Orioles Snap Yankees' Win Streak

Down by one run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, the Yankees called on Ruben Sierra to pinch-hit with the bases loaded. Sierra swung at the first pitch he saw from Baltimore's Buddy Groom and flew out to left to end the Yankees' late rally and give the Orioles a 4-3 victory.

David Wells (12-4) made his first start since missing a turn in the rotation with an aching back. The Boomer didn't look his best, but was certainly much better than in his previous outing. Wells allowed 10 hits during his seven innings of work, seven of those hits coming with two strikes on the batter. He took his first loss since July 4, allowing all four runs while walking two batters and striking out four.

The Yankees jumped ahead in the bottom of the first inning. Alfonso Soriano led off the inning with a single and scored on Nick Johnson's tenth homerun of the season to stake the Yankees to a quick 2-0 lead.

In the second inning, Baltimore tied the game with four consecutive two-out, two-strike hits. Brook Fordyce drove in a run with a single, and Brian Roberts did the same moments later. Wells finally struck out Tim Raines Jr – son of former Yankee Tim Raines – with three straight curveballs to end the inning.

In the bottom of the third, Soriano gave the lead back to the Yankees with a towering homerun to deep left-centerfield.

But the lead would be short-lived. Brook Fordyce hit a game-tying homerun off of Wells in the fifth, and Deivi Cruz drove in the go-ahead run with a sixth-inning double.

Pat Hentgen (5-6) pitched effectively for 7 2/3 innings and picked up a win. He allowed three runs on six hits and just one walk while striking out four batters. He was pulled in the eighth inning after committing an error with two outs.

The Yankees wasted their biggest opportunity of the evening in the ninth inning. With one out, Jorge Posada and singled off of Jorge Julio. Aaron Boone followed that with a single of his own to put runners at first and second. After Karim Garcia flew out for the second out, Alfonso Soriano walked to load the bases.

Groom was called upon to pitch to Johnson, but Joe Torre pinch-hit with Sierra. Sierra came into the game hitting 6/11 against the southpaw, but flew out to end the game and give Groom a quick save.

Derek Jeter extended his hit streak to 10 games with a third-inning single. He added another single in the sixth.

Game two of the four-game series will be on Saturday at 4:05 pm. Mike Mussina (14-6, 3.02) will look to extend his scoreless innings streak when he takes the mound for the Yankees. Rodrigo Lopez (5-8, 5.75) will get the start for the Orioles.

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