(AP) — Although CC Sabathia once dominated the Baltimore Orioles, he’s been in a bit of a rut lately in his starts at Camden Yards.
Even if he can’t stake the New York Yankees to a lead, it may not matter because of the state of the beleaguered Orioles’ bullpen.
Sabathia looks to recover from some bad luck in his season opener and win for the first time in seven regular-season outings at Baltimore on Tuesday night.
The former Cy Young Award winner pitched better in Thursday’s 6-3 loss to Toronto than indicated by his line of five runs allowed over 5 2-3 innings. Though he threw his fastball 88-90 mph, he had good downward tilt on his slider and was undone by a four-run second inning in which the Blue Jays grounded four singles through the infield.
Sabathia, who struck out eight, looks to improve on a 0-4 mark with a 5.54 ERA in his last six regular-season starts at Camden Yards. He went 16-2 in his first 22 starts against the Orioles, including 10-1 with a 2.73 ERA in his first 12 on the road.
The left-hander didn’t face the Orioles last season.
Adam Jones, who batted a team-high .344 against lefties last season and is 4 for 4 in 2015, is a career .304 hitter with three home runs against Sabathia in the regular season.Jones is 10 for 14 with three homers and seven RBIs four games into a six-game homestand.
“Adam’s in a good spot right now,” manager Buck Showalter said. “He’s putting a lot of good swings on the ball and some of the balls he’s not squaring up are finding holes, too.”
New York (3-4) opened this three-game set by rallying for a 6-5 victory Monday. Stephen Drew delivered a pinch-hit grand slam in the seventh inning off Tommy Hunter to mark his second straight game with a homer.
Drew was only in the game because Brett Gardner left with a right wrist injury on which X-rays were negative. He is day to day.
Hunter was charged with all four runs on Drew’s homer for Baltimore (3-4), which has seen its bullpen scored upon in all seven games, registering a 5.40 ERA.
That can’t be comforting for scheduled starter Miguel Gonzalez, who is 0-3 with a 4.22 ERA in his last eight regular-season starts against the Yankees. He is 0-1 with a 3.33 ERA in four career home outings versus them.
The right-hander was charged with one run over 5 2-3 innings in last Wednesday’s 2-0 defeat at Tampa Bay.
Mark Teixeira is hitless in nine at-bats with four strikeouts against Gonzalez. Jacoby Ellsbury is 4 for 16.
Teixeira and Chris Young also went deep Monday, giving New York six homers in its last two games. The Yankees have posted their first back-to-back wins.
“We didn’t play well the first five games of the season,” manager Joe Girardi said. “We played much better the last two. We’ve gotten big hits. We’ve capitalized on some mistakes the other clubs have made.”
The Yankees and Orioles have gone deep 12 times to tie for the AL lead.
Chris Davis, who struck out all four times Monday, is 4 for 18 with 11 strikeouts against Sabathia.