Orioles are overwhelming
NEW YORK -- The Yankees are used to blowouts at home, just not this way.
After observing a pregame moment of silence in memory of Hall of Fame shortstop Phil Rizzuto, New York was taken out of the game early by Daniel Cabrera and the Baltimore Orioles' bats.
Cabrera pitched two-hit ball into the seventh inning, Aubrey Huff hit a grand slam, and the Orioles cooled off the Yankees with a 12-0 win last night. The loss matched the Yankees' largest margin of defeat this season and was their worst shutout loss since Oakland beat them, 12-0, Sept. 2, 2005.
"You just got to keep going at them because of the lineup they have and the approach that they take, especially in this ballpark," said Orioles manager Dave Trembley.
The sellout crowd mourned the loss of Rizzuto, who died in his sleep late Monday night. The Yankees placed a wreath of flowers in front of Rizzuto's plaque in Monument Park and showed highlights from his playing career and part of his Hall of Fame induction speech before the bottom of the first.
Then the Yankees played their worst game of the year, falling five games behind the Red Sox in the American League East.
New York had won four straight and nine of 10. It also had set a franchise record with 116 runs over its previous 10 home games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
None of that mattered against Cabrera.
"He's tough because he throws hard and when he lets the ball go he's right next to you," Robinson Cano said of the 6-foot-7-inch righthander.
Hideki Matsui's fourth-inning single and Alex Rodriguez's infield hit in the sixth were all New York managed against Cabrera (9-12), who struck out five and tied a season high with six walks in 6 2/3 innings.
Paul Shuey got four outs and Rob Bell worked the ninth to complete the two-hitter.
"My fastball was working really well tonight and my breaking ball, too," said Cabrera, who made his first start at Yankee Stadium since he carried a no-hitter into the ninth Sept. 28.
Kevin Millar homered and reached base five times for Baltimore, which improved to 17-13 since the All-Star break. Huff finished with a season-high five RBIs, Melvin Mora went 3 for 4, and Jay Payton drove in two runs.
Jeff Karstens (0-3) lasted only three innings for New York, walking four. The righthander got the spot start because manager Joe Torre juggled his rotation after Roger Clemens was suspended five games for hitting Toronto's Alex Rios with a pitch Aug. 7.
"That ball club, in fact most ball clubs, are going to beat your brains out when you set them up in counts like we did," said Torre.
The Yankees will play the rest of this season with No. 10 on their left sleeves in honor of Rizzuto, 89. "The Scooter" played for New York throughout the 1940s and '50s, won seven World Series titles, and later announced the team's games for four decades.