Rasner is tough luck loser

He allows 1 run in 6 innings before bullpen falters

APand StaffReports

BALTIMORE " Darrell Rasner was the tough luck loser for the New York Yankees in the 6-1 loss to the Orioles on Monday.

Rasner (3-1), a 1999 Carson High graduate, allowed just one run " Nick Markasis' home run in the sixth inning " on five hits through six innings but took the loss after the Yankees' bullpen faltered. LaTroy Hawkins and Jose Veras combined to allowe five runs in the seventh.

Markakis, who went 3-for-4, got two of his hits against Rasner and is 9-for-11 lifetime against the Carson graduate. "You're going to have those guys in every lineup, and he's that one," Rasner said.

Rasner, who gave up Markakis' homer on a 3-2 pitch, was pulled after throwing 98 pitches. Rasner also worked out of a bases loaded jam in the second when he struck out Freddy Bynum on three pitches to end the inning.

It was the fourth straight outstanding start for Rasner, who still can't be sure he's going to be in the starting rotation for the longterm. With the Yankees planning on moving Joba Chamberlain into the starting rotation, Rasner may still have to battle with the likes of Chamberlain, Ian Kennedy and Phil Hughes when he returns from injury for a spot in the rotation.

But Yankees manager Joe Girardi has said it's possible he could go to a six-man rotation when Chamberlain becomes a starter. For his part, Rasner said he's not concerned about what could happen.

"It's too much energy worrying about if I'm going to have a job the next day," Rasner said. "I want to go out there and just compete. I'm not worried about other things that I can't control."

On Monday, Garrett Olson pitched seven innings of three-hit ball for the Orioles to pick up the win.

Aubrey Huff also homered for the Orioles, who snapped a five-game skid that began with an 8-0 loss at Yankee Stadium in which Olson yielded six runs before being yanked in the third inning. After waiting patiently, Olson (4-1) pitched a gem.

"You can always dwell on it, but that's not going to do you any good," the rookie said. "Every fifth day if you get the ball, you've got to go out there and get the job done."

Which is precisely what happened. Olson did not allow a hit after the third inning, matched his career high with seven strikeouts and walked four.

"It always comes down to location, and today, he had great location," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He used his changeup a little more effectively today."

Chad Bradford worked a perfect eighth and Jamie Walker gave up a run and two hits in the ninth.

Hideki Matsui had three of New York's five hits and scored the Yankees' lone run, on a ninth-inning single by Chad Moeller. Before Moeller's hit, New York was 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position.

"It happens," Girardi said. "They're not going to be perfect every time. There are good days and days that aren't your day. It's one game and you move on."

Markakis broke an 0-for-13 slump with a third-inning double.

"Anytime you get a hit, it's a good feeling and it's a confidence builder," Markakis said. "I've been struggling the past couple weeks."

Markakis also made the defensive play of the game, a throw from right field that cut down Johnny Damon at home in the third inning.

"Him throwing that guy out at the plate was probably the key thing for us," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said.

"It always feels good to hit the ball out of the park, but it's not all about hitting," Markakis said. "You've got to play defense, too, and good teams play good defense."

New York got a runner to second base in each of the first three innings but came away empty. In the third, Damon was thrown out by Markakis trying to score on a two-out single by Matsui.

"The way the pitchers were pitching early, it definitely was a big play in the game," Markakis said.

Said Damon: "He has a great arm. I felt pretty good running there, but he got me by a couple steps."

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