BALTIMORE (AP) — The Baltimore Orioles couldn’t blame the early-evening shadows at Camden Yards for their hitting woes, nor could they cite their unfamiliarity with the opposing pitcher.
After getting handcuffed by a rookie making his second big league start, the Orioles had no excuses following their 3-0 defeat to the New York Yankees on Saturday.
All they could do was acknowledge that Shane Greene was very tough to hit.
Greene (2-0) allowed four hits in 7 1-3 innings, striking out nine — including Nelson Cruz three times — and walking two. The right-hander didn’t give up a hit until the fifth inning and allowed only two runners past second base.
“We knew it coming in, that he would present a problem,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.
It didn’t matter that the Orioles had never seen Greene in person, or that the game started at 4:05 p.m.
“There’s so much information. You watch every pitch they’ve thrown,” Showalter said. “Four o’clock start, 1 o’clock start, 7 o’clock start, you’re going to have success if you do what he did today.”
After Greene left, the Orioles got one more hit off relievers David Huff, Shawn Kelley and David Robertson, the latter of whom worked a perfect ninth to secure his 23rd save.
The 3-4-5-6 hitters in the Baltimore lineup went 0 for 16 with 10 strikeouts. In addition to Cruz, Chris Davis and J.J. Hardy both struck out three times.
It was only the third loss in 12 games for the Orioles, who finished with five hits. Chris Tillman (7-5) gave up three runs, seven hits and three walks in 6 2-3 innings.
“It’s another one of those (performances) that kind of gets looked at but is not properly appreciated because of what the other guy was doing,” Showalter said.
It was Greene’s second win in six days with the Yankees, the first coming at Cleveland, where the 25-year-old allowed two runs in six innings.
After going a combined 12-10 in the minors last year, Greene was 5-2 with a 4.61 ERA this season against such teams as the Buffalo Bisons and Gwinnett Braves. Somehow, that translated into success against the Indians and AL East-leading Orioles.
“A dream come true,” Greene said. “It means a lot that I got the opportunity and it means a lot that I can come up here and help the team win.”
Brian McCann had three hits for the Yankees, who moved within four games of the Orioles in the AL East. New York is 3-5 against Baltimore this season.
The Yankees led 1-0 before chasing Tillman with a two-run seventh. Kelly Johnson led off with a single and advanced on a wild pitch before Derek Jeter hit a two-out RBI single to left.
That prompted the thousands of Yankees fans among the sellout crowd of 46,667 to chant “Derek Jeter! Derek Jeter!” — saluting the 40-year-old team captain who will retire after this season.
Jacoby Ellsbury greeted T.J. McFarland with a broken-bat RBI double, and the inning ended when Ellsbury was cut down at the plate trying to score on McCann’s single to center.
Ellsbury was the second New York runner to be thrown out at home, although it hardly mattered as the Yankees improved to 10-32 when scoring three runs or fewer.
An RBI double by Mark Teixeira gave New York a 1-0 lead in the third, but Jeter was thrown out trying to score on the play.
That would be the Yankees’ final hit until McCann singled with one out in the sixth.
Greene allowed only a walk through four innings and struck out the first two batters in the fifth before Manny Machado grounded a single to left. Ryan Flaherty also singled before Nick Hundley struck out.
New York got runners on the corners with two outs in the sixth before former Oriole Brian Roberts whiffed on a high fastball with the count 0-2.
In the bottom half, the Orioles got successive singles from Nick Markakis and Steve Pearce before Adam Jones hit into a double play and Cruz struck out.
NOTES: Chase Whitley will start for New York in Sunday night’s series finale. Kevin Gausman will start for Baltimore. … The Yankees designated RHP Matt Daley for assignment and activated LHP Jeff Francis, obtained in a trade with Oakland on Friday. … Knowing Miguel Gonzalez wouldn’t be needed before the All-Star break, Baltimore optioned the right-hander to Triple-A Norfolk and recalled C Steve Clevenger from the same club. Gonzalez will return July 22 to face the Angels, Showalter said. … The sellout was Baltimore’s second straight and seventh of the season.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)