NEW YORK – Adam Jones had an American League Division Series to forget last year. On the six month anniversary of the end of that stirring series, Jones had another night in the Bronx to forget.
Jones, who had hit in the Orioles’ first nine games, lost a key fly ball in center field and allowed three runs to score in the seventh inning. The Orioles lost to the New York Yankees 5-2 before 35,033 chilled fans at Yankee Stadium on Friday.
In the ALDS, Jones was just 2-for-23, and for the second time in a week, he cost the Orioles two games in the field. Last Sunday, he lost a fly ball in the sun, costing the team two runs in a 4-3 loss.
Six months ago, the Orioles had their fill of CC Sabathia. The superlative left-hander dominated the Orioles in the American League Division Series last year, and he continued it on Friday night.
On this unbearably cold night, Sabathia ran his lifetime regular season record to 17-4 against the Orioles by allowing two runs, one unearned on eight hits. He struck out nine and walked none.
While Sabathia (2-1) was his usual self, Miguel Gonzalez, who had a most successful first year pitching at Yankee Stadium, continued a disturbing pattern for Orioles starters when he threw far too many pitches, especially in the early innings.
Gonzalez (1-1) was charged with the loss. He allowed a seventh inning leadoff walk to Francisco Cervelli and then was removed. Against Troy Patton, Brett Gardner bunted Cervelli to second, and with two outs, Kevin Youkilis walked and Patton hit Travis Hafner to load the bases.
Pedro Strop relieved Patton, and after Vernon Wells hit a fly ball to deep center, it looked as if the Orioles would get out of the inning without a bruise, but Jones, drifted back and dropped the fly. Three runs scored.
Gonzalez pitched six-plus innings, allowing three runs, one of them unearned. He walked five and struck out four.
The Orioles had a chance to tie in the eighth, but the Yankees pulled off a bizarre triple play. With Alexi Casilla at second and Nick Markakis at first, Manny Machado grounded to second where Robinson Cano tossed to shortstop Jayson Nix for one out. Nix threw to third to get Casilla for the second out, and then Youkilis threw to first and Machado was tagged out in a rundown.
It was the first triple play the Orioles hit into since Apr. 3, 1996.
In the third, Casilla led off with a double. With one out, Machado drove Casilla in with an RBI single, and the Orioles (5-5) led 1-0.
In the bottom of the third, New York tied in when Gonzalez walked Gardner. Cano singled, and Youkilis followed with another base hit. He was caught trying to stretch the hit into a double.
New York took a 2-1 lead in the fifth when Cervelli walked to lead off. He moved to second on Gardner’s bunt and scored on Cano’s single.
Baltimore tied it in the seventh when Matt Wieters led off by grounding to third baseman Youkilis, who booted it. Wieters moved to second on a balk by Sabathia and scored on a one-out single by J.J. Hardy.
Mariano Rivera pitched the ninth for his third save.
NOTES: Andy Pettitte, who was scheduled to pitch on Sunday, has been scratched with back spasms. Phil Hughes (0-1, 6.75) faces Jason Hammel (1-1, 4.97) on Saturday while Hiroki Kuroda slides back to Sunday.
-Eduardo Nunez bruised his right wrist in the second inning when Gonzalez hit him with a pitch.