The New York Yankees have to be happy to be leaving the Bronx for a few days.
Alex Rodriguez had two hits for the Yankees, who failed to get a runner into scoring position for the first time since August 28 in Baltimore.
“We just are not swinging the bats well right now,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi told reporters after the loss. “We haven't for the last couple of days. You're going to go through those things as an offense.”
The Bombers had all sorts of problems getting the job done in their recently completed three-game set against the suddenly resurgent O’s.
Without the potent bat of Nick Swisher, who has 23 RBIs, the Yankees looked lost at the plate. New York managed just three runs in the series and batted .183 while walking just four times and striking out 22 times in the series.
They had just three extra base hits in the series and just got five runners into scoring position.
The result was a rare Baltimore series win at the Stadium.
“We're better than we showed the last three days,” said Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira, who was 2-for-10 in the set. “We've been very good at scoring runs all year. The last three days we haven't got it done.”
One night after Brian Matusz broke through for his first win since last June, another struggling Baltimore pitcher used a makeshift Yankees lineup to get back to the “W” column.
Arrieta, who was 0-2 with an 8.10 ERA in his last two starts, was just plain magnificent against the Yankees, getting the normally patient team to bite early in counts and locating his pitches with relative ease.
The result was an eight-inning, five hit gem in which Arrieta didn’t walk a batter and struck out nine.
Jim Johnson pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to post Baltimore to victory.
“We know that in the last three games, we didn't hit,” Nova told reporters. “What can I say? I know we need to wake up and we need to start pitching better and hitting better and I know that's what we're going to do.”
New York came closest to scratching a run together in the sixth, when Rodriguez came to the plate as the potential tying run with a runner at first base. But A-Rod, who had a pair of hits prior to the at-bat, jumped on the first pitch and promptly hit into a double play.
Baltimore put the game away in the next frame against a tiring Nova. Nick Markakis launched a long homer into the right-centerfield grandstand before Nova hit Adam Jones. Matt Wieters plated Jones with a double to give the O’s a 4-0 cushion.
Until the sixth, Nova pitched well, but his line did not look too good at the end of the day. The Yankees starter allowed five runs on nine hits while walking four and striking out three over 6 1/3 frames.
Nova fell just one win shy of tying Roger Clemens’ franchise mark of 16 consecutive wins.
“I haven't really thought about a winning streak,” Nova said. “To me this team is important than any personal goal I have. Now e we have to go back to work tomorrow and pitch better next time.”
Freddy Garcia worked around a pair of hits and a walk to hurl two scoreless frames in his first relief appearance for the Yankees this season.
Eric Chavez left the game with whiplash and a possible concussion while at-bat in the bottom of the fifth. Chavez appeared to injure himself in the top of the frame when he dove for J.J. Hardy’s double down the third base line.
Wieters homered and Robert Andino plated the second run of the game for the Orioles who improved to 16-9 this season.