Orioles vs. Yankees in baseball action at Camden Yards. Orioles'… (Baltimore Sun photo by Gene…)
For 14 innings Wednesday night, Oriole starter Zach Britton and the six relievers who followed held the New York Yankees without an earned run.
Brad Bergesen managed to do the same Thursday nightfor all of four pitches.
After needing 15 innings to show their offensive might and finish off their overmatched divisional foe less than 24 hours earlier, the Yankees unloaded on Bergesen, scoring five runs in the first on the way to a 13-2 thrashing of the Orioles in front of an announced 24,939 at rainy Camden Yards.
The start of the game was delayed 48 minutes by rain. Twenty minutes into it, the outcome had been all but decided. Less than four innings into it, Bergesen's outing was over.
“After that 15-inning game, my whole thought process going into tonight was that we really needed me to go deep, and I let us down,” said Bergesen, who allowed eight earned runs on five hits and three walks over 31/3 innings after pitching a shutout against the Tampa Bay Rays in his previous outing. “I wasn't able to do it, and it killed me.”
The Yankees' rout completed a two-game sweep and improved the New York to 6-0 against the Orioles this season. The Yankees have outscored the Orioles 51-18 in those games.
Yankees ace CC Sabathia did what he always does against the Orioles, pitching eight shutout innings to improve to 16-2 against them with a 2.74 ERA in 22 career starts. In 12 career starts at Camden Yards, Sabathia is 10-1 with a 2.73 ERA.
He allowed just seven hits and struck out nine, throwing 84 of his 109 pitches for strikes and continuing to frustrate an Orioles offense that has scored just three runs over its past 26 innings. The Orioles' only two runs Thursday came in the ninth inning on an RBI double by Mark Reynolds and an RBI groundout by Jake Fox.
The Orioles (19-23), losers of three straight, have scored just five total runs in their last three home contests, spanning 36 innings.
“It's tough when you get in the hole, especially when you know you have to go up and battle against a guy like Sabathia,” outfielder Nick Markakis said. “Not the way we wanted to start it out, and I know Bergy didn't want the game to go like that, but it happened.”
Bergesen's shortest outing of the season left him with a 1-5 record, a 5.64 ERA and a tenuous hold on a rotation spot with Brian Matusz's return looming. In five career starts against the Yankees, he's 0-4 with a 9.25 ERA. Making matters worse, Bergesen wasn't even supposed to pitch Thursday. He originally was scheduled to start tonight against the Washington Nationals, a team that hasn't scored a run in 19 consecutive innings and has been shut out seven times this season.
However, he was pushed up a day after Thursday's originally scheduled starter, Jeremy Guthrie, was needed in relief after the ejection of Michael Gonzalez for hitting Chris Dickerson in the helmet with a pitch in the 15th inning of the Orioles' 4-1 loss Wednesday.
“[He] didn't give himself a chance to have much to defend himself with,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “When you're trying to go in, you miss away. When you try to go away, you miss in or middle of the plate. You'd like to see him take his last outing and run with it. I've seen him pitch some good games while I've been here for a short time, and I've seen him really struggle. Most of them are the result of his command of his fastball. He wasn't good enough. He knows that.”
In Wednesday's game, the Yankees managed just one extra-base hit, Robinson Cano's two-run double in the 15th that broke the 1-1 tie. On Thursday, their first two hitters had extra-base hits; Derek Jeter led off with a double, and Curtis Granderson scored him with a triple off the scoreboard in right field. Mark Teixeira followed with an RBI groundout. If Bergesen could have gotten out of the inning at that point, there would have been at least some hope for the Orioles.
Instead, he hit Cano, walked Russell Martin and walked Jorge Posada to load the bases. Nick Swisher then hit a liner to deep left that Felix Pie did not get a good jump on, and the ball hit off his outstretched glove, scoring three more runs.
“Just all around, just bad,” Bergesen said. “Just nothing good for me tonight whatsoever.”
Not only did the eight earned runs Bergesen surrender tie a career high, but they also matched the total runs Orioles starters had given up in the previous eight games, spanning 56 innings.
By the top of the sixth inning, the Yankees led 11-0 and the only drama left was to see whether any bad blood between the two clubs would boil over. Sabathia drilled Nick Markakis in the lower back with nobody on and two out in the first inning, drawing an immediate warning from home plate umpire Larry Vanover.