After a horrible way to end their 10-game home-stand, which saw the New York Yankees drop three out of four to the Boston Red Sox, the Yankees continued their games against American League opponents and kicked off another important series with the Baltimore Orioles, who are trying to get into the playoffs as well.
With Chris Tillman going on the mound for the Orioles, the Yankees were up against Baltimore's best pitcher and knew that had to make every one of their at-bats count; something Alex Rodriguez did in the top of the first inning when he took Tillman out of the yard for a solo home run, his fifth of the season and the Yankees were quickly up 1-0.
But the Yankees lead in the game wasn't for long, as Adam Jones' sacrifice fly off CC Sabathia tied the game at 1-1 and for the rest of the game, the Yankees never saw the lead again.
The game continued to be a tie heading into the bottom of the fifth inning, which is where the Orioles struck again against Sabathia. Matt Weiters' sacrifice fly gave Baltimore a 2-1 lead and then Nick Markakis' RBI single made it 3-1 Orioles.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, doubles machine Manny Machado's RBI double further extended the Orioles lead to 4-1 against Sabathia, who just seemed to get no support from his offense.
The Yankees ace went 7.2 innings, allowed four runs on seven hits, walked two and struck out six in what could have been a winnable game if the Yankees could have mustered up a shred of offense against Tillman.
However Tillman was tremendous on the mound and kept the Yankees, who had scored 29 runs in the series before against the Red Sox, from doing any serious damage. The Orioles ace went seven innings, allowed two runs on four hits, walked non and struck out nine.
The only other damage the Yankees had on offense was a solo home run from Lyle Overbay; his 14th of the season, which made it 4-2.
In the top of the ninth inning, Jim Johnson came on and allowed a single to A-Rod, but then got three straight outs to hold onto Baltimore's 4-2 win over the Yankees. Tillman improved to 16-5 on the year, while Sabathia dropped to 13-12; Johnson recorded his 43rd save of the season.
With the loss, the Yankees drop to 76-68 on the season and are now three games out of the American League Wild Card race with the Orioles and Indians both 1.5 games up on them. The Orioles have also taken back third place in the division and dropped the Yankees back into fourth place.
On Tuesday night, it will be Ivan Nova (8-4, 3.02 ERA) looking to rebound from the rare bad start against Boston and look to get the Yankees back to winning games again, as he will oppose Orioles right-hander Miguel Gonzalez (9-7, 3.98 ERA.)
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