first_imgBALTIMORE — Through the first eight games of the season, the struggling New York Yankees could at least depend on their bullpen for a solid performance.Turns out, not even that component of the team can be considered totally reliable.Three New York relievers combined to allow five runs in the pivotal sixth inning, and the Yankees fell to the Baltimore Orioles 7-5 on April 15.Making his second start for New York, Nathan Eovaldi struck out nine over five innings and left with a 3-2 lead. The right-hander was in position to end a run of eight straight losses — a streak that started last August with the Marlins — but the bullpen couldn’t hold the advantage.David Carpenter (0-1) gave up a leadoff homer to Jonathan Schoop and Delmon Young greeted reliever Tom Wilson with a pinch-hit RBI single. Chris Davis followed with a two-run double and Caleb Joseph capped the uprising with a run-scoring single off Chris Martin.“You’re winning after five and you have got a full bullpen, you feel pretty good about it,” Manager Joe Girardi said. “We just couldn’t seem to get through that sixth inning.”New York’s bullpen came in with a 1.73 ERA.“We have some great arms in there,” Eovaldi said. “It was just one of those nights.”Alex Rodriguez homered for the Yankees, his second following a yearlong drug suspension. But last-place New York lost its third straight series to start the season, all within the AL East.“It’s frustrating. It’s not the way you want to start out,” Girardi said. “Obviously we need to start winning series or it becomes a long year.”The Orioles, on the other hand, improved to 5-4 after taking two of three from New York.“It’s big,” Davis said. “It’s nice to be tested early in the year. We’re playing our division pretty much this whole month, and it’s good to kind of see where we’re at and get a chance to see these guys.”Manny Machado hit his first home run of the season and Joseph went 3-for-4 with an RBI.Brad Brach (1-0) pitched two innings of hitless relief for Baltimore following starter Bud Norris, who allowed three runs in five innings. Norris was attempting to become the third pitcher in history to win his first five starts against the Yankees.New York got a run-scoring fly from Brian McCann in the eighth, and another run scored on a wild pitch by Tommy Hunter.Zach Britton worked the ninth for his third save.It was apparent early on that neither starting pitcher was going to be very effective.After Davis snapped an 0-for-10 skid with an RBI single in the first inning, New York went up 2-1 in the third. Norris retired the first two batters before Carlos Beltran hit a two-run double off the top of the wall in right-center.Rodriguez sent a 2-0 pitch deep into the left-field seats in the fourth, the 656th home run of his career, and Machado hit a solo shot in the bottom half before Eovaldi worked out of a bases-loaded jam.(DAVID GINSBURG, AP Sports Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more