Bad to Worse for Yanks
By DAVID GINSBURG
AP Sports Writer
BALTIMORE (AP) _ The New York Yankees don’t intend to lament their misdeeds during a miserable June.
No, they figure the only way to get out the funk they’re in is to look ahead to July.
Hiroki Kuroda gave up three home runs, and the Yankees couldn’t muster a significant clutch hit in a 4-2 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday night. The defeat was New York’s fifth straight and put an emphatic exclamation point on an 11-16 June.
“You can’t go back and change anything that’s been done,” outfielder Vernon Wells said. “You want to go back and look at the negatives? You’re not going to get anywhere. Turn the page and start over and let’s have a better July.”
The Yankees were 37-26 and in second place in the AL East on June 10. Now they’re 42-39 and mired in fourth.
“You look back at what we were able to accomplish early in the season,” Wells said. “There is no reason we can’t get back there.”
New York has to get more offense to bounce back. Robinson Cano hit a solo homer, but the Yankees were 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position and stranded eight runners.
It doesn’t look good, but manager Joe Girardi will not panic.
“There are a lot of things that go on in life that are struggles that you go through, and you have to figure out how to get through them,” manager Joe Girardi said. “This is like life. Everything is not going to be easy. You find ways to get through it. I’m not going to get frustrated. I know the effort these guys are putting in. I’m going to stick up for them.”
Chris Davis hit his major-league leading 31st home runs, and Manny Machado and Nate McLouth also connected for the Orioles, who completed their first three-game sweep of the Yankees since 2005.
Chris Tillman (10-2) gave up two runs and five hits over six innings to win his sixth straight start and reach a career high for wins in a season. The right-hander is 7-0 in eight starts since May 19.
Jim Johnson worked the ninth to earn his 28th save. Baltimore is 6-3 against New York this season, 5-1 at home.
Kuroda went six-plus innings. The three homers he allowed were a season high, after allowing only two homers in his previous four starts.
“He didn’t give up a lot of hits but the hits he did they were loud and they were home runs,” Girardi said.
The Orioles activated Brian Roberts from the disabled list, where he had languished since April 5 with a right hamstring injury. Batting ninth as Baltimore’s designated hitter, Roberts went 1 for 2 with a sacrifice fly in his fourth game of the season.
“If you are going to be out there you want to contribute,” he said. “You don’t want to be the weak link in the chain and there are some pretty strong links in this chain.”
Machado got Baltimore a first-inning run with his first homer since May 5. The Yankees tied it in the second when Brett Gardner drew a bases-loaded walk with two outs, but Tillman avoided further damage by retiring Ichiro Suzuki on a popup.
Davis opened the bottom half with an opposite-field drive to left field, his second career homer against Kuroda in 15 at-bats.
“It wasn’t a terrible pitch,” Yankees catcher Chris Stewart said. “I was expecting the ball to break a little more down in the zone and it didn’t. It kind of stayed up for him and he put a good swing on it. That’s the bottom line.”
A solo shot by McLouth made it 3-1 in the third, his fourth hit in 24 career at-bats against Kuroda.
Robinson hit his team-leading 17th homer in the sixth, and Roberts made it 4-2 in the seventh with a run-scoring fly ball.
NOTES: Girardi failed in his fifth try to earn managerial victory No. 600. . The Yankees will send Andy Pettitte to the mound Monday night in Minnesota. The left-hander is 10-0 in his last 12 starts against the Twins. … Suzuki is 1 for 13 lifetime (.077) against Tillman, his lowest batting average against any pitcher (10 AB minimum). … Baltimore has won five straight at home against New York for the first time since 1983.