BALTIMORE (AP) — After Freddy Garcia was done with his wild performance and Taiwan native Wei-Yin Chen had experienced the thrill of pitching in the major leagues for the first time, the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees kept threatening to score and repeatedly failed to do so.
Raul Ibanez finally decided the battle of missed opportunities in the 12th inning, delivering a two-out double to score the go-ahead run and provide the Yankees with a 5-4 victory Tuesday night.
“It just seemed to be one of those games for both teams. We had our opportunities to score runs,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “It was a strange day. Just a strange day.”
Both teams had trouble delivering in the clutch on a chilly night at Camden Yards. New York went 2 for 18 with runners in scoring position and the Orioles 0 for 8.
And that was only part of it.
Garcia and Orioles left-hander Wei-Yin Chen both had memorable performances. Garcia threw five wild pitches, one short of the major league record, and Chen took a 4-1 lead into the sixth inning in his major league debut.
In the sixth, the Yankees used three hits, a walk and a costly error by third baseman Mark Reynolds to pull even. With two outs, Orioles manager Buck Showalter worked his way to the mound and took the baseball from the 26-year-old Taiwan native.
“When Buck walked to me I was pretty upset about myself because I didn’t have command tonight,” Chen said through an interpreter. “I didn’t help the team get a win tonight. This is the reason I’m here, to help the team get a win. I’m not satisfied.”
Chen gave up a home run to his first batter, Derek Jeter, whose 25th leadoff homer broke a tie with Rickey Henderson for most in franchise history. The former Japanese Central League standout then threw four straight scoreless innings before apparently tiring.
“Physically, I’m not tired at all,” Chen said. “Mentally, I got tired.”
Chen allowed four runs, two earned, and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings. He struck out six, walked one and was lifted after 101 pitches.
“To be honest with you guys, this is my first major league outing. I was so nervous,” Chen said. “But after the first inning everything was fine for me.”
Garcia yielded four runs, three earned, four hits and three walks in 4 2-3 innings. He’s the first player to throw five wild pitches in a game since Philadelphia’s Ken Howell in 1989.
“I didn’t really make good pitches tonight. I was all over the place,” Garcia said. “I don’t remember ever doing that. I don’t know how many there were, five, six?”
His problem was that he couldn’t get a grip on the split-finger fastball, his money pitch.
“To only give up four hits in almost five innings is pretty amazing considering you don’t have one of your main pitches,” Garcia said.
Robinson Cano led off the 12th with a double off Pedro Strop (0-1). Four batters later, Ibanez hit a liner off the right-field warning track that bounced into the stands.
Former Oriole Clay Rapada (1-0) got two outs in the 11th, and Mariano Rivera worked a perfect 12th for his first save this year and the 604th of his career.
Chen began his long-awaited debut by missing the strike zone on three straight pitches. Jeter then took a strike before driving a fastball well over the center-field wall. Nick Swisher followed with a double, but Chen worked out of trouble despite hitting Alex Rodriguez with a pitch.
Garcia was even shakier in the bottom half. After J.J. Hardy hit a solo homer, Nick Markakis walked and Matt Wieters singled with two outs. Garcia then threw a pair of wild pitches that enabled Markakis to score the go-ahead run.
The next flurry of activity came in the Baltimore fourth. Adam Jones led off with a double, took third on a wild pitch and scored when catcher Russell Martin dropped a throw to the plate.
Chen retired 12 straight batters before Martin’s one-out single in the fifth. Brett Gardner also singled, and both runners moved up on a groundout by Jeter before Swisher flied out.
Baltimore made it 4-1 in the bottom half when Robert Andino doubled, advanced on a sacrifice and scored on a wild pitch.
In the sixth, Reynolds let in a run when he mishandled a sharp two-out grounder by Martin, and Gardner hit an RBI single to end Chen’s outing.
NOTES: New York clinched another series win over Baltimore. The Orioles are 0-6-2 since their last series win over New York, in September 2010. … The Yankees will send LHP CC Sabathia to the mound in the series finale Wednesday night. Sabathia is16-2 against Baltimore. Jake Arrieta will pitch for the Orioles, seeking to build upon a season-opening performance in which he threw 7 shutout innings against Minnesota. … Baltimore has homered in the first or second inning of every game. … Nine of Hardy’s 32 homers with Baltimore have come in the first inning.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)