Yankees 2, Orioles 4: Bats fall asleep in series opener

Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

In the opening game of an ever important series against the Orioles, the Yankees' offense never seemed to fully wake up en route to a 4-2 loss. Starting pitcher CC Sabathia falls to 13-12 with the defeat.

With under 20 games remaining in the regular season, the New York Yankees need to start making up Wild Card ground if they hope to make a playoff push. Monday's loss to the Baltimore Orioles in Camden Yards certainly won't help their cause.

After a first inning solo home run from Alex Rodriguez gave the Yankees a quick 1-0 advantage, starting pitcher CC Sabathia quickly surrendered the lead, allowing the Orioles to tie the game in the bottom half on an Adam Jones sacrifice fly. From there, Sabathia and opposing starting pitcher Chris Tillman exchanged scoreless frames until the bottom half of the fifth inning. A Matt Wieters sacrifice fly gave Baltimore a one-run lead, and an RBI single from Nick Markakis extended the lead to 3-1.

The Orioles added even more insurance in the bottom of the seventh, when a Manny Machado double scored Matt Wieters. The run went down as an unearned one for Sabathia, but it was his throwing error that allowed Matt Wieters to reach second safely earlier in the inning. Sabathia finished with a line of 7 1/3 innings, seven hits allowed, four runs, three earned runs, six strikeouts, and the loss. He is now 13-12 with a 4.82 ERA in 2013.

As the Yankees attempted to brew a late rally, a solo home run from Lyle Overbay cut the lead to 4-2 in the eighth inning. However, that is as close as the Yankees would come, as they never advanced a runner past first base following Overbay's home run. In fact, besides the two solo home runs from him and Rodriguez, the Yankees had zero extra base hits and did not have a base runner reach second base.

With the loss, New York falls to three games behind the Tampa Bay Rays (who are not in action tonight) in the Wild Card standings. The Yankees and Orioles face off in Game 2 of the four-game set tomorrow night, with the same start time of 7:05 ET. New York will send Ivan Nova to the mound against Baltimore's Miguel Gonzalez.

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