Series: Game 2 of 4

NY Yankees leads 2-0 (as of 8/15)

Game 1: Thursday, August 14
NY Yankees8Final
Game 2: Friday, August 15
NY Yankees6Final
Game 3: Saturday, August 16
NY Yankees5Final
in 12
Game 4: Sunday, August 17
NY Yankees8Final

Yankees 6

(73-47, 40-23 away)

Orioles 4

(57-64, 31-29 home)

    7:05 PM ET, August 15, 2003

    Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland 

    123456789 R H E
    NYY 002000004 6 11 0
    BAL 000000121 4 11 0

    W: J. Nelson (4-2)

    L: J. Julio (0-5)

    S: M. Rivera (25)

    New York 6, Baltimore 4

    BALTIMORE (AP) -- His struggle had become so profound that Aaron Boone felt compelled to express his anguish to New York manager Joe Torre after a fifth-inning strikeout.

    So when he came to the plate in the ninth inning Friday night with two runners on and the Yankees down 3-2, Boone was desperate to break out of his perplexing slump.

    He did, in far from routine fashion, hitting a disputed three-run homer that gave New York a bizarre 6-4 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.

    "It's nice to finally contribute a little offensively," said Boone, whose home run ended his 6-for-51 run since the Yankees acquired him from Cincinnati on July 31.

    Boone's drive to left was initially called foul by third base umpire Jeff Nelson. After Boone came running across the field to protest and Yankees manager Joe Torre joined the argument, the umpires huddled and reversed the call.

    Orioles manager Mike Hargrove then came out to argue, and was ejected from the game. Hargrove tossed his hat and a rectangular bat weight on the infield grass as he walked off the field.

    Replays seemed to indicate the ball traveled well inside the foul pole.

    "Their job is get the call right, and they felt that they did," Hargrove said. "It's just a little tough to take."

    Earlier, after striking out with two runners on in the fifth, Boone walked up to Torre in the dugout.

    "I told him, 'Sorry, Skip. I'm embarrassed," Boone said.

    But the ending couldn't have been sweeter.

    "This is a guy who needs an opportunity to win a game," Torre said. "You don't trade for a third baseman for his glove."

    After Boone connected against Jorge Julio (0-5), Alfonso Soriano added a solo shot for a 6-3 lead.

    Jeff Nelson (4-2) got the victory despite giving up a tiebreaking RBI double to Larry Bigbie in the eighth.

    The Orioles threatened again in the ninth. Jack Cust led off with a homer off Mariano Rivera to make it 6-4 and Baltimore had the tying runs in scoring position with Jay Gibbons up and two out.

    Gibbons hit a tapper back to the mound, however, and Rivera picked up his 25th save.

    Bernie Williams also homered for the Yankees, who stranded 16.

    "That's the only stat I wish they'd take off the board," Torre said.

    Bigbie had two hits for the Orioles, who have lost five straight. Baltimore has dropped 12 of its last 14 games against New York, dating back to last year.

    A shoddy performance by the New York bullpen denied Roger Clemens his 305th career victory, which would have tied him with Hall of Famer Eddie Plank for 18th place on the career list.

    Clemens blanked the Orioles on three hits through six innings, but Baltimore closed to 2-1 in the seventh when Bigbie reached on an infield hit and scored on a two-out double by Brook Fordyce.

    Torre lifted Clemens in the eighth after the right-hander struck out leadoff hitter Luis Matos. Jesse Orosco then gave up a double to B.J. Surhoff and an RBI single to Gibbons.

    Nelson came in and retired Tony Batista on a fly ball, but Bigbie doubled to right-center to score Gibbons and give Baltimore its first lead.

    It wouldn't last.

    Clemens outpitched Orioles starter Jason Johnson, who gave up two runs and seven hits in seven innings. Even though Johnson has a respectable 3.75 ERA in 11 career games against the Yankees, he's 1-6.

    Williams gave the Yankees a 2-0 lead with a two-run homer in the third inning, but New York missed several opportunities to blow the game open.

    The Yankees got at least one hit in each of the first five innings, and Johnson also issued five walks and hit a batter. But New York stranded 10 runners and went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position over that span.

    Game notes

    New York's Hideki Matsui recorded his first major league steal in the third inning. ... The Orioles designated RHP Rick Helling for assignment and purchased the contract of LHP John Parrish, who struck out Williams with the bases loaded in the eighth. ... New York RHP Antonio Osuna was reinstated from the bereavement list. RHP Bret Prinz was optioned to Triple-A Columbus to make room for Osuna. ... The game drew 47,850, the fourth sellout of the season at Camden Yards. ... Williams has 23 homers against Baltimore, including 11 at Camden Yards.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press