Cumberland Times-News

Local Sports

July 7, 2013

Rivera can’t keep up with Jones

Orioles win 2-1 on 9th inning homer by Adam Jones

NEW YORK — Three straight one-run games in sweltering heat at Yankee Stadium, and the Baltimore Orioles had nothing to show for it.

That is, until Adam Jones stepped to the plate in the ninth inning.

Jones hit a two-run homer against Mariano Rivera, and the Orioles beat the Yankees 2-1 on Sunday to end New York’s longest winning streak of the season at six games.  

“It’s off the greatest closer in the history of the game,” Jones said. “I’ll always remember it.”

A healthy Hiroki Kuroda pitched seven innings of three-hit ball for the Yankees, unable to finish off a three-game sweep after Baltimore took all three games from them at Camden Yards last weekend.

David Robertson worked a 1-2-3 eighth and the 43-year-old Rivera (1-2) entered looking to reach 30 saves for the 15th time, which would break a tie with Trevor Hoffman for the major league record.

With one out, Nick Markakis made a bid for a tying homer but his drive hooked just wide of the right-field foul pole. Markakis then singled sharply to center for his third hit and Jones, elected to his first All-Star start on Saturday, drove an 0-1 pitch to left for his 16th home run.

“I wanted it to be more in. Didn’t get in enough,” Rivera said. “It wasn’t really a mistake, just good hitting.”

It was Rivera’s second blown save in 31 chances during his farewell season. Baseball’s career saves leader, chosen for his 13th All-Star squad, had converted 41 tries in a row at home since his last failure on Sept. 26, 2010, against Boston.

“Whenever it happens you’re kind of shocked, that’s how good he is,” manager Joe Girardi said.

Darren O’Day (5-0) got two outs and Jim Johnson, who blew a save in the series opener Friday, struck out two in a perfect ninth for his major league-leading 30th save in 36 attempts.  

Baltimore finished 2-4 on its road trip against the Chicago White Sox and Yankees.

New York fell to 40-2 when leading after eight innings.

The only other home run Rivera allowed this season was to Tampa Bay slugger Evan Longoria on April 23. The last long ball he gave up at Yankee Stadium was to Russell Branyan of the Angels on Aug. 11, 2011.

“You don’t want to go out there and get swept, especially against the teams in your division in games you need to win,” Markakis said. “The way Kuroda threw the ball and, like I said, the conditions, we’ll take it.”

Cubs 4, Pirates 3

CHICAGO — Pinch hitter Dioner Navarro had a game-ending sacrifice fly in the 11th inning, lifting the Chicago Cubs to a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.

Anthony Rizzo sparked the winning rally with a leadoff single. He advanced on Alfonso Soriano’s single and went to third when Pirates catcher Russell Martin threw the ball into center field while trying to pick Rizzo off second.

Luis Valbuena was walked intentionally before Navarro’s fly ball to right off Bryan Morris (4-3) gave the Cubs their seventh win in the last 11 games.

Matt Guerrier (3-4) pitched two scoreless innings for his first win with Chicago. He was acquired in the trade that sent Carlos Marmol to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday.

The Cubs had a 3-2 lead and the Pirates were down to their last strike when Starling Marte drove a 3-2 pitch from closer Kevin Gregg over the wall in center for his ninth homer.

It was Gregg’s second blown save in 17 opportunities. He began the inning with consecutive strikeouts against Jordy Mercer and pinch hitter Travis Snider.

Chicago (38-48) improved to 20-18 since it got off to a lackluster start. It has won five of its last seven series.

Pittsburgh (53-34) has dropped three of four to fall into a tie with St. Louis for the NL Central lead and the best record in baseball.

 

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