BALTIMORE -- Friday night's mess of an 11-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles may not be the New York Yankees' worst of the season -- they remain atop the AL East, after all -- but it certainly was among the most embarrassing, and potentially, the most portentous for the future.
Embarrassing because not only did the Yankees not hit, they fielded atrociously -- two errors and the potential for at least one more -- and the bullpen was horrible once again.
And portentous because for the third time in the past month -- and specifically, since his most overpowering performance of the year -- Yankees starter Michael Pineda got hit hard and looked nothing like the pitcher he had been in his first seven starts of the season.
Short night: After an 11-day layoff, Michael Pineda turned in his shortest outing of the season, lasting just 4 1/3 innings. It also tied his worst in terms of earned runs allowed, five, and the nine hits he gave up were one shy of his season high. Most alarming: Since Pineda's start against the Orioles on May 10, in which he struck out 16 and threw a season-high 111 pitches, Pineda has allowed 40 hits and 17 earned runs in 28 1/3 innings for an ERA of 5.40 in those five starts.
A bunch of firsts: In his first major league game, Mason Williams collected his first major league hit, and it was a keeper -- his first major league homer, a two-run shot to right on an 0-1 fastball from Ubaldo Jimenez in the fourth inning that cut the Orioles' lead to 5-3. Unfortunately for the Yankees, that was their only offensive highlight of the night. And Williams' glory was fleeting -- when his next turn at-bat came up, with left-handed reliever T.J. McFarland pitching, Joe Girardi sent Chris Young up to hit for him in a straight lefty-righty switch.
Hot night, cold bats: The Yankees stranded runners in scoring position in the first, third, fourth, sixth and seventh innings and were 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
Orange Crush: The Orioles took a 5-1 lead with four runs in the third capped by Chris Davis' laser shot of a three-run homer into the right-field seats. The inning started badly, when Manny Machado's hot shot right at Chase Headley took a hop over his glove and hit him in a rather delicate area, resulting in a two-run error. Jimmy Paredes then topped one to the left of the mound, but neither Headley nor Pineda could get to it in time to throw him out. That gave the O's first and third with none out. Adam Jones singled hard to left, scoring Machado, then Davis followed with his blast, No. 13 of the season for him.
Limited damage: The Yankees were lucky to escape down by just one run in the first after Pineda walked Machado, the leadoff hitter, and allowed a single to Jimmy Paredes that put runners at the corners. After a fly out, Davis lined an RBI single off the right-field wall, scoring Machado, but Pineda came back to strike out Hardy and getting Snider to ground out to first.
Comin' up empty: The Yankees greeted Ubaldo Jimenez by loading the bases with none out in the first, on singles by Gardner and Headley and a walk to Rodriguez, but came away with nothing as Mark Teixeira popped out to the infield, McCann struck out and Beltran flied to right.
Inching up: Alex Rodriguez had two hits to draw to within six of AROD3K, and one was an RBI single, giving him 1,999 for his career.
Thrown away: Teixeira had gone a career-high 109 games without an error -- until the sixth inning, when he fielded a potential Paredes double-play grounder and sailed it over the head of Didi Gregorius at short, allowing Machado to go from first to third. He eventually scored the O's eighth run on a wild pitch by Esmil Rogers. The error led to three unearned runs and a 10-3 Orioles lead. Teixeira could have had another E in the seventh when he made a diving stop on Ryan Flaherty -- but dropped the ball before he could throw to first, where Rogers was waiting. Incredibly, it was scored a hit.
Clown show: The most embarrassing moment of all may have come when a routine fly to right dropped between Gardner in center and Beltran in right. It appeared Gardner pulled off, thinking it was Beltran's ball, and Beltran never really made a stab at it.