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Win still brings frustration for Pettitte

Andy Pettitte is one of the best left-handers of his generation, maybe a future Hall of Famer.

But he's also human.

So he felt just like anyone else who worked outside in the sweltering heat on Saturday.

"It was a grind out there, man," Pettitte said.

But it was worth it.

Pettitte earned the win in the New York Yankees' 5-4 triumph over the Baltimore Orioles by giving up four runs (three earned) on nine hits over 6⅔ innings.

In doing so, he snapped a personal four-start winless streak. It's no surprise that the win came against the Orioles. Pettitte is undefeated in his past 11 starts against Baltimore since Sept. 19, 2007, going 8-0 with a 2.99 ERA.

Overall, he is 28-6 against the O's. Only Yankees great Whitey Ford (30) has more wins against them in team history.

But Pettitte wasn't exactly popping champagne in the clubhouse after his latest win over Baltimore.

Instead, the 41-year-old chided himself for a lack of execution.

"Usually, when you throw the ball where you want to, you feel like that's going to be an out," Pettitte said. "I haven't been getting that the past three or four starts."

Pettitte's ERA has risen by more than a half-run over his past five starts. That's not an astronomical increase, but it's worth watching because the 17-year vet has noticed a troubling trend in recent starts.

He's hitting his spots, but he's not getting the intended results.

"It just seems like my pitch selection isn't right," Pettitte said. "Maybe I've been a little aggressive in certain counts."

One example Pettitte cited was his second-inning battle with Chris Davis.

Pettitte made the pitch he wanted -- a cutter on the inner half of the plate -- but Davis drove it over the center-field wall for his 33rd home run.

"It was exactly where I wanted, but he's just a big, strong man," Pettitte said.

He gave up seven more hits over the next six innings but managed to scatter them and allow the Yankee offense to come back from an early 3-0 deficit.

He left to an ovation from the 42,678 on hand after he struck out Nick Markakis looking in the seventh.

"I think they all know what I'm trying to do out there," Pettitte said.

But he couldn't mask his frustration.

"I can't remember going through a stretch like I have right now where you feel like every decision you're making out there is not the right one," he said. "I feel really good [physically], and I'm hoping that I can get off on a long streak soon."