Yankees fall to Orioles in first spring night gameBaltimore's 3-2 victory snaps Yankees' four-game winning streak
David Phelps started for the Yankees, allowing one run on five hits in 2 2/3 innings and escaping a pair of two on, no-out jams in his first two innings; Phelps followed back-to-back singles to open the game by getting Delmon Young to rap into a double play, and after a single and a double put runners on second and third with no outs in the second, the righty bore down to get a foul popout, a called strikeout, and a ground ball to keep the O's off the board.
The Yankees then struck in the bottom of the frame, scoring two runs with two outs to give Phelps the lead. Francisco Cervelli started the rally with a solo homer, and after back-to-back singles by Brendan Ryan and Russ Canzler, the hot-hitting Yangervis Solarte smashed a single to left that made it 2-0.
Baltimore finally got to Phelps in the third, with David Lough tripling to open the inning and Jemile Weeks scoring him on an RBI groundout to short. Phelps followed that by striking out Delmon Young but was removed after walking Steve Clevenger, forced to be a spectator as Matt Thornton, who himself was making his Yankees debut, got Steve Pearce to ground out to end the inning.
The middle innings were a breeze, as Brian Gordon pitched a perfect fourth and Chris Leroux struck out two in his two innings, but the Birds would get to Chase Whitley in the seventh. Ryan Flaherty led off with a single, and after Francisco Peguero was hit by a pitch, Quintin Berry hit an RBI single to tie the game at 2-2.
Whitley then walked Cord Phelps to load the bases, and after Jonathan Schoop struck out, Julio Borbon hit a grounder to second that took Scott Sizemore too far into the hole to turn a double play; Sizemore got Borbon at first, but it was an RBI groundout as Peguero scored what would be the winning run.
Cesar Cabral and Preston Claiborne would pitch scoreless innings behind Whitley, but the Yankees mustered just two hits in the final three innings, with Ramon Flores getting called out on strikes to end the game.
Overall, the Yankees had just seven hits; Cervelli's homer was the big blow, but Sizemore was 1-for-2 in his Yankees debut, Solarte was 1-for-2 (which dropped his spring average, from .871 to .778), and both first basemen, Russ Canzler and Francisco Arcia, recorded a hit apiece.
Derek Jeter, however, was 0-for-2 to remain hitless on the spring, and both Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran - who bookended The Captain at the top of the lineup - were both 0-for-2 with a walk.
With the loss, the Yankees drop to 4-3 on the Grapefruit League slate and 5-3 for the spring overall. They'll have a chance to put the loss behind them rather quickly, though, as the Bombers are set to travel about three hours south to Port Charlotte, Fla., for Wednesday afternoon date with the Rays. Game time is 1:05 p.m., with Adam Warren set to start for the Yankees and Brett Gardner, Ichiro Suzuki, Kelly Johnson, and Eduardo Nunez - who started tonight's game at third base - all scheduled to make the trip.