11th-inning victory was one for books


Trembley: Rallying to beat Yankees `unimaginable'

May 29, 2008|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN REPORTER

While most of his focus settled on last night's game, Orioles manager Dave Trembley wasn't quite ready to put the previous night's 11-inning victory behind him. It was too good, too inspiring, to store away.

The Orioles overcame four home runs by the New York Yankees in the first five innings and rallied from deficits of 8-4 and 9-8. They scored twice in the 11th after the Yankees had gone ahead, with the winning run scoring on Alex Cintron's one-out, bases-loaded single that cleared a drawn-in outfield.

"We never quit. That was the best thing for me," Trembley said. "You don't take credit for that, but you feel like someone's listening. You feel like the message and the attitude and the approach and the philosophy and the foundation, everything that we're trying to accomplish here -- it's such a great feeling when 25 guys are all buying into that. Last night was the epitome of that. That's what made it unbelievable.

"That's the kind of stuff that happens in low-A ball. That was unimaginable what happened, in the big leagues and against the New York Yankees. That's pretty special. You root for your guys. It was fun. You remember it for a long time. It kind of allows you to wake up this morning, and the cup of coffee tastes a little bit better."

Cintron produced the game-winner after the two batters in front of him were intentionally walked. Aubrey Huff stood at third base after doubling in Melvin Mora, who led off with a single, and advancing on the throw.

Luis Hernandez pinch-ran for Kevin Millar at first -- Trembley wanted more speed in case the Yankees tried to turn a double play -- and almost forgot to touch second. Cintron saw him begin to celebrate and yelled in Spanish for him to keep running, also waving his arms for emphasis.

"We saw it all," Trembley said. "When those kinds of things happen, it really unfolds very slowly in front of you. When Cintron hits the ball, it's like it's up there forever. You're looking at the base runners, and the base runners look like they're in slow motion.

"You're just sitting there making sure everyone advances 90 feet and touches the base in front of them before you leave your position in the dugout. Unfortunately, a lot of guys, even though they're big leaguers, don't know what you have to do."

Cintron didn't mind directing traffic.

"I was close enough to yell at him," Cintron said. "I saw him start to celebrate and I'm yelling, `Touch the bag! Touch the bag!' "

Another interesting sidebar to the game occurred in the sixth inning, when Mora raised both arms, appearing to call for time, before reliever Dennis Sarfate spun around and picked off Derek Jeter at second base. Mora actually was trying to get Ramon Hernandez's attention, wanting the double-steal sign so he'd know whether the Orioles' catcher would throw to second or third in that situation.

Standing by

Reliever Matt Albers was a career .061 hitter in the National League, with 20 strikeouts in 33 at-bats. But he can rake the ball in batting practice.

Swinging from the left side yesterday during an early hitting session for pitchers, Albers put two balls on the flag court and consistently made solid contact.

"I got to start a little bit last year and I took batting practice coming up through the minors with the Astros. I'm used to it," he said.

Albers might not get to hit in interleague play but wants to be ready "just in case."

150 for Millar

Millar had no idea that the first of his two home runs on Tuesday was the 150th of his career until reliever Lance Cormier reminded him.

"I knew this year I probably had a chance to hit 150," said Millar, who gave the ball to his father. "For an undrafted guy, to think you'd have 150 home runs in the big leagues, that's awesome. ... That tells you I've had some at-bats up here and have had a chance."


Sun reporter Dan Connolly contributed to this article.

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