NEW YORK — Adversity struck just when the Orioles thought it was safe to go back in the ninth inning.
Baltimore built last year’s playoff bid on an impenetrable bullpen, a unit that performed impeccably and won nearly every time it held a lead. But that was last year. The Orioles’ strength has become a perplexing weakness, and Friday night saw another blown save in a 3-2 walk-off loss to the Yankees.
The Orioles led from the second inning through the eighth on Friday, and closer Jim Johnson came on with a one-run lead. The right-hander made a key error on an attempted bunt, and he went on to walk in the tying run and to allow the winning run on a walk-off single by left fielder Vernon Wells.