Zach Britton struggled with his command today, especially in that fourth inning where he walked three and the Yankees scored four times. But he said the ground ball that hit him in the face at the end of the third inning, was not a problem for him an inning later.
"It didn't really hurt," he said. "It hit my eye and moved my contact around but it didn't do anything and really didn't have an effect on anything today. Not at all."
What did hurt Britton was New York's ability to lay off his sinker.
"The sinker was diving out the zone for me and they stayed with a good approach, not chasing the balls at the knees that were going down," he said. "I just didn't make the adjustment and get ahead (in the count). When I did get ahead, I got the ground balls, but in the situations where I really needed to get ahead I couldn't do it.
"I just beat myself today with the walks and kind of screwed up the rhythm of the game today for the whole team. Position players get frustrated and want you to throw strikes. It was a bad tempo that I set out and the end result is what it is. My stuff was as good as the last four outings, it was just a matter of throwing more strikes with that sinker."
Britton gave up five hits and five runs in 3 1/3 innings, which was his shortest outing since he lasted just 1/3 of an inning on July 30 of last year against the Yankees. Did he think about going away from his best pitch, that sinker, with New York laying off it?
"I went to the breaking ball and I probably should have thrown that a little more, because I was throwing it for strikes. With the bases loaded, you are one pitch away from getting out of that inning and they took some pretty good pitches," Britton said.
Chris Davis, who started in right field today, talked about the four-game series split.
"We would have liked to get the series win," Davis said. "We had a chance to do it today. They kind of left us in the dust today. We tried to claw back. Now we just have to focus on playing good baseball. It's never easy and we have our work cut out for us."
Adam Jones was asked his opinion of splitting the series.
"You think the Yankees were going to give it away? No. We're fine. Started the series where we started, now we have to worry about Tampa. They are coming in hot, so move on," Jones said.
Jones didn't sound satisfied at all with a 9-9 season series split with New York, even though a reporter said there was a time when the Orioles would have been thrilled with that.
"And that time was when I was 10 and 12 years old. I'm 27 now," Jones said. "All that stuff about '96 and '97, that is so irrelevant to me in present day. Other teams are more competitive now. To win the East this year, usually it's 98 wins. Now maybe the low 90s (in wins) gets this division. We had momentum (going into today), but it happens. Not a missed opportunity."
Now the Orioles take a day to rest an get right back into the AL East battles with Tampa Bay in town starting Tuesday night.
"It's huge. Every game, we have - what, 22 games left? - every pitch, every inning is important from here on out," Jones said.