NEW YORK – In the first month of the season, the Orioles have been plagued by injuries. J.J. Hardy, Matt Wieters, Jonathan Schoop, Wesley Wright, Ryan Flaherty have spent time on the disabled list, and in the last two days, Everth Cabrera and Kevin Gausman joined them.
For a moment, it looked as if Adam Jones might, too.
Jones tried to make a leaping catch on Alex Rodriguez’s drive in the fifth inning. The ball glanced off his glove, and he fell. For a moment, Jones stayed on the ground as Rodriguez ran to third with a triple.
Manager Buck Showalter went out to check on Jones, but the four-time center fielder didn’t need the concern. For the moment, another crisis was averted, and the Orioles rallied, but fell short in a 5-4 loss, their fourth straight, to the New York Yankees before 38,731 at Yankee Stadium on Friday night.
“I would have came out of the game if I wasn’t feeling good. I’m fine,” Jones said. “I’m fine. It doesn’t matter. I’m fine. I’m playing tomorrow. … You seen it, so I’m good. I appreciate the concern. I’m fine.”
Showalter was a little more cautious.
"I think he's probably going to be a little sore tomorrow. The only thing he said when I got out there was, 'I should have caught that ball.' He wouldn't tell me,” Showalter said.
“I was watching him up the runway, he was taking some swings off the tee. He's probably going to be a little sore. I looked at the replay between innings. Can't really tell whether it's his shoulder or rib cage. The trainer thought it was more his rib cage that he banged in there. We'll see."
Replays showed there may have been fan interference.
“I didn’t see that. I was paying attention to the ball, not anybody else. I just wish I had caught it. I was there. I was mad I didn’t catch it,” Jones said.
The Orioles showed some late life. It was just too little and too late. Allowing New York to get five quick runs, the Orioles made it a game, but still lost.
Dellin Betances (4-0) and Andrew Miller combined to get the final seven outs without a baserunner.
“When you have those two guys throwing the ball the way they were, we had very few opportunities but we just couldn't get that one blow,” Showalter said.
Manny Machado led off with a single. He moved to second on Jimmy Paredes’ infield out, and with two outs, Delmon Young singled to left, but Machado was thrown out trying to score by Brett Gardner.
Jacoby Ellsbury led off the New York first with a single and advanced to third on a double by Gardner. Just like on Thursday night, Ellsbury scored on a sacrifice fly by Rodriguez. But this time, A-Rod’s fly ball was a routine one to center.
With two outs, Brian McCann hit his third home run to right off Miguel Gonzalez, and the Yankees (19-11) led 3-0.
Ellsbury walked to start the third. Gardner single and stole second. With two outs, McCann was intentionally walked, and Carlos Beltran doubled to score Ellsbury and Gardner for a 5-0 lead.
The Orioles (12-15) scored two runs in the fifth. J.J. Hardy and Ryan Flaherty walked, and Machado singled to score Hardy. With one out, Jones singled to load the bases. Flaherty scored on Young’s force play. Chris Davis was struck out by Justin Wilson to end the inning.
Gonzalez (3-2) was removed after four innings and five runs. T.J. McFarland, who was recalled from Norfolk earlier in the day, relieved him.
"You strive to be here, so I'm not necessarily surprised. The way it happened maybe was a little bit of a surprise. You go from being in Norfolk at 2:30 to pitching in Yankee Stadium at 8:30,” McFarland said.
Rodriguez’s triple was the only hit McFarland allowed in three innings.
The Orioles scored two runs in the sixth. Hardy doubled with two out. Flaherty was hit by a pitch, and Chris Martin relieved Wilson.
Machado walked to load the bases, and Paredes singled up the middle to score two, and New York led 5-4.
The Orioles are now 3-6 in one-run games.
“When you lose by one that means there’s one or two things in the game that can go either way. We’re close. We’re right there,” Jones said. “But this division, no one is going to run away in this division. We just need to get on a winning streak [for] ourselves and put ourselves right back in a good spot.”
NOTES: Gonzalez’s start was his shortest since he went 3 1/3 innings on Apr. 4, 2014. … Wei-Yin Chen (0-1, 2.83) faces Chase Whitley (1-0, 0.75) on Saturday afternoon at 1:05 p.m.
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