Orioles vs. Yankees: Baltimore closer Jim Johnson lets one slip away


Vernon Wells’s pose says it all as the Yankees rally in the bottom of the ninth in the Bronx to drop Baltimore. (Andy Marlin/Getty Images)
July 5, 2013

Baltimore closer Jim Johnson’s rough season continued when he blew his sixth save of the season in the Orioles’ 3-2 loss to the New York Yankees on Friday night.

It couldn’t have been much worse for Johnson, who entered with a one-run lead in the bottom of the ninth and immediately allowed a single to ninth-place hitter David Adams.

Johnson (2-7) then misplayed an attempted sacrifice bunt by Brett Gardner for an error. After a successful sacrifice bunt, Johnson intentionally walked Robinson Cano to face cleanup hitter Travis Hafner.

And that’s when things really turned ugly for the Orioles closer.

He walked Hafner on four pitches to tie the score at 2-2 and officially pick up his sixth blown save in 35 attempts. He now has twice as many blown saves as he did last year.

Vernon Wells followed with a game-ending single to left to score Gardner and extend the Yankees (47-39) win streak to five games.

The Orioles (48-39) have lost three of four since sweeping the Yankees in Baltimore last weekend.

“A lot of it is just getting ahead,” Johnson said of his recent struggles. “And just making good pitches. The walks have been uncharacteristic. I told you that a while ago. That’s something I’ve been continuing to work on. We’ll find it. There’s going to be a key there somewhere. I’ll figure it out. “

Right-hander Ivan Nova picked up the win for the Yankees as he pitched a complete game with 11 strikeouts while allowing three hits and one walk.

— Baltimore Sun

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