'Ugly' 7-5 loss to Yankees completes sweep

Pitching, hitting, fielding all fail Orioles in series finale

May 06, 2010|By Jeff Zrebiec, The Baltimore Sun

The Orioles' late-game rally that brought the go-ahead run to the plate in the ninth inning Wednesday might have padded the team's abysmal offensive statistics and made the club feel a little better about itself before boarding a charter flight to Minnesota.

But it did nothing to eradicate the previous eight innings, during which the Orioles seemingly botched or booted every ball or opportunity that came their way. Ultimately, they got what they deserved in a 7-5 loss to the New York Yankees that completed a three-game sweep before an announced 43,425 at Yankee Stadium.

"Ugly" was how it was described by second baseman Ty Wigginton, who flied out with two men on to end the game. "It was definitely one of our sloppier games of the year."

The loss dropped the Orioles to 7-21 overall and 1-5 against the Yankees. They concluded the 12-game stretch against the Yankees and Boston Red Sox with a 5-7 record, but that was the worst-case scenario after a weekend sweep of the Red Sox that was expected to breathe some life into a season that started horribly.

Instead, the Orioles were outscored 15-7 in the three games by the Yankees and found ways to lose each game.

On Wednesday, those ways included Lou Montanez, starting in center field after Adam Jones was a late scratch with a right hip strain, losing Mark Teixeira's two-run double in the sun. Earlier in the Yankees' three-run fourth inning, the Orioles didn't get an out on Francisco Cervelli's bunt when third baseman Miguel Tejada fielded it and realized that Wigginton had yet to reach second base to cover.

Wigginton made an error in the eighth that resulted in a Yankees run, and not only did Garrett Atkins make an error in the same inning, but he also failed to run to first base on a ball that he thought was going to be foul but veered fair in the sixth. It cost him a hit and earned him a brief lecture from Orioles manager Dave Trembley, who had seen enough by then.

"He should be responsible for that," Trembley said. "I told him: 'Run, don't umpire.'"

The tone was also set when starter David Hernandez couldn't make it through four innings, allowing six earned runs on six hits, including two homers, and four walks.

The Orioles' much-maligned offense amassed 11 hits and scored the same number of runs it did the previous three games combined. Matt Wieters and Nolan Reimold had back-to-back solo homers in the ninth after Wigginton had connected for a two-run homer the previous inning.

But before the power surge, the Orioles grounded into double plays in four of the first seven innings and couldn't convert when New York starter Andy Pettitte left the game after five innings with left elbow stiffness. Pettitte (one run allowed) stayed around long enough to get his 27th career win against the Orioles.

The Orioles went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position Wednesday and 0-for-16 in the series. They stranded a total of 19 runners in the three-game set and hit into seven double plays.

"It's not like we were running out there and not trying," right fielder Nick Markakis said. "We just made some bad plays. That's the way things are going right now. We need to figure it out and figure it out soon."

jeff.zrebiec@baltsun.com

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