Valencia states case as right bat while Orioles lose lead (O’s lose 8-5)

NEW YORK - Danny Valencia must have cringed each time it was written or stated that the Orioles needed another right-handed bat.

His latest response came tonight against Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia.

Valencia homered into the Yankees bullpen in left-center field in the top of the fifth inning after Nick Markakis led off with an infield hit, giving the Orioles a 3-2 lead. He was 4-for-20 lifetime against Sabathia, including a ground ball in the third inning.

The Orioles increased their lead to 4-2 later in the fifth when Alexi Casilla walked, stole second, took third on Taylor Teagarden’s sacrifice and scored with two outs on Manny Machado’s single

Machado has 49 multi-hit games this season.

The Yankees pounced on Miguel Gonzalez in the bottom of the fifth, getting back-to-back doubles by Curtis Granderson and Mark Reynolds, and a two-run homer by Ichiro Suzuki to take a 5-4 lead. Austin Romine followed with a double, giving New York four straight extra-base hits to open the inning.

Brett Gardner singled to break one streak, but maintain another. Gonzalez still couldn’t record an out, and T.J. McFarland warmed in the bullpen.

Derek Jeter walked to load the bases and manager Buck Showalter removed Gonzalez, who turned in his second-shortest start of the season. He lasted only 3 2/3 innings on July 31 against the Astros.

Gonzalez was cruising along until the fourth, and he completely unraveled in the fifth. He was charged with seven runs and six hits, with three walks, no strikeouts and two home runs. He threw 64 pitches, 39 for strikes.

It’s only the second time in 23 starts that Gonzalez didn’t record a strikeout. It also happened July 25 in Kansas City.

McFarland had let 13 of 23 inherited runners score before tonight. Now it’s 15 of 26 after two more crossed the plate on Robinson Cano’s single.

The Orioles still hadn’t recorded an out at that point, but Alfonso Soriano grounded into a force and Alex Rodriguez grounded into a double play.

Gonzalez had allowed 10 earned runs in 39 1/2 innings over six career starts against the Yankees. He was charged with seven tonight. In five career starts in the Bronx, Gonzalez had allowed eight earned runs 32 2/3 innings.

Now, back to Valencia...

You may remember that Valencia was recalled on Aug. 4 and had a double and home run later that night. Two days later, he was optioned to make room for Brian Roberts, who returned from paternity leave.

Valencia clubbed his sixth home run tonight, and he could be optioned on Saturday to make room for Michael Morse on the 25-man roster.

If that happens, Valencia would be recalled after Norfolk’s season ends.

Valencia began the night batting .328 vs. left-handers and .154 vs. right-handers.

Update: Valencia singled off right-hander Shawn Kelley, who replaced Sabathia with two outs in the sixth. Guess it doesn’t matter who’s on the mound.

Sabathia allowed five runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings. He was removed after 86 pitches.

Adam Jones led off the top of the sixth with a double and scored on Nick Markakis’ two-out single to reduce New York’s lead to 7-5.

Lots of baseball left here, folks.

Update II: Game over. Orioles lose to the Yankees 8-5 and are 1-3 on this road trip.

McFarland was charged with a run in the seventh after Cano singled with two outs. Francisco Rodriguez hit Soriano with his first pitch and Cano scored on Rodriguez’s single.

The Orioles brought the tying run to the plate with two outs in the eighth, but Valencia flied to the track in right field. Showalter let Valencia bat against right-hander David Robertson rather than pinch-hit with Brian Roberts or Wilson Betemit.

Orioles starters have allowed 18 earned runs in 20 innings on this trip.

Nick Markakis had three hits tonight. So did former Oriole Mark Reynolds.

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