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O's-Yanks game ends in a tie
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09/18/2003  4:43 PM ET 
O's-Yanks game ends in a tie
By Gary Washburn / MLB.com

BALTIMORE -- When it became apparent that the heavy rains would only increase, the umpiring crew finally decided to end the final game of the four-game series between the Orioles and Yankees on Thursday at Camden Yards.

But there was no winner, only further discussions as to whether the game should played at all.

The Orioles and Yankees were tied at 1 when the game was called after the fifth inning. It was an official game, so the statistics will count.

The makeup date is Sept. 26 as part of a doubleheader beginning at 4:05 p.m. ET.

With Hurricane Isabel approaching, Thursday's game time was moved from 7:05 p.m. to 12:35 p.m., to potentially avoid the inclement weather. But the game was played entirely in a downpour. By the fifth inning, the rains were heavy, and crew chief Terry Craft called for the grounds crew to lay tarp on the field.

Forty-four minutes later, the game was called. Just a few minutes later, Yankee players were dressed and headed out. But there was no sure-fire way to leave town. The Yankees could not travel to Philadelphia because buses will not drive over bridges with the threat of the hurricane.

It is uncertain whether they could fly out of Baltimore-Washington International Airport to Tampa.

Yankees manager Joe Torre left Baltimore with some parting shots directed at the Orioles about playing in the first place.

"I'm angry because I don't know what sense it makes," he said. "I don't know why they are playing the game."

The Orioles offered to play a doubleheader Wednesday, but it was rejected by the Players Association. According to Yankees player representative Mike Mussina, Players Union general counsel Gene Orza suggested he reject the offer. Mussina agreed and did not inform his teammates or Torre of the possibility.

When contacted, Orza said he suggested the doubleheader be played and Mussina decided against it.

The offer was never formally made to Yankees officials.

The Yankees played a day-night doubleheader last Saturday against Tampa Bay.

"If we would have been in New York, I am sure the Yankees would have done the same thing," Orioles manager Mike Hargrove said. "You try to play every game you can."

The Orioles were tantalizingly close to winning this game by scoring a run in the fifth inning. But they blew their chance with some confusion between Pedro Swann and third-base coach Tom Trebelhorn.

Swann doubled off Mussina to begin the bottom of the fifth and, one out later, Brian Roberts laced a single to left. Trebelhorn was waving Swann home but suddenly put up the stop sign when left fielder Hideki Matsui quickly got the ball to third baseman Aaron Boone. Swann was too far past third base and had no choice but to dart for home. He was caught in a rundown.

"I got caught in between, and I got Pedro caught in between. It was bad coaching," Trebelhorn said. "I saw the play the whole way and I had every intention on scoring him. But it was my mistake."

Said Swann: "I was running full speed and was too far away from the bag. [Matsui] made a good throw and Boone was just about six steps from the bag, so I had to try to score."

After Luis Matos grounded to second base to end the inning, Craft called for the tarp.

Mussina was going for win No. 200 in a place where he had so many impressive wins before. He entered Thursday with 76 career wins at Camden Yards, including a three-hitter in July in perhaps his most dominating performance this season.

Mussina started off well, retiring eight of the first nine batters he faced, four of which came by strikeout. Roberts collected the Orioles' first hit in the third with a two-out double into the left-field corner.

Matos followed by poking a single just past shortstop Derek Jeter into shallow left field, cashing in Roberts to tie the score at 1.

The Yankees briefly jumped ahead in the top of the third when they collected three hits off Orioles right-hander Pat Hentgen. Nick Johnson walked with one out and moved to third on Jeter's single to right field.

Jason Giambi then followed with a double into the right-field corner, scoring Johnson while Jeter raced to third. Hentgen then responded by striking out Bernie Williams. After a walk to Matsui, he induced a popout from Boone.

Hentgen, pitching with a sore neck, allowed one run and five innings with four strikeouts. He said he had no problem playing in such conditions.

"I think it was a good idea to move the game up to 12:30, and we knew it was pretty much going to be a five-inning game," he said. "It just didn't work out."

Gary Washburn is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.



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