Today's game was the Orioles' last chance to turn this series into anything but a complete disaster. Instead, they continued their poor play and are now looking at a seven-game deficit in a division they led less than a month ago.
Masahiro Tanaka came out looking like 2014 Tanaka, retiring the O's in order in the first, but unfortunately Ubaldo Jimenez channeled his 2014 self today as well. A leadoff single by Jacoby Ellsbury and a pair of walks to Brett Gardner and Alex Rodriguez loaded the bases with no outs. Ubaldo was able to strike out Mark Texeira and induce a flyout on a nice catch by David Lough, but he couldn't get the last out to end the threat. Chase Headley doubled off the wall, clearing the bases. Didi Gregorious singled Headley home, and the O's were quickly down 4-0. This tweet by beat reporter Luke Jones pretty much sums up the way things have been going lately:
The #Orioles now trail 4-0 in the first inning. They've failed to score four runs in 12 of their first 16 games in the month of July.— Luke Jones (@BaltimoreLuke) July 23, 2015
In the top of the second, Chris Davis homered in his second straight at bat to cut the lead to 4-1, but the Yankees took that run right back with a solo shot by Ellsbury in the bottom of the inning. The bottom of the third was more of the same: Jimenez allowed two singles and a Stephen Drew double with one out, and his day was done. Tommy Hunter came in and put out the fire the best he could, allowing an RBI sac fly and striking out a batter to end the inning. The final line for Ubaldo: 2.1 innings, 8 hits, 3 walks, 7 runs all earned. Ouch.
Hunter was great, going an inning and two thirds with no baserunners and three K's. Bud Norris replaced him to start the fifth, and after allowing singles to Headley and John Ryan Murphy he faced Ellsbury with two outs. Ellsbury hit a sinking line drive to David Lough that probably should've just been played conservatively to hold the batter to a single. Instead, Lough dove and the ball got by him, scoring both runners and increasing the Yankee lead to 9-1.
You may notice I skipped several half innings of Orioles at-bats. That's because the Orioles also decided to skip these innings. Davis's home run was the only hit by the O's until Jimmy Paredes doubled with two outs in the sixth. He was on base for roughly four seconds before Adam Jones popped out to end the inning.
In the 8th, the O's were finally able to get to Tanaka. J.J. Hardy and Manny Machado both hit solo shots to cut the lead to 9-3, and Girardi quickly pulled Tanaka in favor of Chris Capuano before any more damage could be done. That was it for the scoring on the day. Zach Britton pitched a perfect eighth inning in relief of Chaz Roe, who pitched a scoreless seventh. Meanwhile the O's couldn't score against either Capuano or Branden Pinder, and that was that.
Despite hitting three homers, the Orioles only had one other hit and zero walks. If you were at work and missed this one, you're lucky. The Birds will now head to Tampa tomorrow, where they'll try to get this thing turned around before it's too late.