With an opportunity to gain ground on the AL East leading Baltimore Orioles this week, the Yankees missed their first of three chances, as they took an early lead and fell behind late, falling to the Orioles, 11-3, on Monday night at Orioles Park in Camden Yards.
The Yankees and O's traded runs in the 1st inning of the ballgame. Brett Gardner tripled to kick things off against Baltimore start Bud Norris, then scored a couple pitches later on a groundout by Derek Jeter.
The Orioles were quick to counter against the Yankees and starting pitcher Chris Capuano. Manny Machado hit a one-out double, moved to second base on a wild pitch, then scored two batters later in a sac-fly to center by Nelson Cruz, who would come up big for Baltimore later in the game.
After Baltimore came back to tie the game, the Yankees jumped right back into the lead with two runs off of Norris in the 2nd.
The big right-hander walked Carlos Beltran to open the inning, then gave up a single to Chase Headley, putting runners on the corners with nobody out. He struck out Stephen Drew before Beltran stole home -- yeah, Carlos Beltran stole home -- to put the Yankees up 2-1. Headley took second on the play, then moved over to third on the same play when Machado's throw to the plate hit Beltran. Norris, backing up the play, made a bad toss to the play, letting Headley to score.
Yeah, it was a crazy play. You're going to need to look up the video of it on MLB.com.
And with that, those were the only runs the Yankees were able to manage against Norris, who went five innings, giving up three runs on five hits. Jeter doubled off of Norris with one out in the 5th, and that was actually the last hit the Yankees would get in the game.
Baltimore got a run back against Capuano in the 3rd when Adam Jones hit a one-out single to left field, scoring Jonathan Schoop, who singled to open the inning then move to second base on a ground out.
Chris David put the O's up 4-3 in the 5th with a two-run homerun to left off of Capuano, who lasted six innings, giving up four runs on six hits. He struck out seven and didn't walk anybody. Not a bad start from him, considering what the Yankees got him for, but again, it was the offense that failed to pick him up.
Things only got worse from there, as Jones made it a 5-3 game with an RBI double in the 7th, right before Cruz extended the game with a two-run bomb deep into the Baltimore night off of Adam Warren, who has pretty much been getting worse since about May, making it a 7-3 lead.
After the three-run 7th against Warren, the O's opened the game wide open against Chase Whitley in the 8th. Jonathan Schoop, who only hits well against the Yankees -- that's not even a joke, he's hitting .385 with 3 HR and 10 RBI in 8 games, his best average against any club this year -- and hit his third homerun against the Bombers this season, a three-run shot to left off of Whitley, pushing the score to 10-3.
They got one more run off of Whitley before he was finally taken out of the game, getting an RBI single from David Lough for the 11th run.
This was ugly, and the Yankees, after winning six of seven games, have lost three straight and look worse than they have at any point this season.
Now seven games back of the Orioles, the Yankees will continue this series on Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. ET. Shane Greene will start for the Yankees, and Baltimore will counter with Wei-Yin Chen.
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