NEW YORK –- The Orioles loss to the New York Yankees was overshadowed by Alex Rodriguez’s milestone.
After sitting out last year because of his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal, A-Rod hit his 661st home run, passing Willie Mays for fourth place on the all-time home run list.
The run was big in the Orioles’ 4-3 defeat to the Yankees before 39,816 at Yankee Stadium on Thursday night.
When Rodriguez hit his historic home run in the third inning, he acknowledged the crowd by stepping out of the dugout.
“I certainly thought the days of curtain calls for me were long gone,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez hit the homer off Chris Tillman, who’s allowed four of his 661.
“I don’t like it. Anytime you give up a home run, I don’t like it. He’s one of the all-time greats. You’ve got to respect it. Any time you make a mistake to that guy, he’s going to make you pay. He pretty much did twice,” Tillman said.
For a moment in the first, it looked as if Rodriguez would hit the historic home run, but Delmon Young made a great catch to rob him of the run. But, A-Rod did get an RBI because Jacoby Ellsbury scored on the sacrifice fly.
“I was upset with myself for missing there. Put a good swing on it, but at the same time, he made a great catch and he kept us in that game,” Tillman said.
Tillman (2-4) allowed four runs on 10 hits.
The Orioles (12-14), who have lost three straight in New York against the Mets and Yankees (18-11), grabbed an early lead when Jimmy Paredes hit his fourth home run in the first off Nathan Eovaldi (3-0).
Ellsbury and Brett Gardner singled off Tillman, and after Rodriguez’s sacrifice fly, Mark Teixeira singled to score Gardner, and the Orioles trailed 2-1.
It was a pattern that repeated. After Caleb Joseph’s home run in the third, Tillman gave up the big A-Rod homer, and the Orioles trailed 3-2.
“It's just frustating for him. After we scored runs, we gave runs right back. And that’s where you'd like to get some shutdown innings. And Chris will. He’s getting there,” manager Buck Showalter said. “You don't see him miss, he’s been wild in the strike zone and that’s been a challenge for him.”
Tillman walked three batters. In his six starts this season, he’s walked at least three four times.
“Got ahead, got deep in the count, got to have a feel for the hitter, got to execute a pitch, and multiple times tonight, I didn’t,” Tillman said.
Travis Snider and Joseph doubled in the fifth to tie the score at 3, but in the bottom of the fifth, Gardner and Teixeira doubled, and it was 4-3.
Eovaldi left in the sixth with runners on first and third and two outs, but the Orioles, who had six hits, had no more against Justin Wilson, Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller.
"They've got a good bullpen. Those two guys, we hope to try to control the game before those guys get it. But when those guys get in there, it’s a little bit tougher,” Steve Pearce said.
Pearce played second after missing the two games with the Mets due to illness. He had a new double play partner, J.J. Hardy, who played his first game of the season after missing the first 25 with a strained left shoulder.
Hardy was 0-for-4, and was the middleman on a 5-6-3 double play that preceded Rodriguez’s at-bat.
Miller got his 12th save and has allowed just three hits in 14 2/3 innings.
Showalter gave Ryan Lavarnway a pinch hitting chance in the ninth when he hit for Snider because he had few right-handed options. Lavarnway struck out.
Everth Cabrera was put on the disabled list just before the game with a bruised left foot. Cabrera was hit by a pitch by Jacob deGrom on Wednesday night.
Yeah, I was kind of surprised because last night, it was about a 75 [mph] curveball that hit me on the top [of the foot]. I was playing normal, and I woke up this morning and it was really sore. It is [maybe] something in there. I’ve got an MRI tomorrow, so we’ll see what happens,” Cabrera said.
NOTES: Chris Davis struck out in each of his four at-bats. He has 44 strikeouts in 25 games. … Tillman’s 10 hits allowed were one short of his career high. He has a 7.30 ERA in eight career starts at Yankee Stadium. … Ryan Flaherty is scheduled to be activated on Friday. Rey Navarro will be returned to Norfolk. Flaherty was on the disabled list with a strained right groin. … Miguel Gonzalez (3-1, 2.59) faces Adam Warren (3-1, 2.59) on Friday night.