sloppy as the weather.
Mark Reynolds hit a tiebreaking single in the 11th inning after striking out four times and the Baltimore Orioles outlasted New York 5-4 on Wednesday in another soggy game between two sleep-deprived teams.
``We gave them a lot of their runs today. That's the bottom line, and that's why we lost this game,' Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. ``Even when our regulars aren't in there, our defense has been pretty good. Today it wasn't. I don't know if it was the conditions. I don't know if it was fatigue. I don't know what it was, but it really cost us the game.'
Less than 11 hours after New York completed a rain-delayed victory, both squads were back at it.
The showers returned, too, though the game started on time and was never interrupted other than when the grounds crew needed to apply diamond dust to dry a soaked infield. The stadium lights came on with rain falling again in the sixth.
``We don't have to worry about making up this game, and that's a good thing,' Girardi said. ``But physically, it's been a grind. There's no doubt about it.'
Nolan Reimold hit a two-run homer off A.J. Burnett and the last-place Orioles took advantage of four Yankees errors, two by Nunez as he filled in for Derek Jeter at shortstop. Both teams looked sleepy and sluggish out there - with good reason, too.
With few options for a makeup date, they waited out a rain delay of 4 hours, 3 minutes on Tuesday night to play a game that ended at 2:15 a.m. Yankees players rushed home while the Orioles zipped back to their hotel to get a few precious hours of shuteye before heading back to the ballpark Wednesday morning for the 1:05 p.m. start.
New York tried to extend this one even longer, putting runners at the corners with two outs in the bottom of the 11th.
Pinch-hitter Eric Chavez, batting for Nunez, hit a low, sharp liner toward the middle and shortstop Robert Andino went to the ground to knock it down. He shoveled to second to nip Curtis Granderson for the final out, ending the game after 4 hours, 23 minutes.
``So many good things today,' Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. ``Robby came out there and played as good a game at shortstop as you'll ever see played in these conditions, too. I can't tell you how tough that is out there.'
Pedro Strop (1-1) worked 1 1-3 scoreless innings and Jim Johnson got three outs for his third save.
The Orioles used eight pitchers, the Yankees six. The teams meet again in Baltimore on Thursday at 1:05 p.m. - weather permitting - for the makeup of an Aug. 27 rainout caused by Hurricane Irene.
``I think everybody's going to sleep well on the train,' Showalter said.
Burnett, given a reprieve in New York's six-man rotation after an effective start at Boston last week, allowed four runs in six-plus innings. Alex Rodriguez hit a two-run double and prized prospect Jesus Montero a two-run single off the fence in right.
The AL East leaders, however, had their six-game winning streak snapped. Burnett threw three wild pitches to raise his season total to 23, by far the most in the majors.
``Every game it seems to be one pitch, and you get somebody going yard,' he lamented. ``But I kept them in it the best I could. I felt strong, but the 3-1 pitch - I can't give in right there.'
New York matched a season high for errors, and the last one was especially costly.
Nunez couldn't handle a hot shot with one out in the 11th, allowing Matt Angle to reach safely. Angle stole second with two outs and Nick Markakis was intentionally walked before Reynolds delivered an RBI single off Hector Noesi (2-1).
Coming off the late night, both managers rested several regulars, and the makeshift lineups resembled a spring training game or Triple-A matchup. Three Yankees hitters wore numbers in the 60s, and neither team looked like a big league bunch as players battled wet, windy weather in front of a sparse crowd for the second straight day.
Andino's wind-blown popup in the third dropped behind the mound for a single, eluding Nunez. Burnett missed first base with his foot on a potential double play and a Bronx cheer went up when he and first baseman Brandon Laird finally converted a 3-1 putout after a couple of unsuccessful tries.
``Disgusting. As sloppy as it gets,' Rodriguez said, referring to the Yankees' play. ``You expect that with the tough conditions.'
NOTES: With the game tied in the late innings, Granderson, Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano all came off the bench. ... To mark the 10-year anniversary of 9-11, the Yankees held a pregame ceremony on the field that included former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. The salute was held four days early at Yankee Stadium because the team will be in the middle of a 10-game, four-city road trip Sunday.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved