NEW YORK - -If there were any ambiguity about the extent the Orioles were dominated over three grueling nights at new Yankee Stadium - and there certainly shouldn't be - consider the following:
In the 27 innings played in the series against the New York Yankees, the Orioles trailed after all of them. The battered club mercifully headed out of town late Thursday after they were beaten, 7-4, in a game that they fell behind by six runs in the second inning before an announced 43,342 at Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees knocked around struggling right-hander Adam Eaton for seven runs in 4 2/3 innings in possibly his last start. Asked about Eaton's status in the rotation, Orioles manager Dave Trembley said that he'll "have an opportunity to consider all the options," not exactly a ringing endorsement for Eaton, who is 2-5 with an 8.56 ERA.
The Orioles did show some fight after their starter put them in a 6-0 hole, cutting their deficit to three runs and bringing the tying run to the plate in the eighth. However, Brian Roberts, who started the rally with a fifth-inning homer, flied out in the Orioles' last threat.
"You can only do so much as a hitter and the rest is out of your hands," said outfielder Nick Markakis, who broke from an 0-for-10 slump and went 3-for-5 with a home run. "I thought we did a good job, not necessarily me, but we hit the ball well as a team this series. Twelve hits [Thursday], 10 hits [Wednesday]. It's tough. Like I said, there's only so much you can do."
In the series, the Orioles, losers of four straight games heading into the weekend interleague series with the Washington Nationals, were outscored 27-8 by the Yankees, who have now won nine straight, the past three with relative ease.
"When you're playing in New York ... you're going to have to pitch and it didn't happen," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. "But from the standpoint of playing all nine innings, competing, not giving at-bats away, I don't think there's anything to be disappointed about. ... Eaton didn't pitch well enough to give us a chance to win the game. That's the bottom line."
The Orioles (16-25) appeared to catch a break in the first inning when Yankees starter Joba Chamberlain was knocked out of the game after being hit in the right knee by a liner by Adam Jones. Chamberlain, later diagnosed with a bruised knee, initially stayed in, but was removed after consecutive singles by Markakis and his nemesis Aubrey Huff.
But Eaton never really gave his team a chance to take advantage of Chamberlain's absence. He allowed four doubles in the Yankees' four-run first inning, including three straight to begin the inning. He was touched for a two-run homer by Robinson Cano in the second and a solo shot by Hideki Matsui in the fifth.
In his eight starts, Eaton has gotten through five innings just twice. He has allowed four earned runs or more in six of seven starts, and gotten through six innings or more just twice. All told, he has allowed 56 hits, nine home runs and 19 walks in 41 innings.
"Obviously, numbers don't lie, but I feel like I've got better stuff than an 8.00 ERA," Eaton said. "One thing you can count on is I'm going to keep trying and keep working to get the numbers turned around and start getting some wins for this team."
But will he get that chance? Trembley acknowledged before the game that he anticipated questions about Eaton's rotation status if the right-hander didn't pitch well Thursday. His outing heightened the possibility that he'll be replaced in the rotation by one of the Orioles' Triple-A starters, such as David Pauley or Chris Waters.
"I don't care," Eaton said. "I'm going to go out there and work the way I normally do, try to get better. If that day comes, I'm going to pitch. And if that day doesn't come, I'm going to see what's going on."
Friday, 7:05 p.m.
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