NEW YORK — Adam Jones took the blame.
Nope, the triple play in the eighth inning had little to do with the Orioles' 5-2 loss to the New York Yankees on Friday might. Jones' dropped fly ball that allowed three runs to score in the seventh was Baltimore's undoing.
"Just missed it," Jones said. "You could say it's rain. You could say it's cold. You could say anything, wind, you could say whatever you want. I was there. Didn't catch it. Cost my team the game."
With the score 2-all, the Yankees had loaded the bases on two walks — one intentional — and a hit batter. Vernon Wells hit a long fly ball off Pedro Strop that Jones — a Gold Glove center fielder — ranged back for. On the warning track, Jones turned, raised his glove and blew a pink bubble. He closed his glove a bit early, and the ball bounced away clearing the bases.
Baltimore started the eighth with singles by Alexi Casilla and Nick Markakis off CC Sabathia (2-1). Manny Machado then hit a sharp low liner that Robinson Cano caught on a short hop near second base. Cano threw to fill-in shortstop Jayson Nix at second for the forceout.
Casilla, thinking the ball was going to be caught by Cano, got trapped in a rundown between second and third base.
Youkilis tagged Casillas and made a quick throw to first baseman Lyle Overbay when Machado ranged too far off the bag. Overbay then made an awkward throw to Cano, who tagged Machado, setting off a celebration.
"The two lead runners made the right play," Showalter said. "It's a line drive short-hop. You can't go anywhere because if he catches it, then he does get multiple outs. We just made a mistake on the trail runner trying to get a little overaggressive, a young player. But Manny's one of the reasons why we were in that game."
Overbay, signed in late March to help fill in for Mark Teixeira, was worried his throw to Cano was going to spoil the play that was scored 4-6-5-6-5-3-4.
"Good thing he's got good hand-eye coordination," Overbay said.
After Cano applied the tag for the third out, he and his teammates high-fived and grinned broadly as they ran off the field. Sabathia thrust his fist in the air.
"That's like being a kid again," Youkilis said. "That's one of the coolest things I've ever had on the field. You don't see one written up like that. It was special. This game we play, it's one of these games where it's a job and it's a grind at times. But when stuff like that happens, you feel like you're back playing little league again."
The Orioles' has not hit into a triple play since April 3, 1996, against Kanas City.
The Yankees had last turned a triple play on April 22, 2010, at Oakland — with Sabathia on the mound. They hadn't accomplished the feat in the Bronx since June 3, 1968, against Minnesota.
In the first meeting between the teams since the Yankees eliminated the Orioles in Game 5 of the division series, Sabathia allowed two runs — one earned — and eight hits with nine strikeouts and no walks. Mariano Rivera pitched the ninth for his second save.
Miguel Gonzalez (1-1) had trouble gripping the ball in the cold and walked five batters. But Showalter was impressed his team stayed in the game.
"You can overcome it. It was still just two runs up there. It doesn't mean because you walked more people than you normally do that you concede the game. We didn't. We were right there."
Baltimore tied it 2-all when Matt Wieters reached on Youkilis' misplay and advanced on Sabathia's balk. J.J. Hardy followed with an RBI single.
"Made an aggressive mistake," Youkilis said. "You just don't want to give away outs."
Youkilis had three hits and an RBI but made an error at third base that led to the tying run in the seventh inning. Youkilis has hit in all nine games he's played with the Yankees.
Eduardo Nunez, filling in at shortstop for injured captain Derek Jeter, was hit on his right wrist by a pitch from Gonzalez and left after attempting a warmup throw before the third inning.
X-rays were negative.
Gonzalez then dropped No. 9 hitter Francisco Cervelli to the dirt in the fifth with a pitch that came close to the catcher's head, and the right-hander was booed relentlessly by what remained of the 35,033 fans that withstood the blustery 35-degree wind chill.
Cervelli ended up walking and coming around to score — clapping his hands — on Cano's RBI single to left-center, his eighth RBI in three games.
"Miguel, I don't think he felt the baseball. He didn't really have a feel for his curveball most of the game," Showalter said. "It was frustrating for him, but CC had a good outing, did a lot of things he's been doing for a long time. He's a pitcher. Miguel gave us a chance to win the game. We were fortunate not to give up more damage than we did."
NOTES: Jones snapped his nine-game hitting streak to start the season ... The Orioles claimed RHP Alex Burnett off waivers from Toronto and optioned him to Triple-A Rochester. To make room on the 40-man roster, they transferred INF Wilson Betemit (torn right knee ligament) from the 15- to the 60-day DL. ... Orioles RHP Steve Johnson (lat strain) and LHP Tsuyoshi Wada (elbow surgery) are to throw in extended spring training Saturday.
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