Yankees starter Andy Pettitte says he quit on the Yankees in his last start, but manager Joe Torre isn’t worried about his veteran left-hander.
Pettitte will look to help the Yankees shake a frustrating slump Tuesday when they open a three-game series in Baltimore.
Pettitte (4-5, 3.28 ERA) allowed just two singles through the first five innings on Wednesday, but fell apart after giving up a two-out, two-run homer to Colorado’s Matt Holliday in the sixth. He was charged with six runs in 6 2-3 innings in the 6-1 loss to the Rockies.
“After the home run by Holliday, I quit pitching,” Pettitte said. “I quit throwing my changeup. I quit pitching. I stopped working both sides of the plate like I do.”
Torre shrugged off the comments, saying that they just revealed the competitor in Pettitte.
“I’ll never second-guess Andy. I mean, we’ll talk about things, do and don’t, what you should and shouldn’t do. But you know darn well from his past and the way he prepares himself you know he’s out there and you’re going to have to beat him. And last night he felt he beat himself because of that, but keep in mind, we scored one run. So, it’s probably more of an issue for him than it is for us.”
After spending the last three seasons in Houston, Pettitte returned to New York, where he started his career and went 149-78 from 1995-2003. Pettitte, who helped the Yankees win four World Series titles, is 1-1 with a 5.33 ERA over his last four starts.
A matchup against the Orioles might help Pettitte shake his funk. His 20 wins against Baltimore are the second-most among active pitchers, behind teammate Roger Clemens’ 22.
He has lost just five games against the Orioles and owns a 3.77 ERA in 30 career outings - 28 starts - against them.
Pettitte wasn’t the only player to struggle through the first six games of the Yankees’ current nine-game trip. New York (36-37) was swept in three games in Colorado before dropping two of three in San Francisco over the weekend.
The Yankees, who averaged just 3.2 runs per game over those six games, lost 7-2 to the Giants on Sunday. Shortstop Derek Jeter went 0-for-3 to end a 17-game hitting streak, and New York managed only five hits.
“It’s frustrating,” said third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who went 9-for-13 in the series. “As well as we swung the bats in this series, we didn’t get any runs to show for it.”
Clemens made his first regular-season relief appearance since he was a rookie with Boston in 1984, and gave up a run in one inning of work Sunday.
The Orioles (32-43), meanwhile, are coming off a 3-3 road trip that included stops in San Diego and Arizona. Brian Roberts went 14-for-26 (.538) on the trip and homered in Sunday’s 8-3 loss to the Diamondbacks.
Baltimore played all three games in Arizona without shortstop Miguel Tejada, who is on the disabled list with a wrist injury. Sam Perlozzo was fired as manager just before the trip and replaced by bullpen coach Dave Trembley in the interim.
“You lose your best player and your manager, but other than that we still played pretty well,” Roberts said. “I know we certainly would have liked to have won one of the last two, but that’s just the way it goes.”
Jeremy Guthrie (4-1, 2.42) will start the opener of this series for the Orioles. The rookie right-hander has been a pleasant surprise for Baltimore this season—he owns the second-best ERA in the American League and lasted at least seven innings for the eighth straight start in Wednesday’s 7-1 win in San Diego.
Guthrie allowed one run and four hits in eight innings, helping the Orioles end a nine-game losing streak and give Trembley his first win. Trembley helped convince the Orioles to claim Guthrie off waivers from Cleveland in January.
“It’s a big coincidence,” Guthrie told the Orioles’ official Web site. “I respect him a lot.”
Guthrie made his only appearance against the Yankees on Aug. 31, 2004, while with the Indians, throwing two scoreless innings of relief in New York without getting a decision.
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