C.C. falters; Yanks drop opener

April 6, 2009 5:34:55 PM PDT
CC Sabathia and the new-look New York Yankees absorbed an old-fashioned beating on opening day. Sabathia allowed six runs and failed to get through the fifth inning in his first start with New York, and the Yankees lost to the Baltimore Orioles 10-5 on Monday.

After missing a postseason for the first time since 1993, New York spent $423.5 million on free agents Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Mark Teixeira during the offseason. Sabathia got a $161 million, seven-year deal, but the left-hander hardly looked like an ace against the Orioles, who finished last in the AL East in 2008 - their 11th straight losing season.

Sabathia (0-1) gave up eight hits in 4 1-3 innings, walked five, threw two wild pitches and did not record a strikeout for the first time since July 25, 2005, at Oakland. The six runs were the most he allowed in 32 starts since last April, when he pitched for Cleveland.

Sabathia left with New York trailing 6-1. Missing injured Alex Rodriguez, the Yankees used home runs by Jorge Posada and Hideki Matsui to close to 6-5 in the seventh, but a two-run homer by light-hitting Cesar Izturis sparked a four-run eighth that blunted the comeback.

Adam Jones and Brian Roberts each had three of Baltimore's 14 hits. Aubrey Huff drove in three runs and Jeremy Guthrie (1-0) gave up three runs and seven hits in six innings.

The game drew a sellout crowd of 48,607 - the largest on opening day in the 18-year history of Camden Yards.

Vice President Joe Biden threw out the ceremonial first pitch, a high fastball that brought catcher Chad Moeller out of his crouch.

Biden, who spent 36 years representing Delaware in the Senate, became the first sitting VP to throw out the first pitch at Camden Yards.

Before the game, two Baltimore fans carried a sign that read, "We hate you TEX," which stemmed from Teixeira spurning an offseason contract offer from his hometown Orioles. Teixeira, jeered by Baltimore backers all day, went 0-for-4 with a walk in his Yankees debut.

New York was without Rodriguez, who during spring training admitted using steroids several years ago with Texas. He will miss the beginning of the season after undergoing hip surgery. The third baseman was gone but not forgotten, as evidenced by this sign near the New York dugout: "Where's A-Roid?"

Sabathia had a difficult first inning, giving up a leadoff single to Roberts and walking Jones before firing two wild pitches - equaling the number he threw in 253 innings last year. But Sabathia did not allow a run, and worked a perfect second before running into trouble in the third.

After New York took a 1-0 lead on a sacrifice fly by Johnny Damon in the top half, Baltimore went up 3-1. Izturis singled, Roberts walked and Jones followed with a triple to right before Nick Markakis hit a sacrifice fly.

Damon hit a two-out triple in the fifth and Teixeira walked before Matsui popped out.

In the bottom half, a double by Roberts and infield hits by Jones and Markakis produced a run. Melvin Mora then got an infield hit and Huff hit an RBI grounder before Sabathia issued an intentional walk to Ty Wigginton to load the bases. Sabathia then walked Luke Scott to force in a run, ending his afternoon.

Posada homered leading off the sixth, and later in the inning Xavier Nady doubled in a run.

A two-run homer by Matsui in the seventh off Chris Ray made it 6-5. In the New York eighth, with runners at the corners and two outs, Jim Johnson retired Teixeira on a grounder.

Izturis, signed as a free agent over the winter for his glove at shortstop, homered off Phil Coke in the eighth before Huff added a two-run double off Damaso Marte. Izturis hit one home run last year with St. Louis.

Notes: It was the fifth time in 251 career starts that Sabathia did not get a strikeout. ... Baltimore is 3-0 in openers against the Yankees. ... Nick Swisher got a pinch-hit double in his New York debut. ... Sabathia had been 5-0 lifetime against the Orioles.


NEW YORK SPORTS AND MORE

USEFUL LINKS:
SEND TIP OR PHOTO  || REPORT TYPO ||  GET WIDGET

 EYEWITNESS TWITTER ||  FIND US ON FACEBOOK


Load Comments