BALTIMORE - CC Sabathia wasn't great but wasn't awful, the kind of OK performance that on most nights the Yankees are happy to take from their former ace. But not on nights like this one, when they faced a pitcher with the kind of stuff Miguel Gonzalez was throwing.
The Orioles righthander dominated the Yankees for seven innings, striking out a career-high 10, as the Yankees fell, 4-3, in front of 19,283 on a cool, wet night at Camden Yards.
Gonzalez, 30, allowed a run, four hits and a walk in seven innings. Sabathia (0-2, 5.68 ERA) allowed four earned runs for a second straight start. The 34-year-old lefthander gave up seven hits and a walk in seven innings.
Trailing 4-1 in the eighth, the Yankees (3-5) scored twice, with one of the runs a gift. Kevin Gausman replaced Gonzalez, who had thrown 108 pitches, to start the inning, and Didi Gregorius greeted him with a bloop single to left. Jacoby Ellsbury flied out and Chase Headley singled to right, putting runners at the corners.
Struggling Carlos Beltran, who did double in the first inning, got Gregorius in with a 4-3 groundout. Mark Teixeira lofted a fly to left, where Alejandro De Aza tracked it down near the track but dropped the ball, allowing Headley to score to make it 4-3.
Lefty Zach Britton got Brian McCann to ground into the overshift to the right side to end the inning. Britton pitched a scoreless ninth, getting pinch hitter Alex Rodriguez to ground to short for the final out.
Sabathia retired the first two batters of the first but grooved an 89-mph, 1-and-1 fastball to Adam Jones, who sent it out to left for his fourth homer, and second in as many nights, to make it 1-0.
The Orioles (4-4) added on in the third, although the inning could have turned out far worse. Sabathia walked leadoff man Everth Cabrera on four pitches and Manny Machado came up swinging, lining a first-pitch changeup to left-center for a single that put runners at the corners. Jones' sacrifice fly made it 2-0 but Sabathia kept it there, getting Steve Pearce to ground into a 6-4-3 double play.
The Orioles scored again in the fourth. Delmon Young led off with a trickler down the third-base line that went for a hit. With Chris Davis at the plate, Sabathia threw a wild pitch, allowing Young to take second. Sabathia responded by striking out Davis and Jonathan Schoop, both looking, but Caleb Joseph lined a first-pitch curve to right to get Young in to make it 3-0.
Gonzalez was settling down. After Stephen Drew's walk in the second, Gonzalez retired 10 straight before Ellsbury's leadoff single in the sixth. With Headley at the plate, Ellsbury took second on a wild pitch. Headley struck out and Beltran flew out to short left, but Teixeira swung at the first pitch and lasered a double into the rightfield corner to bring in the Yankees' first run. It was his fifth RBI, one behind A-Rod and Drew.
An inning later, Gonzalez went right back to dominating the Yankees, striking out the side to give him his 10 strikeouts.
Baltimore added a run in the seventh, which Joseph led off with a triple into the gap in right-center. After Sabathia struck out De Aza, Cabrera lofted a fly ball to center just deep enough to get in Joseph (aided by a not especially strong throw from Ellsbury), which made it 4-1.