The Yankees lost to the Baltimore Orioles, 11-3, at Camden Yards in a game that they didn’t pitch well, hit well or field well. The only highlight of the game for the Yankees was that Mason Williams, who was playing in his first major-league game, hit his first home run with his mom, dad, brother and lifelong friend in the stands.
Michael Pineda (7-3, 3.74 ERA) got the start for the Yankees and it was a bad omen for him to start as he walked Manny Machado to leadoff the game. Machado would score on Chris Davis’s RBI single to right and Pineda’s struggles continued as he allowed six runs (five earned) on nine hits and one homer in 4.1 innings pitched. This was the first time that Pineda pitched less than 5.1 innings this season.
Pineda only had two strikeouts, in addition to two walks, in his 4.1 innings against the Orioles. In his previous start against Baltimore, Pineda recorded a career-high 16 strikeouts and zero walks. He has struggled since that game, as this was his second time allowing four runs or more since that start on May 10, and he has also not been as effective when given extra rest.
His previous start, which was scheduled for Sunday, June 7, was skipped because he was on track to throw about 220 innings this season. Even though his pitches didn’t have their usual movement and crispness, it was smart for Joe Girardi to manage his workload last time through the rotation because he only threw 76.1 innings last year.
“I just didn’t think his slider was sharp,” Joe Girardi said. “We gave him extra outs. This was not something that we wanted to do, but we don’t want to blow him out by July.”
Williams is the ninth Yankee to homer in his major-league debut. In his second at-bat in the majors he hit a homer to deep right to drive in Didi Gregorius for his first hit. He was the team’s No. 1 prospect after the 2012 season, according to Baseball America.
“Honestly that is my first homer of the year,” Williams said. “I just knew I put a good swing on a good pitch, I was just fortunate. I worked hard for this and trust my game all around.” Williams had not hit a homer in 201 at-bats in the minors this season and then hit a round-tripper in his second at bat in the big leagues.
“Obviously, it is a huge hit for your first hit. He will be back out there tomorrow,” Girardi said regarding Williams.
The Yankees were an inept 2-12 with runners in scoring position and left 10 runners on base. Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann were both 0-3 with runners in scoring position as they went a combined 1-8.
However, Alex Rodriguez had two of the team’s nine hits and he is now only six hits away from being the 29th baseball player with 3,000 hits. Rodriguez, who hit a single in the second to drive in Brett Gardner, now needs only one more RBI to reach 2,000 for his career. He will be the fourth baseball player with 2,000 runs batted in.
In addition to not pitching well or hitting well with runners on base, the Yankees played sloppy defense yet again. Chase Headley, whose 14 errors are the most among third baseman this season, made an error on Many Machado’s grounder as it bounced up and hit his groin. He would have to leave the game in the fifth. The 45 errors that the Yankees have this season are the fifth most in the American League.
“Headley just didn’t look right,” Girardi said. “He was nauseous, so we took him out.”
Caleb Joseph, who is hitting .583 (14-24) against the Yankees this season, hit a homer in the sixth against Jacob Lindgren in what was the first of four runs in the sixth inning for the Orioles. Baltimore scored their second run of the inning as a result of Mark Teixeira’s first error in 109 games.
Teixeira fielded Jimmy Paredes’s grounder and tried to get Machado out at second but completely overthrew second base. Paredes would go onto score on a wild pitch by Esmil Rogers.
Rogers, who allowed four runs (one earned) on five hits in two innings was outrighted by the Yankees off of the roster after the game. This means he can decide between going to Triple-A Scranton or seeing if another team will sign him. Rogers has struggled mightily this season since he has a 6.27 ERA and has allowed 14 earned runs in his last seven innings (five games).
The Yankees (33-27), who now have a one-game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays in the tightly bunched AL East, will look to CC Sabathia to get them back in the win column on Saturday.