Final in 12

Series: Game 3 of 4

NY Yankees leads 3-0 (as of 8/16)

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

Yankees 5

(74-47, 41-23 away)

Orioles 4

(57-65, 31-30 home)

    7:05 PM ET, August 16, 2003

    Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland 

    23456789101112 R H E
    NYY 10010110001 5 9 0
    BAL 01100001000 4 9 0

    W: C. Hammond (3-1)

    L: H. Carrasco (1-4)

    S: J. Nelson (8)

    Cust tagged out before scoring tying run

    BALTIMORE (AP) -- Jack Cust provided an appropriate ending to an extraordinary game.

    Jack Cust

    AP Photo

    The O's Jack Cust, left, came up 10 feet short from tying the Yankees in the 12th.

    The Baltimore Orioles' rookie had already fallen once rounding third base, and was in the midst of a rundown when he suddenly realized there was no one covering the plate.

    All Cust had to do was outrun New York third baseman Aaron Boone the final 10 feet to create a 12th-inning tie. But Cust tripped again and was tagged for the final out in the Yankees' 5-4 victory Saturday night.

    "He had a free trip to home, and he tripped and fell," Orioles manager Mike Hargrove said. "Those things happen."

    Not very often, though.

    "It was bizarre, certainly," Boone said.

    "We lucked out," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "I don't even want to see a replay. I'd just as soon go home, go to sleep and wake up tomorrow."

    Jason Giambi hit his 35th homer with two outs in the top of the 12th as the Yankees dealt Baltimore its sixth straight loss.

    Jeff Nelson walked Cust with two outs in the 12th before Larry Bigbie doubled to right-center. Cust tried to stop as he rounded third, but slipped to the ground.

    "I tried to plant, but my feet just gave out," Cust said. "It's the grass. It's just soft."

    Second baseman Alfonso Soriano made a low relay throw to third, and Cust was caught in a rundown. As he saw the clear path to the plate and tried to get into high gear, he stumbled facefirst to the ground and was easily tagged out.

    Seldom-used John Flaherty hit two home runs for the Yankees, who survived three Baltimore homers and a rare mistake by Torre, who failed to notice that the Orioles batted out of order while scoring a first-inning run.

    Because he didn't point out the miscue, the run counted.

    "I told the players, `Thanks for bailing me out. You saved my bacon, guys," Torre said.

    Giambi was 1-for-5 with three strikeouts before sending a 1-0 pitch from Hector Carrasco (1-4) far over the center-field wall.

    Chris Hammond (3-1) pitched two innings and Nelson got three outs for his eighth save -- his first with the Yankees since arriving on Aug. 6 in a trade with Seattle.

    Luis Matos tied the game in the ninth with a leadoff homer against Mariano Rivera, who faltered for his sixth blown save. Jose Morban and Brook Fordyce also homered for the Orioles.

    Baltimore's six-game skid matches a season high. Five of the losses have been by one or two runs, and Baltimore held the lead in all but one of the games.

    This one hurt the most.

    "I never saw one like that," Hargrove said. "We just haven't caught a break during this stretch."

    Actually, the Orioles were lucky to get away with a huge mistake in the first inning.

    Baltimore went up 1-0 on a sacrifice fly by Tony Batista, who was listed fifth on the lineup card but batted in the cleanup spot instead of Jay Gibbons.

    "I always check the lineup card with the one on the wall, and over the last few years we've caught a couple," Torre said. "But we never registered because the person never got a hit. ... It was the most miserable game I've ever been through."

    Derek Jeter got his 1,500th career hit and Boone had two hits for the Yankees.

    Flaherty, a backup catcher, entered with two home runs in 27 games. It was his sixth career two-homer game, the first since 1999.

    With the score tied at 3 in the eighth, Giambi doubled off John Parrish and Hideki Matsui grounded a two-out single to right for his 87th RBI, tops among all major league rookies.

    But Matos tied it in the ninth with his 10th homer.

    "We battled, but we just couldn't close the deal," Hargrove said.

    Morban put Baltimore up 2-1 in the third with his second home run, a drive that barely cleared the left-field wall. Fordyce hit his fifth homer, the third in eight games, to make it 3-1 in the fourth.

    Flaherty led off the fifth with a shot to left, the 17th home run allowed by Orioles starter Pat Hentgen in 21 games this year.

    Game notes

    Fordyce has one less homer than in the previous two seasons combined. ... New York improved the majors' best road record to 41-23. ... Soriano went 0-for-6 and is 2-for-17 in the series.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press