The Yankees’ staff ace tries to continue his recent dominance at Camden Yards on Wednesday when New York continues its three-game series against the Orioles.
Baltimore (4-16) became the last team to post its first home victory Tuesday by defeating New York 5-4. Cesar Izturis(notes) had two hits and three RBIs, while Alfredo Simon(notes) survived a shaky two-run ninth for his first major league save that also gave the Orioles consecutive victories for the first time in 2010.
Facing Sabathia (2-1, 3.00 ERA) at Camden Yards has proven to be little fun for the Orioles. They did beat the left-hander in his Yankees debut on April 6, 2009, but Sabathia rebounded with two victories there - allowing one run and striking out 17 in 16 innings - to improve to 5-1 with a 2.81 ERA in seven starts at Baltimore.
He won his last four overall starts versus the Orioles in 2009, and enters this game 9-1 with a 2.55 ERA in 14 starts lifetime. The .900 winning percentage is Sabathia’s highest against any opponent with at least 10 career decisions.
Sabathia is trying to bounce back from his first loss of 2010, after struggling with his control. He matched a career high with six walks in a 4-2 loss at Oakland last Thursday after walking four combined in 19 innings covering his first three starts.
New York (12-7) has dropped four of five, and the bullpen continues to be a concern. Boone Logan(notes) and David Robertson(notes) failed to protect a one-run lead Tuesday, and the relief corps has a 5.26 ERA when closer Mariano Rivera’s(notes) seven scoreless innings are not included.
“It’s pretty frustrating,” Robertson said. “(Starter Phil) Hughes battled his butt off out there and gave us a chance. (Then) I come in and let it snowball. I got ahead OK a couple of times, but when I had the opportunity to get someone out I just didn’t make the pitch.”
Orioles starter Jeremy Guthrie(notes) (0-2, 3.46) has turned in four quality outings in as many starts, but a lack of run support has left him without a victory. He did not get a decision at Boston on Friday after yielding three runs in six innings of Baltimore’s 4-3 defeat.
The right-hander has gotten a mere seven runs from his offense in his four starts.
Guthrie dealt Sabathia his only loss at Camden Yards, but he lost twice to the left-hander in two other head-to-head meetings last year. Guthrie, who went 1-4 with a 5.28 ERA in five starts versus New York in 2009, is 3-6 with a 4.78 ERA in 12 lifetime appearances - 11 starts - against the Yankees.
Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher(notes) is 9 for 19 with four doubles and two homers in his career against Guthrie, but first baseman Mark Teixeira(notes) - currently mired in a 3-for-22 slump - is 1 for 11.