Orioles manager Buck Showalter spoke to reliever Josh Rupe about the pitch that drilled Russell Martin between the numbers in the ninth inning. Martin homered twice tonight, so the timing was dubious.
“We asked him after the game,” Showalter said following the Orioles’ 15-3 loss to the Yankees before 39,054 at Camden Yards. “He said, ‘I know what it looked like. I was trying to go in.’ It did not look good. I didn’t like it at all. But I choose to believe my pitcher and I’ve known Josh for a long time. I think he’d be very straight with me. But I do understand what it looked like and it didn’t look good.
“Martin had a great night tonight. He’s had a good season for them, was a great pickup. He’s hard enough to get out without the way it looked. They responded the way good teams do. That’s why they’re as good a team as they are and are going to be. That’s a good example of it.”
The Yankees are convinced that the pitch was intentional.
Brad Bergesen fell to 0-3 with a 5.40 ERA after allowing six runs and eight hits in six innings.
“He had a little trouble changing planes a little bit,” Showalter said. “Didn’t really have good life to his sinker in the first inning and got us in a hole there. Any time you put up a spot there with (CC) Sabathia early ... and he was on top of his game. I think I told you all before what a complete pitcher he is. All the things that were somewhat of a challenge early in his career, when he just overpowered pitchers, he’s become a complete pitcher. Holding runners, secondary stuff. He’s a tough challenge. And it certainly doesn’t help matters when you get down there 3-0, but Bergy got back into himself a little bit and then we had that one inning there, I think the sixth inning, where it got away from him again. He was a pitch away from coming out.”
The Yankees blew open the game by scoring seven runs in the eighth inning and two more in the ninth.
“I’m glad they don’t carry over,” Showalter said. “I’m glad in a way that we’ve got a day game. We’ll have a challenge tomorrow and we’ll see if we’re up to it.”
Sabathia cruised until Adam Jones hit a three-run homer in the seventh. He improved to 15-2 lifetime against the Orioles. His .882 winning percentage against the Orioles is the highest of all-time for a pitcher with 20 or more starts against them.
“I was in the dugout and you could tell he had everything,” Showalter said. “Pitch count was so far down, I think he was less than 60 going into the sixth or seventh. He had that type of stuff. He had everything there for him tonight, and I thought Martin did a great job with him.”