BALTIMORE -- The Yankees were destroyed by the Orioles on Saturday. On the mound, David Phelps was crushed, and the Yankees barely hit again.
WHAT IT MEANS: The Yankees have lost four in a row and now are just two games out of last place. They are 42-38 on the season.
CHRIS CROSSED: Phelps was rocked in the first inning, giving up four runs. The big blow was a three-run homer by Chris Davis. For Davis, it was his 29th of the season, a mammoth shot to left-center to make it 4-0.
Phelps got hit hard the entire inning. The Orioles knocked him around for six hits.
BOUNCED: In the third inning, the Orioles chased Phelps by putting up a five spot. Phelps gave up four hits, including another three-run homer. This one was hit by Ryan Flaherty.
NOVA: Ivan Nova, who Joe Girardi hoped would start in Minnesota next week, was forced to come out of the bullpen, and now his potential start is up in the air.
In the sixth inning, Nova gave up another home run to Davis, his 30th of the season. The entire Yankees team has hit 80 home runs.
Nova pitched 5 2/3 innings and gave up only the Davis two-run homer.
WASTED CHANCES: The Yanks had three hits in the first inning yet scored no runs. With two outs, Robinson Cano, Vernon Wells and Ichiro Suzuki all singled. Ichiro's was a Baltimore chopper, so Cano couldn't score. Zoilo Almonte hit a ball pretty hard to right field, but it was caught to end the inning.
In the third, Jayson Nix knocked a one-out double. Cano grounded out, which moved Nix to third. But he never got farther, as Wells grounded out as well.
BRONX CHEER: In the sixth, the Yankees finally got on the board, on an Almonte sacrifice fly. The crowd, which had a lot of Yankees fans in it, produced a sarcastic cheer. The Yanks added a second run on an Orioles error.
QUESTION: Would you keep Phelps in the rotation or replace him with Nova?