O's back to old ways in loss

Yankees 4, Orioles 1

They go 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position

Guthrie gives up 3-run shot

May 03, 2010|By Baltimore Sun reporter

NEW YORK — Perhaps it would have been a little easier to accept if the decisive swing Monday night were delivered by Alex Rodriguez or Derek Jeter or another New York Yankee who has enhanced his already impressive career by beating up on the Orioles.

But Randy Winn?

The veteran outfielder, who was starting only because Curtis Granderson is on the disabled list and who had just one hit in his first 14 at-bats, drove a fastball from Jeremy Guthrie over the right-field wall in the fourth inning. The three-run shot, coupled with another gem from CC Sabathia, dealt the Orioles a 4-1 loss in front of an announced 41,571 at Yankee Stadium.

After an uplifting three-game sweep of the Boston Red Sox over the weekend, it was back to reality for the Orioles, who fell to 7-19 by resorting to the same elements that triggered the brutal start.

The Orioles got a solo homer from Matt Wieters, but they went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and hit into two double plays, squandering several early chances to put Sabathia in trouble. The burly left-hander went eight innings, allowing six hits and two walks. He improved to 11-1 with a 2.52 ERA in 16 career starts against the Orioles.

The visitors also failed to make a key defensive play in the Yankees' four-run fourth as second baseman Ty Wigginton couldn't field Jorge Posada's hard smash cleanly and turn it into an inning-ending double play. The next batter, Nick Swisher, tied the score at 1 with an RBI single.

Guthrie continued his habit of ruining an otherwise solid start with a crucial lapse at a bad time. Three batters after Wigginton couldn't turn the double play, Winn got a hold of a 1-0 pitch and drove it into the Yankees' bullpen. The three-run shot was just his second hit of the season -- he entered the game hitting .077 -- and also gave him his first RBIs.

It was also Winn's first home run in more than a year, and broke a homerless streak of 491 at-bats. His last long ball came April 25, 2009, as a member of the San Francisco Giants.

Minus the homer, Guthrie (0-4) had few other pitches to lament from his eighth straight loss, leaving him winless since Sept. 6. He allowed the four runs on a total of six hits and two walks in the 116-pitch outing. The top six hitters in the Yankees' formidable order -- Jeter, Nick Johnson, Mark Teixeira, Rodriguez, Robinson Cano and Posada -- combined to get just one hit in 21 plate appearances.

But Swisher had three hits, and he's now 12-for-23 with two homers and 10 RBIs off Guthrie. No. 8 hitter Brett Gardner also reached base twice.

Much of the talk before the game centered on whether there would be any simmering tension between the two sides after New York manager Joe Girardi criticized Guthrie after Wednesday's game.

Frustrated by Guthrie's plunking of Posada, the latest in a long line of Yankees whom the right-hander has hit, Girardi said, "I wish he had better command in there." The Yankees manager and several of his players did concede that they didn't think Guthrie was throwing at hitters intentionally.

Guthrie, who has hit 17 batters since the start of the 2008 season, nine of them Yankees, also apologized to Posada. There was no incident from either side Monday night.

But Guthrie was again the victim of very little run support. Wieters deposited Sabathia's 93 mph fastball into the right-field seats in the second inning. The opposite-field shot was Wieters' third homer of the season.

However, the Orioles left men in scoring position in the first, third and fourth innings. Perhaps their best chance was in the fourth, when Nolan Reimold followed Garrett Atkins' single with a double, putting men on second and third with two outs. But left fielder Lou Montanez, getting a rare start, popped out on Sabathia's first pitch.

Wieters and Reimold hit into double plays in both the sixth and seventh innings to kill any potential rallies.

The Orioles have scored only nine runs during Guthrie's six starts.

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