BALTIMORE — Maybe it was the change in venue. Perhaps it was a lengthy layoff between starts, or possibly that the Baltimore Orioles were looking for revenge.
Whatever the reason, the Michael Pineda that pitched at Camden Yards on Friday night bore no resemblance to the New York Yankees’ right-hander who struck out 16 Orioles in a dominating effort at Yankee Stadium last month.
Pineda didn’t make it out of the fifth inning, and the first-place Yankees staggered through an 11-3 defeat against the defending AL East champions.
On May 10, Pineda reached a career high in strikeouts against Baltimore. In this one, he fanned only two in 4 1/3 rocky innings, allowing six runs, nine hits and two walks.
It was Pineda’s shortest outing since being ejected in the second inning on April 23, 2014, for using pine tar on the mound.
“I tried to throw my best pitch in the game today, and the slider was not working very good,” he said.
Chris Davis delivered an RBI single in the first inning and a three-run homer in the third, both against Pineda (7-3). The slugger came into the game 1 for 11 with eight strikeouts in his career against the 6-foot-7 hurler.
“We did our homework,” Davis said. “I think the more you see a guy, you know what he’s going to do. Tonight he just didn’t look as sharp as he was in New York and we were able to take advantage of it.”
Caleb Joseph hit a solo shot and Jimmy Paredes had three singles and two RBIs for the Orioles, who have won five straight.
Pineda hadn’t pitched since June 1 because the Yankees don’t want to overwork him, but he wouldn’t blame the extended break for his subpar performance.
“They tried to take care of me and give me a little rest,” Pineda said. “What happened tonight, it happens with everybody.”
Mason Williams homered in his major league debut for the first-place Yankees, who have dropped two in a row after winning seven straight.
Ubaldo Jimenez (4-3) gave up three runs in five innings to earn his first win since May 11. Although the right-hander struggled from the outset, he kept the damage to a minimum and received plenty of offensive support.
New York failed to score in the first inning after loading the bases with no outs. Davis singled in a run in the bottom half.
Alex Rodriguez picked up his 1,999th career RBI with a single in the Yankees’ third, but Baltimore used a run-scoring single by Adam Jones and Davis’ 13th home run to go up 5-1.
After striking out in his first at-bat, Williams hit a two-run drive to right in the fourth.
“Pretty speechless,” he said. “Honestly it was my first home run of the year. I wish it would’ve come at a better time in this game.”
The former fourth-round draft pick was removed for a pinch hitter after going 1 for 2.
Baltimore pulled away with a four-run sixth that began with Joseph connecting off Jacob Lindgren. Later in the inning, first baseman Mark Teixeira overthrew second base trying for a force play, ending his career-high errorless run at 109 games and providing the Orioles with four unearned runs.
That put Baltimore in double figures in runs for the first time since April 26.
The Yankees sent reliever Esmil Rogers outright to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after the game. The right-hander allowed four runs Friday and has a 6.27 ERA.
“I thought he actually threw the ball decently tonight,” manager Joe Girardi said. “But it hasn’t been consistent work for him and we wanted to try to get him going.”
Yankees: OF Jacoby Ellsbury (right knee sprain) is running at about 60 percent according to Girardi, who added, “He’s starting to do a little bit of everything now.”
Orioles: RHP Kevin Gausman (right shoulder tendinitis) felt no lingering pain after his rehab assignment Thursday night. He is slated to pitch two innings for Single-A Frederick on Tuesday.
Yankees: CC Sabathia starts against the Orioles on Saturday night looking for his 212th career win, which would give him sole possession of 23rd place on the win-list for left-handers.
Orioles: Bud Norris takes the mound for Baltimore. He’s 2-4 with an 8.63 ERA this season, but is 4-1 lifetime against New York.