Nick Markakis and the Baltimore Orioles once again came up just short against the New York Yankees.
Markakis was tagged out at the plate by pitcher Hiroki Kuroda while trying to score the tying run in the seventh inning, and the Orioles lost to New York 2-1 Monday night.
The Orioles haven't had much luck against their New York nemesis. The O's fell to 0-4 against the Yankees this season — including a pair of extra-inning losses at Camden Yards — and 15-43 since 2009. Baltimore hasn't won any of the last 14 season series against them, either.
"We were playing these guys toe to toe. That's something we can pull out of it," said Jason Hammel, who pitched well in defeat. "Obviously we can't really get down on ourselves for playing good baseball."
Eric Chavez hit an early two-run homer and New York made several sparkling plays in the field, including two by novice left fielder Eduardo Nunez.
But the top gem came on Kuroda's final pitch.
"It came out right," Kuroda said through a translator.
Down 2-1 in the seventh, the Orioles used a single, a hit batter and wild pitch to put runners on second and third with two outs. Kuroda bounced a splitter in the dirt and catcher Russell Martin blocked it, with the ball skittering toward Baltimore's dugout on the third base side.
Markakis broke for the plate, aiming to score the tying run.
"You don't really have time to think about much," Martin said. "It's just reaction."
Martin quickly recovered and made a backhand flip to Kuroda, who planted his right foot directly in the runner's path. Markakis had to reach around Kuroda's leg, and the pitcher's perfect fundamentals gave him time to make the tag as the Baltimore star tumbled into him.
"We had our one opportunity there and couldn't push that run across," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "Nicky made a good aggressive play and they made a heck of a play to get him."
"They have to make a great play to get him out. I would be upset if he wasn't aggressive and trying to do something there in a close ballgame like that. Usually, the aggressor wins," he said.
The loss denied Showalter his 1,000th win as a big league manager — his first victory came in 1992 next door at the old Yankee Stadium. Baltimore lost for the second time in eight games.
Kuroda (2-3) allowed one run and four hits while outpitching Hammel (3-1).
Chris Davis hit a sacrifice fly for the Orioles in the second.
Chavez put New York ahead with his third homer, a drive into the Yankees' bullpen in right-center field in the bottom half. Mark Teixeira opened the inning with a one-hop single over the first base bag, and Showalter came out to dispute the call with first base umpire Bob Davidson.
"I couldn't tell from my angle, but supposedly it should still be 1-1. I don't know. That's part of the game I guess, missed calls or close calls. It is what it is," Hammel said.
David Robertson struck out the side in the eighth for the Yankees and Mariano Rivera closed for his fifth save in six chances. A day after Baltimore rallied for five runs in the bottom of the ninth to beat Oakland, there was no comeback against the New York bullpen.
"They've certainly shortened the game up so far in the season," Showalter said.
NOTES: Orioles slugger Mark Reynolds went 0 for 3. He has not homered in 63 at-bats this year — this is his first April without a home run. ... Nolan Reimold's 14-game hitting streak ended for Baltimore. ... Six current MLB managers already have at least 1,000 wins: Dusty Baker, Bruce Bochy, Davey Johnson, Jim Leyland, Mike Scioscia and Bobby Valentine.