NEW YORK (AP) -- The Baltimore Orioles scored five quick runs,
knocked New York's starting pitcher out of the game and took
control before the Yankees even batted.
The Orioles just gave the cool and confident Yankees too much
time to come back.
"My mind-set was just keep them at five," Sheffield said.
"With our lineup, why not think that way?"
"We just wanted to keep them close," Sturtze said. "You know
our guys are going to score. It was just a matter of time."
Sheffield's three-run homer closed the early gap, and Jeter's
seventh homer pulled New York within a run. Jeter has driven in at
least one run in a career-high nine straight games.
New York is 5-0 this year against Baltimore, and has won 44 of
its last 61 games against the Orioles. Overall, the AL East-leading
Yankees have won eight of their last nine. New York has 21
come-from-behind wins this season and has won four times after
trailing by at least four runs -- the Yankees never accomplished the
feat last year.
"We've got the capabilities on offense," manager Joe Torre
said. "This is the type of club that if we can just stay at arm's
length, we can put points on the board."
Bret Prinz (1-0), recalled from Triple-A Columbus before the
game, pitched 1 2-3 perfect innings for his first win with the
"It's been a great day for me, and to have the result happen
the way it did is great," Prinz said. "I'm just hanging out in
Buffalo, then I get a phone call and then I'm here getting a win."
Tom Gordon allowed one hit in the eighth, and Mariano Rivera
pitched the ninth for his 20th save in 21 chances. Rivera allowed
the tying run to reach third base for the second straight night
before ending the game by throwing a called third strike past
pinch-hitter Jose Leon.
"It's unacceptable," Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli said.
"That's it -- not good. When you've got a five-run lead early on,
you've got to shut the other team down. You can't let a five-run
lead get away from you like that."
With New York trailing 5-4 in the sixth, Alex Rodriguez hit a
leadoff single and Sheffield drew a walk from starter Eric DuBose
(4-4). Buddy Groom came in and loaded the bases with a walk to
Hideki Matsui tied it with a run-scoring groundout, and Sierra
followed with a long flyout to right that sent Sheffield home with
the go-ahead run.
DuBose allowed six runs and three hits in five-plus innings. He
also walked four.
Baltimore built its early lead by taking advantage of two errors
and a wild Contreras.
Brian Roberts reached on Jeter's fielding error, Melvin Mora
walked and Miguel Tejada followed with an RBI single. Contreras
walked Rafael Palmeiro, loading the bases, and Javy Lopez made it
2-0 with a long sacrifice fly that scored Mora and moved Tejada to
Contreras then threw a pitch over Luis Matos and to the
backstop, scoring Palmeiro. After Matos walked, Larry Bigbie hit a
fielder's choice to make it 5-0. Jerry Hairston singled, moving
Bigbie to third, and that was it for Contreras.
The Yankee Stadium crowd cheered as Torre walked out to the
mound to remove Contreras, and the right-hander was booed loudly as
he trudged to the dugout.
"It's logical that they booed me. I would've booed myself,
too," Contreras said through a translator. "I know that when I go
out and get my rhythm back, they'll be cheering for me."
Sturtze came in and got Roberts, the 10th Oriole to bat in the
inning, to ground out.
Contreras allowed five runs -- one earned -- and two hits and
walked three. He threw just 44 pitches, 24 for strikes.
Sturtze allowed five hits in 4 2-3 scoreless innings, and
received a standing ovation when he was taken out with one out in
the sixth -- giving way to Prinz.
New York got three runs back in its half of the first on
Sheffield's sixth homer, which followed one-out walks to Bernie
Williams and Rodriguez. Jeter homered in the fifth.
"Walks killed me," DuBose said. "That's the turning point,
right there in the first inning."
The AL record for consecutive games with an RBI is 13 by
Kansas City's Mike Sweeney in 1999, and Taffy Wright of the White
Sox in 1941. The major league record is 17 by Oscar Grimes of the
Cubs in 1922. ... Jeter made a pair of errors at shortstop, giving
him a team-high six. ... When Rodriguez walked in the first, he
reached base safely for a career-high 40th straight game. ...
Sheffield was thrown out at the plate by Palmeiro in the fourth on