Orioles 6, Yankees 4

Sunday, April 8th 2007, 3:39 pm
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) -- Talk about strange days at the ballpark.

Paul Bako put Baltimore ahead with his first home run since 2004, a 3-run drive that led the Orioles to a 6-4 victory over the New York Yankees on a snowy Sunday.

Erik Bedard (1-1), chased early by Minnesota on opening day, gave up a 2-run homer to Alex Rodriguez in a 3-run 1st and then rebounded to retire his next 11 batters and 20 of 22.

On a day when flurries swirled after the sun came out, Nick Markakis had 3 hits to complete a 7-15 weekend and made a diving catch in right field for the second consecutive day – both on Jason Giambi. Markakis had entered the series 1-10.

In the biggest oddity, Andy Pettitte came in for just his second relief appearance since 1998 after Darrell Rasner (0-1) made it five flops in a row for the Yankees' starting rotation.

Yet, there was the familiar, too.

Yankees nemesis Kevin Millar hit a 2-run homer in the 2nd to start Baltimore's comeback and added a sacrifice fly in the 7th that made it 6-3 after 2nd baseman Robinson Cano dropped a popup -- New York's AL-leading eighth error.

Baltimore, which played a planned opener on the road for the first time since 1978, headed home with a 2-4 record after getting swept by Minnesota and taking two of three at Yankee Stadium. New York, still searching for an adequate performance by a starting pitcher, left for a six-game trip to Minnesota and Oakland.

Bedard gave up 6 runs in 4 2-3 innings in losing his first start. He allowed 5 hits in 7 innings in this one, lowering his ERA from 11.57 to 6.94.

After Johnny Damon tripled and scored in the 8th, John Parrish got Josh Phelps to hit an inning-ending flyout with the bases loaded. Chris Ray, who gave up Rodriguez's game-ending grand slam Saturday, pitched the 9th for his second save.

Rasner gave up 5 runs and 8 hits in 4 1-3 innings. Yankees starters have allowed 27 runs -- 24 earned -- and 36 hits in 21 2-3 innings for a 9.97 ERA. To rest his taxed bullpen, manager Joe Torre brought in Pettitte, who struck out 1 and walked 1 in a hitless 6th inning. It was the ninth relief appearance of his major league career and just the second since 1998 for Pettitte, who threw 83 pitches in his start Thursday.

It was 41 degrees at gametime and wind kept blowing debris on the field -- Miguel Tejada did some sanitation duty when he batted in the 3rd, picking up a bag and napkin from the infield and stuffing them into a pants pocket. Flurries began in the 6th inning -- the second time in four days it snowed during a game at Yankee Stadium.

Bobby Abreu's sacrifice fly preceded the home run by Rodriguez, his fourth of the season and third in two days.

Millar, still booed by Yankees fans from his days playing for Boston, was 1-14 this year with no RBIs before he homered. Last year, 3 of his 15 home runs were against New York.

Bako put the Orioles ahead 5-3 in the 4th with first home run since Aug. 25, 2004, for the Chicago Cubs against Milwaukee's Doug Davis, and second since July 7, 2002. Bako has just 15 homers in a major league career that began in 1998.