Final

Series: Game 1 of 3

Baltimore leads 1-0 (as of 4/21)

Game 1: Friday, April 21
Baltimore6Final
NY Yankees5
Game 2: Saturday, April 22
Baltimore1Final
NY Yankees6
Game 3: Sunday, April 23
Baltimore1Final
NY Yankees7

Orioles 6

(11-7, 4-1 away)

Yankees 5

(7-8, 3-1 home)

    7:05 PM ET, April 21, 2006

    Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York 

    123456789 R H E
    BAL 003003000 6 10 1
    NYY 100210010 5 12 0

    W: K. Benson (2-2)

    L: C. Wang (1-1)

    S: C. Ray (6)

    Shaky Benson good enough to beat Yankees

    NEW YORK (AP) -- Anna Benson watched nervously as her husband took on the Yankees in his return to New York.

    "He had something to prove," she said, "and he proved it."

    Coming off stints with the Yankees' biggest rivals, Kris Benson and Kevin Millar boosted Baltimore to a 6-5 victory Friday night that ended with Hideki Matsui taking a called third strike from Chris Ray on a full-count slider with the bases loaded.

    "Unbelievable," Alex Rodriguez said. "They deserved it."

    Booed all night, Millar hit a two-run single in the sixth inning that turned a 4-3 deficit into a 5-4 lead against Chien-Ming Wang (1-1). Millar also doubled to spark a three-run third.

    "Until I play for the Yankees, I don't think they're ever going to love me," said Millar, who spent the previous three seasons with Boston, helping the Red Sox beat the Yankees in 2004 en route to their first World Series title since 1918.

    Dealt by the Mets to Baltimore during the offseason, perhaps because of his attention-grabbing wife, Benson (2-2) allowed four runs -- three earned -- and eight hits in 5 1-3 innings.

    "The one game I got to pitch here last year was a lot of fun," he said. "So I knew that coming back in here was going to be exciting for me. Of course I wanted to pitch well coming back to the city."

    Baltimore, which has won three straight and nine of 12, didn't retire the side in order all night.

    Ray walked Derek Jeter with one out and Gary Sheffield singled. Rodriguez then struck out, drawing loud boos. After the runners moved up on defensive indifference, Jason Giambi loaded the bases with a walk from Ray.

    "When he came in, I said to myself -- I didn't want say it to anyone on the bench and jinx him -- this would be a real test," Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo said.

    It sure was.

    Matsui took a close 2-2 pitch for a ball, then looked fooled by the slider. While Matsui turned and groaned, catcher Ramon Hernandez raised his right fist in triumph.

    "I was expecting a fastball, but I was also expecting a slider," Matsui said through a translator.

    Perlozzo called the last pitch "gutsy."

    "The slider would be the best pitch to throw there, plus he wouldn't be expecting it," Ray said. "Maybe next time they'll look for it, and I'll throw the fastball."

    Sheffield's single following Jeter's triple high off the right-center fence in the first, Robinson Cano's two-run homer in the fourth and Rodriguez's RBI single in the fifth had given the Yankees a 4-3 lead.

    Baltimore loaded the bases with no outs in the sixth on consecutive singles.

    Javy Lopez hit a comebacker that Wang turned into a forceout at the plate -- with a low throw that Jorge Posada scooped -- and Millar blooped an 0-1 pitch into right field.

    "I'm not a good enough player to be booed," he said. "Most of the time, only the good players get booed."

    Wang gave up six runs and eight hits in 5 1-3 innings. Baltimore made it 6-4 when Scott Proctor walked rookie Nick Markakis with the bases loaded.

    Consecutive doubles by Matsui and Posada off LaTroy Hawkins pulled the Yankees within a run in the eighth.

    New York, which dropped to 7-8, stranded 10 runners and was just 4-for-15 with runners in scoring position but still had a chance to win it on the final pitch.

    "I don't know if there's anyone in baseball looking for a 3-2 slider in that situation," Jeter said.

    Even before the first pitch, it was a night for compelling story lines.

    Baltimore was playing its first game against the Yankees since its former manager, Lee Mazzilli, returned to New York as a bench coach.

    Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts returned to Yankee Stadium for the first time since he dislocated his left elbow last Sept. 20 in a nasty collision at first base with Bubba Crosby. In addition to Benson, it marked a return to New York for Orioles vice president Jim Duquette, the Mets' former general manager.

    "It has nothing to do anymore with beating the Yankees," Millar said. "We're trying to play good baseball and win a bunch of series."

    Game notes


    Yankees public address announcer Bob Sheppard returned after missing opening day for the first time since 1950. Sheppard injured a hip the night before the opener. ... A moment of silence was observed before the game in memory of Gulf Coast Yankees manager Oscar Acosta and Humberto Trejo, field coordinator the Dominican Summer League Yankees. They were killed in a car crash Wednesday. ... Melvin Mora had a two-run infield single to shortstop in the third as Jeter rushed a high throw to first, and Tejada followed with an RBI single.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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