NEW YORK—Vance Worley didn’t give the Orioles the start they needed, and their offense couldn’t give them the runs they craved.
Chris Davis and Matt Wieters were missing from the lineup, and the Orioles’ slump continues. In their last 15 games, they’ve scored just 52 runs.
After equaling a season high 18 games over .500 on Saturday, they’ve lost three straight with their 7-1 loss to the New York Yankees before 31,192 at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night.
In the first two games of the series, the Orioles have just two runs on nine hits and lead the AL East by just a half-game over Boston.
“We’re better than that,” manager Buck Showalter said.
Showalter is hoping that Wieters, who was hit by a pitch in his right foot on Monday night, and Davis who has been out with flu-like symptoms for the past two games, will play on Wednesday, but he hardly seem convinced.
“Matt’s pretty sore and I talked to Chris before the game. He had a little better color, a little better look. He’s had a pretty tough go of it. I’m proud he came into the locker room and got back in the environment. He’s starting to eat a little bit. I think he tried to have a banana and some other stuff, but he’s just getting to the point where he’s able to hold some stuff down,” Showalter said.
Worley (2-1) hadn’t started in more than three months. In the last game he started on Apr. 15, the Orioles (53-39) scored 11 runs, and Mark Trumbo hit two home runs in an inning.
There was no such good fortune this time. While Worley was in the game, they had just two singles off Nathan Eovaldi (8-6), and he allowed three runs on three hits in 4 1/3 innings.
Starlin Castro’s two-run homer in the second gave the Yankees (47-46) a 2-0 lead. Jacoby Ellsbury’s RBI single in the fifth made it 3-0.
Showalter didn’t seem displeased with Worley’s outing.
“Good, I thought he attacked it well. We didn’t give him very much margin for error. Just not doing much offensively and they pitched pretty well,” Showalter said.
Worley had four of the seven Orioles walks, but there was some griping about home plate umpire Todd Tichenor’s strike zone, particularly on the 10-pitch walk that Didi Gregorius worked out. Gregorius’ walk immediately preceded Castro’s home run.
“They were close,” Worley said with a grin. “They were close. For me, I’m a momentum kind of guy. Like I said, they put up some good at-bats and fouled a lot of good pitches off and made me work. A couple of the guys I wasn’t going to give into and give them something to hit, so they were patient enough to take the pitches that I wanted them to swing at. Fortunately, there were just three and it could have been worse,” Worley said.
In the sixth, the Orioles had a promising rally that fizzled. Ryan Flaherty walked with one out, and Adam Jones singled. Flaherty scored on Joey Rickard’s double, his first extra-base hit since July 1.
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Manny Machado walked to load the bases, and Anthony Swarzak replaced Eovaldi. Trumbo popped beyond first base, and Rob Refsnyder, a converted second baseman playing first, raced to catch Trumbo’s pop and fired home to hold Jones at third.
Jonathan Schoop ended the inning with a foul pop to short.
Having two of their best hitters failing to put the ball into play proved costly as Castro hit a two-run double off Odrisamer Despaigne in the bottom of the sixth to increase the lead to 5-1.
“When you get those opportunities you have to cash them in because you’re not going to get many,” Showalter said.
Without Wieters, the Orioles went with Caleb Joseph, and he’s had 81 at-bats this year without an RBI.
“Their starter tonight, he throws the ball really hard. He’s got nice sink on it, good cutter, good split, just kept us off balance, and then when we did get him on the ropes, we just didn’t take advantage of it,” Joseph said. “We’ve got to find way to continue to grind at-bats out, to get guys on base, whether it’s a walk or a two-strike hit or something. That’s something that we usually do that prolongs innings that gives us a chance to win games.”
Swarzak retired all eight batters to face him.
Mychal Givens allowed a two-run homer to Chase Headley in the eighth.
NOTES: Jacoby Ellsbury reached on catcher’s interference for the ninth time this season. Ellsbury has reached 23 times on interference, and according to Elias, that’s the most of any major leaguer since Pete Rose’s 29. … Yovani Gallardo (3-1, 5.77) faces Michael Pineda (3-9, 5.56) on Wednesday night.