Orioles right-hander Tyler Wilson had it all working for five innings Wednesday night, but even though he had surrendered just one hit to that point, he had no margin for error when he faltered in the sixth.
He allowed three runs — one of them on his own throwing error — and that would turn out to be more than enough for the New York Yankees to halt a six-game losing streak with a 7-0 victory before 15,998 on another chilly night at Camden Yards.
Wilson had been trading scoreless innings with Yankees veteran CC Sabathia, who was able to beguile the Orioles lineup with a wily mixture of medium-velocity fastballs and off-speed stuff that was a lot more effective than it looked.
The Orioles (15-11) had their early opportunities, much more so than the Yankees (9-16), but it was that one inning that made all the difference and the rally didn't begin until after Wilson struck out No. 9 hitter Chase Headley. Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner delivered back-to-back singles to put runners at first and third and Carlos Beltran broke the scoreless tie with a sacrifice fly to center.
Things went south from there. Wilson walked Mark Teixeira (Mount Saint Joseph), gave up an RBI single to Brian McCann and made a throwing error on a swinging bunt by Starlin Castro to allow the third run of the inning. McCann would end up with a three-RBI night after pulling a two-run double down the right-field line in the Yankees' four-run eighth.
"I felt good physically, I felt strong," Wilson said. "Another opportunity to go a little bit deeper in the game is a positive takeaway, but you know I got the leadoff guy there in the sixth and then they strung a couple hits together. I tip my cap to them. They hit some good pitches. Obviously that's a veteran lineup and they're going to make you earn every bit of it, every step of the way. I look back on it and try and learn from everything that happened, and we'll do that moving forward."
Wilson said the throwing error was his biggest regret.
"That's probably the thing that upsets me most about the outing," he said. "Obviously we practice and do that all the time, and there's no excuse for that. I pushed the ball into the ground, made a good grip and then threw it into the ground. Stayed low, threw it, did everything the way we always practice it. I just didn't execute. That's 100 percent on me."
Sabathia pitched seven scoreless innings and registered his best performance since he pitched seven scoreless innings on April 7, 2013. The victory ended an Orioles six-game winning streak against the Yankees that dated to Sept. 8 of last year.
Double trouble: The Orioles had runners on base in each of the first six innings, but they didn't do a whole lot with them. The most promising early opportunity developed when Ryan Flaherty led off the third with a walk and Joey Rickard followed with a bunt single, but Sabathia struck out Manny Machado and needed just one pitch to get Adam Jones to ground into a double play. In the fourth, Mark Trumbo reached on a an opposite-field single with one out, but Nolan Reimold grounded into another double play to end a lengthy at-bat. And in the sixth, with the Orioles down by three, Trumbo made it three double plays in a span of four innings.
The escape artist: Sabathia wriggled off the hook on a few other occasions. He stranded Machado after a one-out double in the first inning and got out of a dangerous situation the fifth. The Orioles got a leadoff double from Jonathan Schoop and a one-out single by Flaherty that was hit too sharply to score the run from second. Sabathia struck out Rickard and got a little lucky when Machado hit a rocket straight at center fielder Ellsbury. Sometimes, there's just no percentage in hitting the ball hard.
Manny marches on: Machado doubled twice to give him 13 doubles on the season, moving him past Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros for first in the major leagues pending some later games. Machado was playing in his major league-leading 188th consecutive game.
Thursday night's matchup: Kevin Gausman will make his third start of the season after pitching well in his first two. In his most recent outing, he posted a similar line to Wilson's on Wednesday, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits over six innings. Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka will be making his sixth start after pitching at least five innings and giving up exactly two earned runs in each of his first five games this year.