BALTIMORE – Six-game winning streaks are hard to come by. The Orioles found again that seven-game streaks are even more difficult to achieve.
The Orioles had their fourth six-game streak under Buck Showalter snapped, and still haven’t had a longer one since an eight-game run more than 10 years ago.
On a sultry Sunday afternoon, the Orioles briefly held the lead, but a four-walk fifth inning led to the streak’s end.
The New York Yankees beat the Orioles 5-3 before 36,343 at Oriole Park, and sent them back to .500.
For the 10th time this season, the Orioles (31-31) are at the breakeven point. They hoped to complete consecutive sweeps of the Boston Red Sox and Yankees for the first time since Sept. 1970, but fell a game short.
“I think we’re definitely starting to hit our stride and that’s big for us, to get everybody healthy, to get everybody on the field and start playing together and I think that’s what we’ve done the last few games,” Chris Davis said.
“We won the series. Any time you are able to win the series against a division rival, it’s good. I thought we played a pretty clean game for the most part. Didn’t make a lot of mistakes, didn’t make a lot of errors. We just got beat today.”
Mike Wright had three fine starts and a disappointing one on June 2 in Houston. He allowed five runs on eight hits. Wright (2-2) was sent to Norfolk the next day and returned when Miguel Gonzalez landed on the disabled list with a strained right groin.
He allowed five runs on six hits in four-plus innings.
“The baseball gods weren’t too kind to Mike today,” Showalter said. “We didn’t mount much offensively.”
Brett Gardner led off the first with a single Wright. He scored with two outs on Mark Teixeira’s double.
The Orioles tied the score in the bottom of the first. Manny Machado, who entered the game with six hits in seven at-bats off Adam Warren, led off with a single. With one out, Adam Jones singled and Davis walked to load the bases.
Nolan Reimold’s two-run single to left gave the Orioles a 2-1 lead.
New York tied the score in the second when Gardner’s sacrifice fly scored Didi Gregorius.
Caleb Joseph’s two-out double scored Reimold to tie the score at 2 in the fourth.
Wright walked Chase Headley and Alex Rodriguez to start the fifth. After a wild pitch, Teixeira walked to load the bases.
“I was throwing some good pitches and they kept fouling them off and kept battling. They ended up having the upper hand,” Wright said.
Brian Matusz returned after the end of his eight-game suspension and walked Garrett Jones to score Headley.
“That was a killer. You know, with Garrett Jones there, situation I feel
like come out and (if I) attack the zone a little bit better with some strikes, it falls a little differently there,” Matusz said.
Stephen Drew and Gregorius struck out, but John Ryan Murphy doubled to score A-Rod and Teixeira, and the Yankees (34-28) led 5-3.
Warren left with two runners on and two outs in the fifth. Chasen Shreve got Travis Snider on a fly ball to left for the third out.
Shreve (3-1) recorded four outs for the win. Justin Wilson pitched two perfect innings, and Dellin Betances worked the ninth for his third save.
After Jimmy Paredes’ single leading off the fifth, the Orioles were hitless.
Tyler Wilson, who was recalled before the game as T.J. McFarland was sent to Norfolk, pitched the final 3 1/3 scoreless innings for the Orioles, allowing three hits. It was the team’s longest relief outing this year.
“No matter what the situation is, ahead, behind, my job, especially there being behind a couple of runs, is trying to get quick contact, get the offense back in the dugout, and give them a chance to score some runs and build some momentum on our side of the ball,” Wilson said.
Davis says that .500 isn’t a goal for the Orioles. They expect better.
“I think we want to be over ,500. I think we expect to be over .500. There’s so much emphasis put on the stats and standings and where you are. But right now the biggest thing is to go out there and try to keep doing what we’ve been doing,” Davis said.
NOTES: The Orioles are 28-4 when Joseph has an RBI. His brother Corban, recently released by Atlanta, is expected to sign a minor league contract with the team. … Rodriguez has 2,995 career hits. … The Orioles play the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday night. Aaron Harang (4-7, 3.04) faces Wei-Yin Chen (2-4, 3.21).