"Seriously, five runs wasn't enough?" (Image: Brad Penner-US PRESSWIRE)

Good Vibes to Bad: Nova squanders explosive five-run first as Yanks lose to O's

The New York Yankees had a very nice afternoon, which unfortunately didn’t carry past the first inning of last night’s game.

The Yankees were able to pull off a trade for corner infielder Casey McGehee using soon to be DFA’d Chad Qualls as the tool, just as the MLB non-waiver trade deadline ending. Joba Chamberlain was yanked from the Trenton Thunder locker room and told he needed to get to the Bronx; his recovery was 100% complete.

The offense which has been in a bit of a slide, erupted for five runs in the first inning highlighted by Robinson Cano‘s 23rd home run of the season, a two-run shot to right center field. The attack on Baltimore Orioles starter Chris Tillman was quick and fierce and sadly all the Yankees could produce in the game.

It should have been enough, but Yankees starter Ivan Nova was far from his best and the good vibes abruptly turned to bad. Nova was bombarded for seven runs in the top of the second inning as the Orioles batted around. Singles from Adam Jones and Matt Wieters started the frame and Nova looked like he might get out of it after striking out the next two batters. However, he allowed a run-scoring ground-rule double to Mark Reynolds and a RBI-single to Omar Quintanilla to bring the Orioles within three.

Nick Markakis singled and J.J. Hardy walked to extend the inning and load the bases. Chris Davis was next up and launched a grand slam into the Yankees bullpen, making it 7-5, and the game was out of reach from then on.

Nova allowed two more runs before leaving the game after five innings. He gave up nine runs on ten hits and one walk, while striking out five. Nova fell to 10-5 on the season and his ERA rose to 4.53.

While Nova’s performance didn’t make it easy on the Yankees, it seemed like the offense felt their night was over after the explosive first inning. There are multiple injuries to key members of the lineup, but the Yankees need to start stepping on some necks when they get a lead. They could only muster five hits from the second inning on after recording six in the first.

The loss was their fourth in a row and they now have two such losing streaks since the All-Star break. The Yankees (60-43) are fortunate they were able to build a large lead in the American League East, but it is a distant memory as they are now only 5.5 games up on the Orioles (55-49).

The Yankees will turn to Phil Hughes in today’s matinee as they try to avoid the sweep. Hughes (10-8, 4.08 ERA) hopes to continue his stretch of recent success. He’ll face lefty Zach Britton (1-0, 5.74 ERA) who is 1-1 with a 4.66 ERA in 19 1/3 innings against the Yankees.

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Tags: Adam Jones Baltimore Orioles Casey McGehee Chad Qualls Chris Davis Chris Tillman Ivan Nova J.J. Hardy Joba Chamberlain Mark Reynolds New York Yankees Nick Markakis Phil Hughes Robinson Cano Yankees

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