Attention Yankees fans: The Baltimore Orioles are for real, and they are not going away any time soon.
The Orioles pounded out six home runs, including two from new Yankees nemisis Mark Reynolds. Reynolds has six home runs against the Yankees this season, and has hit a homer in three straight games, and eight dingers in the O's past seven contests. The guy is on fire, and apparently, loves to torment the Yankees.
Baltimore jumped out early when Adam Jones' single drove in J.J. Hardy with the games first run in the bottom of the first. Later that same inning, O's catcher, Matt Wieters cracked a three-run blast to left to give Baltimore a 4-0 lead.
Yankees starter David Phelps, who looked so good a few weeks ago was dreadful. He lasted only four innings, giving up five runs on six hits. Phelps go the no decision, but his poor efforts of late highlight the fact that the Yankees do not have enough starting pitching to go forward in 2012.
The Orioles continued to pound the Yankees in the fourth, when Robert Andino, that's right Robert Andino, hit a solo shot to give Baltimore a 5-1 lead. Then in the sixth, Reynolds hit his first blast of the night to make it 6-1 O's.
Then, the Yankees came back with a five-run eighth inning. RBIs by Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson brought home two runs to cut the deficit in half. Next, Chris Dickerson drove in Eric Chavez with a bases loaded walk to make it 6-4. Finally, Ichiro Suzuki finally delivered with a two-run single to tie it at six.
However, that was as close as the Yankees would get. Adam Jones, who has seen plenty of down days in Baltimore, brought Oriole fans to their feet when he launched a solo home run, in the bottom of the ieighth, to give the Orioles a 7-6 lead. That homer was only the beginning, as Reynolds and Reynolds and Chris Davis hit home runs in the same inning to make it 10-6 Baltimore.
The Yankees who have been struggling with runners in scoring position all season went 3-for-7 with RISP on Thursday, and had four two-out RBI hits on the night.
But, once again, pitching was the main issue for the Yankees defeat. With the unreliable Phil Hughes on the mound tonight, if the Yankees should lose again, they will be looking up at Baltimore in the standings. So much for a 10 game lead in July -- the Yankees collapse is well underway.