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Saturday, April 13, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Orioles 5, Yankees 3

By Kieran Darcy

WHAT IT MEANS: The New York Yankees' starting rotation suddenly doesn't look so strong.

On Friday, Andy Pettitte had his next start pushed back due to back spasms. On Saturday, Phil Hughes got pounded for the second time in a row, resulting in a 5-3 Yankees loss to the Baltimore Orioles.

The Yanks, who had won four in a row, fall to 5-5 on the season. The Orioles improve to 6-5.

BAD TO WORSE: In his first outing of the season, on April 6 in Detroit, Hughes got through just four innings, giving up four runs on eight hits. This time around, he only made it through three, giving up five runs on nine hits -- and it could have been even worse.

The Orioles scored in each of the first four innings. Nate McLouth led off the game with a double, and eventually scored on a groundout. In the second inning, Ryan Flaherty hit a solo homer into the right-field seats. Also in that inning, J.J. Hardy took Hughes to the warning track in dead center, and Manny Machado drove one off the top of the wall in right. The Yankees threw a runner out at the plate, preventing a far bigger inning.

Baltimore added two more runs in the third, including another home run, this one by Nick Markakis. Nolan Reimold led off the top of the fourth with another long ball, McLouth followed with a double and Joe Girardi came to get Hughes.

BRIGHT SIDE: David Phelps was outstanding in relief of Hughes. Phelps threw four innings, allowing just one hit to go along with six strikeouts, no walks and one hit batsman. Adam Jones had the only hit off Phelps, a single in the seventh inning, but he was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double.

Joba Chamberlain pitched a scoreless eighth inning, giving up just a single, and David Robertson set the Orioles down in order in the ninth.

AT THE PLATE: New Yanks Travis Hafner and Vernon Wells hit their third home runs of the young season -- both solo shots off Orioles starter Jason Hammel, who allowed three runs in six innings. Hafner golfed one into the Yankees' bullpen in the second inning for the team's first run of the game. Wells lined a ball into the left-field seats in the sixth, pulling the Yanks within 5-3. Wells had two hits on the day and is now hitting .333. Hafner is hitting .303.

Robinson Cano, Francisco Cervelli and Lyle Overbay also had two hits apiece; Cano has 11 in his past 19 at-bats. Kevin Youkilis went 0-for-5 -- his first game without a hit since joining the club.

WHAT'S NEXT: The series finale, Sunday at 8:05 p.m. Hiroki Kuroda (1-1, 6.75) will be on the mound for the Yankees, opposed by Wei-Yin Chen (0-1, 3.75).