The New York manager took out a season's worth of frustration on his hat, the umpires and the dirt, earning an ejection Thursday night with the kind of theatrical argument that local fans never saw while Joe Torre was in town.
Moments later, the Yankees won in the bottom of the ninth inning. Coincidence or correlation?
"It means a lot, to see the manager fighting for the team," Cano said.
With their revamped bullpen allowing only one runner in three innings, the last-place Yankees posted their first two-game winning streak in 2½ weeks.
Girardi rushed from the dugout after plate umpire Chris Guccione ruled Giambi was out on a foul tip. Girardi certainly got his money's worth for his first ejection as Yankees manager -- he twice threw down his hat and kicked it once, then kicked the dirt while finishing his rant with crew chief Tim Welke.
"I wanted to kick something, and I figured that was the best thing. Walls don't work too well," Girardi said. "I don't have any concern. I don't think I did anything that warrants a suspension.
"I just didn't like the explanation. And that's all I'm basically going to say. I'll just leave it at that. I got a little upset over it," he said. "My purpose to go out there was not to fire them up, because I think they're fired up every day."
Guccione said he heard the pitch hit something, and ruled that it glanced off Giambi's bat into the glove of catcher Ramon Hernandez for strike three.
"That play might be one of the hardest things, because you can't see it. It happens a lot and people question it," Guccione said.
Welke said Girardi didn't make contact with any umpires. Still, Welke thought the argument was a bit out of the ordinary.
"Yes, I would say it was. There are not many nights when a manager throws his hat and kicks dirt at us," he said.
Yankees captain Derek Jeter took another view.
"It was funny. I enjoyed it," he said.
The crowd was still buzzing when pinch-hitter Bobby Abreu walked, and Cano followed with a single through the left side for the Yankees' first game-ending hit of the year.
It was Girardi's 100th career victory as a major league manager, not that he was in the dugout to see the finish. Instead, he was back in his office.
"I had a pen in my hand, and I was so happy, I threw it extremely hard against the couch," he said.
Johnson said the delay during Girardi's dispute did not bother him.
"The walk really killed us. You can't defend a walk," he said. "I'll take the blame for it. I didn't execute my pitches."
Burres gave up six hits over 7 2/3 innings while walking none and striking out five. Kennedy pitched four-hit ball for six innings.
Freddie Bynum hit an RBI triple for a 1-0 lead in the third, but Baltimore missed a big chance to get more.
The Orioles loaded the bases with one out, helped when Brian Roberts stole second -- he made it despite falling down and getting caught in a pickle. Rattled early in a loss last month at Baltimore, Kennedy composed himself, striking out Nick Markakis and retiring Aubrey Huff on a routine fly.
The crowd, sensing the 23-year-old Kennedy needed a confidence boost, responded with a standing ovation and Rodriguez patted the pitcher on the chest while cutting across the diamond.
The Yankees made it 1-1 in the fourth on singles by Matsui and Giambi and a sacrifice fly by Shelley Duncan.
- Markakis robbed Matsui of extra bases with a leaping catch at the RF wall in the first. Markakis also robbed CF Adam Jones on the play, jumping in front of his teammate for the grab and then doubling Johnny Damon off first.
- Orioles 3B Melvin Mora sat out, a day after being accidentally spiked in the right hand by Matsui. Mora hopes to start Friday night at Tampa Bay.
- Yankees RHP Chien-Ming Wang will run Friday to test his sore right calf. If he's OK, he'll start Sunday against Seattle. He originally was set to pitch Saturday.