BALTIMORE -- For one miserable night, the New York Yankees reverted to the form they displayed over the first two weeks of the season.
It was a step back they could ill afford in the middle of a tight pennant race.
"Sometimes these things get away from you, and you can't do a whole lot about it," Yankees manager Joe Torre said.
New York's third loss in 16 games, combined with Boston's split of a day-night doubleheader with Toronto, left the Yankees and Red Sox tied atop the AL East. Both teams have five games left, meaning the division title will be decided when the front-runners meet this weekend for a three-game series at Fenway Park to close the regular season.
The Red Sox and Yankees are also tied with Cleveland atop the wild-card standings.
New York lost five of six to Baltimore over a 10-game span in April, but recovered in time to make a playoff run. The Yankees had won seven in a row over the Orioles until getting blown out in this one.
The Yankees trailed 5-1 before Sheffield hit a two-run homer in the third inning. He put New York ahead with his 11th career grand slam, a shot to left in the fourth that made it 7-5.
"He had two great swings and got us the lead. He gave us a chance," said starter Mike Mussina, who didn't get out of the second inning. "It just was not a good night to be a pitcher."
An RBI single by Miguel Tejada and Jay Gibbons' two-run homer off Al Leiter (4-5) in the fourth put Baltimore back in front, and the Orioles scored five runs off three relievers in the fifth to make it 13-7.
Javy Lopez led off with his 13th homer, and first since Aug. 25. After a walk and two singles loaded the bases, a passed ball let in a run and Felix Rodriguez issued back-to-back walks to force in a run. Wayne Franklin then walked in a run and gave up a sacrifice fly to B.J. Surhoff.
Mora drove in five runs and scored four, Gibbons went 3-for-4 with a walk and four RBI, and rookie Bernie Castro had three hits and scored four runs to help the Orioles end their longest skid of the season.
"I think this game made us realize we still have some good players, and if we play like we're able to play, then we can compete a little better than we've been," interim manager Sam Perlozzo said.
When Sheffield hit his slam, however, the Orioles couldn't help believing that this game might be like all the rest during their horrid losing streak.
"It's hard not to think here we go again. It's been that kind of stretch for us," Gibbons said.
It was the first time since Aug. 5 -- and only the second time since June 4 -- that Baltimore reached double figures in runs.
Aaron Rakers (1-0) pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings to earn his first major-league win.
Sheffield's two homers gave him 33 for the year, and in the seventh he hit a shot to the left-field wall that was caught by a leaping David Newhan.
Derek Jeter hit his 18th homer for New York, and Bernie Williams hit two singles to pass Joe DiMaggio for fourth place on the Yankees' career hit list. With 2,215 hits, Williams trails only Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle.
Making his second start since missing three weeks with an elbow injury, Mussina gave up five runs and seven hits in 1 2/3 innings. It was his shortest outing since July 1995, when he recorded only two outs while pitching for Baltimore against Kansas City.
The bullpen didn't fare much better.
"Not one thing I did tonight (worked)," Torre said. "I never picked the right guy out of the bullpen."
Jeter started the Yankees off by hitting Bruce Chen's second pitch over the center-field wall, his fifth leadoff homer of the season and 17th of his career.
The Orioles answered with two runs in the bottom half. After Castro doubled and went to third on a single by Tejada, Gibbons doubled in a run and Surhoff hit a run-scoring groundout.
Baltimore chased Mussina during a three-run second that made it 5-1. After Mora hit a two-run double and Tejada followed with an RBI single, a single by Gibbons ended Mussina's night after 50 pitches.
|Felix Rodriguez waits to be pulled from the game in the fifth after walking in a run with the bases loaded. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|New York Yankees|
|Derek Jeter, SS||4||2||2||1||1||1||2||.311|
|Alex Rodriguez, 3B||5||0||1||0||0||2||4||.320|
|Jason Giambi, 1B||2||2||0||0||3||1||1||.271|
|Gary Sheffield, DH||5||2||2||6||0||0||2||.293|
|Hideki Matsui, LF||5||1||3||0||0||0||0||.300|
|Jorge Posada, C||5||0||0||0||0||1||4||.262|
|Robinson Cano, 2B||5||0||2||0||0||1||1||.294|
|Bernie Williams, CF||5||1||2||0||0||1||3||.253|
|Bubba Crosby, RF||2||1||0||0||1||0||2||.271|
|a- Ruben Sierra, PH-RF||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.239|
|a-struck out for Crosby in the 8th|
|2B - Alex Rodriguez (28, Ray)|
|HR - Derek Jeter (18, Chen), Gary Sheffield 2 (33, Chen, Chen)|
|RBI - Derek Jeter (66), Gary Sheffield 6 (120)|
|2-OUT RBI - Gary Sheffield 4 (31)|
|SB - Alex Rodriguez (18, 3rd base off Ray/Lopez)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|PB - Jorge Posada (8)|
|New York Yankees|
|Al Leiter (L,7-12)||2.1||2||3||3||1||1||1||6.16|
|Jorge De Paula||0.1||0||0||0||0||1||0||8.10|
|HBP - Newhan (by Wayne Franklin)|
|WP - Al Leiter (2)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Mike Mussina 39-24|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Mussina 4-0, Al Leiter 4-2, Wayne Franklin 2-2, Alan Embree 1-2, Tanyon Sturtze 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Mike Mussina 13, Al Leiter 10, Scott Proctor 5, Felix Rodriguez 2, Wayne Franklin 8, Alan Embree 3, Tanyon Sturtze 6, Jorge De Paula 1|
|Bernie Castro, 2B||5||4||3||0||1||0||2||.302|
|Melvin Mora, 3B||5||4||2||5||1||1||4||.282|
|Miguel Tejada, SS||5||2||3||3||1||1||0||.310|
|Jay Gibbons, RF||4||1||3||4||1||0||0||.278|
|Eric Byrnes, LF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.229|
|B.J. Surhoff, DH||4||0||0||2||0||0||2||.263|
|Javy Lopez, C||4||1||1||1||1||1||3||.280|
|Ed Rogers, PR||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||1.000|
|Geronimo Gil, C||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.192|
|Luis Matos, CF||5||1||1||1||0||2||0||.281|
|David Newhan, LF-RF||3||1||0||0||1||0||1||.197|
|Chris Gomez, 1B||2||2||1||0||3||0||1||.275|
|2B - Bernie Castro (3, Mussina), Melvin Mora (30, Mussina), Jay Gibbons (32, Mussina), Luis Matos (19, Sturtze)|
|HR - Melvin Mora (24, Sturtze), Jay Gibbons (24, Leiter), Javy Lopez (13, Proctor)|
|SF - B.J. Surhoff (4)|
|RBI - Melvin Mora 5 (84), Miguel Tejada 3 (98), Jay Gibbons 4 (74), B.J. Surhoff 2 (34), Javy Lopez (46), Luis Matos (30)|
|2-OUT RBI - Melvin Mora 5 (46), Miguel Tejada 2 (37), Jay Gibbons 2 (20)|
|SB - David Newhan (9, 2nd base off Franklin/Posada)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|Outfield Assists - Luis Matos 1|
|DP - Tejada-Castro-Gomez, Tejada-Castro-Gomez|
|E - Bernie Castro (4, misplayed grounder), Jay Gibbons (4, misplayed grounder), Melvin Mora (16, wild throw)|
|Aaron Rakers (W,1-0)||2.1||1||0||0||0||1||0||3.86|
|WP - Tim Byrdak (5)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Bruce Chen 43-25|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Bruce Chen 6-3, Aaron Rakers 2-4, Tim Byrdak 1-0, Chris Ray 1-0, Todd Williams 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Bruce Chen 23, Aaron Rakers 8, Tim Byrdak 4, Chris Ray 5, Todd Williams 4|
|Attendance - 29557|
|Game Time - 4:16|
|Temperature - 75|
|Umpires - Home - Jerry Meals, First Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Second Base - Bruce Froemming, Third Base - Mike Winters|