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Mark Teixeira rips umps after blown call costs Yankees

New York Yankees' Mark Teixeira (25) talks with

New York Yankees' Mark Teixeira (25) talks with home plate umpire Cory Blaser (89) after he struck out during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles. (Sept. 8, 2012) Credit: AP

BALTIMORE -- Mark Teixeira knew what would be coming. But he said it anyway.

After incorrectly getting called out at first to end the Yankees' 5-4 loss to the Orioles Saturday night, Teixeira questioned the umpires' integrity.

"Sometimes you wonder if the umpires are just trying to get out of there," he said. "They don't want you to make a comeback. They want to go home, because those were terrible calls."

He also was referencing being called out on strikes by Cory Blaser on a 3-and-2 pitch in the eighth inning -- one pitch before a solo homer by Alex Rodriguez (his 17th of the season and 646th of his career) made it 5-3.

"I'm probably going to get fined, but I don't care," he said. "I'm out there fighting, we're out there fighting, and when you're battling like we're battling and I'm out there on one leg and they can't get a call right, that [ticks] you off. It really does."

Teixeira, playing for the first time after missing 10 games with a calf strain, said he aggravated the calf, calling it "tight," and added that he probably won't play Sunday. "We'll see what happens," he said, but he didn't rule out sitting for a longer stretch.

With the Yankees trailing by two runs, Ichiro Suzuki and Eric Chavez singled off Orioles closer Jim Johnson to begin the ninth and Derek Jeter beat out a bunt for his third hit of the game, loading the bases with none out.

Nick Swisher forced Jeter at second but beat the throw to first, moving the Yankees within 5-4 and leaving runners on first and third with one out.

Then Teixeira grounded to second. Robert Andino forced Swisher at second and J.J. Hardy's relay throw to first got Teixeira -- although replays clearly showed he was safe at first.

Teixeira, trying to protect the calf, dived headfirst into the bag -- the first time he's done so in his career, he said -- and was infuriated when he realized he had been called out by Jerry Meals.

"He was clearly safe. Jerry missed it,'' said Joe Girardi, who later had to be separated from a reporter he had summoned into his office. "You hate to lose a game that way, but he missed it.''

Crew chief Mike Winters said he had seen an "inconclusive'' replay and wouldn't comment further.

Yankees president Randy Levine told YES that Meals made a terrible call and said it shows a need for an increase in the use of instant replay. Levine had planned to deliver his thoughts in a conference call with reporters but said he lost cell service.

Perhaps Teixeira's hard headfirst dive into first confused Meals. If so, then because of a slide, the Yankees' slide continued. Since taking their 10-game lead July 18, they are 21-27 to the Orioles' 31-17. They fell into a tie for first with Baltimore for the third time in less than a week.

Russell Martin said the game-ending call had his team feeling it was "cheated'' out of a win. But he added, "Umpires are human. They're going to make mistakes. We made our share of mistakes today. That's probably one of the reasons we lost the game, too.''

The entire mess overshadowed what had been the night's most significant story: CC Sabathia. In his fourth start since coming off the DL, the lefthander allowed five runs and seven hits -- including back-to-back homers to Mark Reynolds and former Long Island Duck Lew Ford that squandered an early 2-0 lead -- in 61/3 innings. It was the third straight game in which he was unable to hold a lead.

It was Reynolds' ninth homer and 17th RBI in his last nine games, with seven of them -- and 11 RBIs -- coming in six games against the Yankees.

Hardy had an RBI double in the third and homered in the sixth. Ford's RBI single in the sixth gave the Orioles a 5-2 lead.

Sabathia's velocity was down, though the pitcher and Girardi said health isn't a worry. "He's struggled a little bit this year,'' Girardi said. "He hasn't got on the roll we've seen him get on every year. That's what we're kind of going through.''

Said Sabathia: "I feel like I'm letting everybody down. I'm not going out and making the pitches I need to make and getting outs and pitching with a lead. We have a 2-0 lead and I come right back out and give it up. That's not me. Hopefully I can correct this thing and go out and pitch well next time.''

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