BALTIMORE — CC Sabathia endured a shaky start and a lamentable finish during another frustrating night at Camden Yards.
The big left-hander allowed four runs over seven innings April 14 in the New York Yankees’ 4-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles.
Sabathia (0-2) gave up a first-inning solo shot to Adam Jones, putting the Yankees in a hole from which they never recovered. “He got a two-seamer and put a good swing on it,” Sabathia said.
The Yankees trailed 3-1 in the seventh before Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph tripled and scored on a fly ball for what turned out to be the decisive run.
“That last inning, giving up that triple, really made the difference in the game,” Sabathia said. “I just need to make a better pitch there.”
He walked one and struck out seven. Although Sabathia is 18-7 against the Orioles, he’s 0-5 with a 5.48 ERA in his last seven starts in Baltimore.
The 34-year-old was seeking his first win since April 24, 2014, after missing most of last season with a knee injury.
This was a follow-up to his first outing of the season, April 10 against Toronto, when Sabathia gave up four earned runs in 5 2-3 innings.
“I thought he was good again,” Manager Joe Girardi said. “He gave up a few hard hit balls. I like the way he is throwing.”
Orioles manager Buck Showalter figures it’s only a matter of time before Sabathia finds his groove.
“I thought he was very effective. He just ran into a pitcher who pitched very well,” Showalter said. “There will probably come a time when (Sabathia is) back up there at 94, 96 again. But he’s very effective because he’s so much more of a pitcher than people give him credit for. The two-seamer, the changeup, the breaking ball. He’s a complete pitcher.”
Unlike Sabathia, Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez (1-1) finished strong — he struck out the side in the seventh inning and walked off the mound with a 4-1 lead.
Gonzalez allowed one run and four hits with a career-high 10 strikeouts. He walked one and permitted only one runner to pass second base.
Kevin Gausman gave up two runs in the eighth, and Zach Britton got four outs for his second save.
Alex Rodriguez was not in the Yankees’ the starting lineup for the first time this season. The 39-year-old is seeking a return to form after being suspended last season for drug use.
Upon entering as a pinch hitter with two outs and none on in the ninth, Rodriguez received jeers from many in the crowd of 19,283. He bounced out to shortstop.
Jones put the Orioles up 1-0 with his fourth home run in five games. He added a sacrifice fly in the third after Sabathia issued a leadoff walk.
Baltimore made it 3-0 in the fourth when Delmon Young singled, moved up on a wild pitch and scored on a two-out single by Joseph.
Gonzalez retired 10 straight batters before Jacoby Ellsbury led off the sixth with a single. With two outs, Mark Teixeira hit an RBI double.
New York closed to 4-3 in the eighth. Chase Headley singled in a run and scored when Alejandro De Aza dropped a fly to left.
(DAVID GINSBURG, AP Sports Writer)