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Ray, Orioles get it right this time

Paul Bako congratulates Chris Ray after the Orioles' closer rebounded to stop the Yankees. Paul Bako congratulates Chris Ray after the Orioles' closer rebounded to stop the Yankees. (KATHY WILLENS/ASSOCIATED PRESS)

NEW YORK -- Chris Ray sat in his hotel room Saturday night, watching television, and his mind kept replaying his ninth-inning meltdown and Alex Rodriguez's grand slam.

"When I first got here this morning, I wanted another shot at it. I wanted to go back out there as soon as possible in a save situation and finish the game," he said.

A day after giving up a game-ending home run, Ray retired Melky Cabrera on a ground out with a runner on to save the Baltimore Orioles' 6-4 victory yesterday over the New York Yankees.

Paul Bako put Baltimore ahead, 5-3, with his first homer since 2004, a three-run drive in the fourth off Darrell Rasner (0-1), the latest Yankees starter to flop. Erik Bedard (1-1) gave up a two-run homer to Rodriguez in a three-run first and then rebounded to retire his next 11 batters and 20 of 22.

On a 41-degree day when snow flurries swirled after the sun came out, Ray got to make up for Saturday's deflating 10-7 defeat.

After Johnny Damon tripled and scored in the eighth, John Parrish got Josh Phelps to hit an inning-ending fly out with the bases loaded. Damon singled off Ray with two outs in the ninth, bringing the tying run to the plate. This time, he got his second save.

"We've got to believe in ourselves. For us to bounce back after a devastating loss I think is a great thing of what's to come," said Kevin Millar, who homered and drove in three runs. "We came back in here loosey-goosey."

Yankees starters have allowed 27 runs -- 24 earned -- and 36 hits in 21 2/3 innings for a 9.97 ERA.

"We need the starters to give us six innings," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "We know we are a better team than we've shown."