BALTIMORE — The angst that CC Sabathia showed on the mound was still very evident in the somber New York clubhouse after the Yankees' latest defeat.
Sabathia took a no-hitter and a three-run lead into the sixth inning before it all came apart in a 4-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night.
The setback was the third in a row for New York and the 11th in 16 games. Sabathia had won four of his previous five starts, but that was of no consolation.
"We've been battling and scuffling all year, fighting through all the injuries," he said. "Then to come out here and get three and not be able to hold it... it's extremely frustrating."
It was 3-0 in the sixth before Nate McLouth and Alexi Casilla singled and scored on a double by Manny Machado, who was 2 for 13 lifetime against Sabathia. Machado took third on a fly ball by J.J. Hardy and came home on an infield dribbler by Adam Jones – a hit that mirrored Casilla's earlier in the inning.
"We got a couple swinging bunts there that worked out our way," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.
There was nothing cheap about Baltimore's go-ahead run in the seventh. McLouth got hold of an 80 mph slider and drove it far over the right-field wall for a 4-3 lead. Sabathia dropped into a crouch on the mound with a disgusted look on his face, the same one he flashed when he walked off the mound for the final time after the inning.
"It was just everything from the night," he said. "Like I said, not being able to hold the lead, and then the ultimate of giving up the lead and giving up the game. It's frustrating. I try not to show my emotions too much, but it happens."
Sabathia wasn't the only one to blame for the defeat. The Yankees outhit the Orioles 11-5 but stranded nine and went 3 for 10 with runners in scoring position.
"We missed some early opportunities and weren't able to capitalize," manager Joe Girardi said. "We had seven hits in the first three innings and were only able to get three runs."
Sabathia allowed four runs and five hits in seven innings. He was seeking his 200th career win; instead, the left-hander fell to 17-5 lifetime against the Orioles.
In the days leading up to the game, the Yankees listed David Phelps as their starter. But Sabathia got the call, and Girardi insisted the mix-up stemmed from a miscommunication between pitching coach Larry Rothschild and the team's public relations department.
"In my mind, it was always CC on Friday and Phelps on Saturday," Girardi said.
Robinson Cano had three hits for the Yankees to move past Frank Crosetti into 19th place on the team career list with 1,543. Cano drove in a run and scored one.
Sabathia was vying for his 200th win and Girardi was in line for his 600th career victory, but Orioles rookie pitcher Kevin Gausman was the one who ended up celebrating a milestone win.
Gausman (1-3) earned his first major league victory, allowing three hits over 4 1-3 innings as part of a relief crew that blanked the Yankees over the final six innings. Gausman followed for Rule 5 draftee T.J. McFarland, who yielded three runs in 2 2-3 innings in his first major league start.
Tommy Hunter got the final six outs for his second save.
McFarland faced only three batters before falling into a 1-0 hole. Brett Gardner opened the game with a double and scored on a single by Cano.
The Yankees got two on with one out in the second before McFarland worked out of the jam. But the rookie couldn't get through a third inning in which New York scored twice on four hits.
Singles by Lance Nix, Cano and Vernon Wells produced a run, and Chris Stewart chased McFarland with a two-out RBI single for a 3-0 lead.
Through five innings, the only Baltimore batter to reach was Casilla on an error by third baseman Alberto Gonzalez.
In the sixth, though, the Orioles finally solved Sabathia.
"I feel like I'm wasting starts," he said. "I'm throwing the ball good, but just not being able to put together a whole start. It's frustrating."
NOTES: Commenting on the effort of injured stars Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez to return, Girardi said, "I don't know which one we'll see play in a game first." ... Baltimore's Adam Jones has not drawn a walk in 165 plate appearances since May 18. ... Machado's double was his 37th, tops in the majors and just 19 short of Brian Roberts' single-season team record. ... Ichiro Suzuki's 21-game hitting streak at Camden Yards ended with an 0-for-4 performance. ... Phelps, who has won his last nine starts against AL East foes, will be opposed by lefty Zach Britton on Saturday night.