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Guthrie hit hard by Yankees

Ashland High grad suffers third straight loss to start season

April 29, 2010

By David Driver
For the Tidings
Used with permission

BALTIMORE Jeremy Guthrie ran off the mound, then stepped down into the Orioles' dugout. On a cold, windy Wednesday night in downtown Baltimore his outing was over just 90 minutes after it began.

The Ashland High graduate, making his fifth start of the season, was taken out in

the top of the fifth inning with two outs and a runner on first base against the

New York Yankees and his team trailing, 6-0.

"I am embarrassed by the way the game started and the way the game ended," said a downcast Guthrie, standing by his locker after the 8-3 loss to the Yankees. "I was behind on the count on almost every batter. I am frustrated by it."

Guthrie (0-3), who had pitched well in his first four starts, apologized to Oriole fans for his performance and to his teammates for forcing manager Dave Trembley to use his bullpen in the fifth inning. The O's fell to 4-17 overall.

O's lefty reliever Mark Hendrickson came into face Robinson Cano,

a left-handed hitter who had homered off Guthrie in the third inning to make the

score 6-0.

After Guthrie left the game Hendrickson allowed an RBI single as the Yankees took a 7-1 lead. For the night Guthrie allowed seven runs (six earned) and six hits with four strikeouts and one walk. He threw 97 pitches, 54 for strikes in a game that began with the temperature at 55 degrees before 17,248 chilly fans.

Orioles manager Dave Trembley, whose job could be in jeopardy with the poor start, said of Guthrie: "I thought the first couple innings he was showing a different style, a different delivery for him. Probably the best that he pitched was in the third and the fourth, but in those first two innings I thought right out of the chute he was throwing from a lower arm slot and it didn't seem like that was comfortable for him."

Guthrie said after the game he was not aware that he threw with a different arm slot in the game and was not trying to change his approach. "I talked to (catcher Matt) Wieters in between innings and he thought he was just overthrowing, really trying to throw the ball as hard as he could," Trembley said. "I think after the second that's when he went back to throwing the way he had earlier in the year with much better mechanics, much better arm slot and obviously much better results."

Last season Guthrie won on opening day here against the Yankees

and starting pitcher CC Sabathia (3-1), who got the win this time as he pitched into the eighth inning against the Birds.

"He made big pitches when he had to," Trembley said of Sabathia. "He made quality pitches."

After beating the Yankees to start the 2009 season, Guthrie lost his next four starts against the eventual World Series champions, who paid a visit to President Obama

on Monday at the White House.

Derek Jeter began the game Wednesday by hitting the second pitch from Guthrie

down the first-base line past Garrett Atkins for a double.

Nick Johnson then hit a line drive single that got past left fielder Lou Montanez and allowed Jeter to score. Johnson barely beat the throw to second base.

Johnson advanced to third on a groundout by Yankee slugger Mark Teixeira for the first out. Alex Rodriguez then hit a sacrifice fly to left that made the score 2-0.

Guthrie got the third out as Cano lined out to center field.

New York made it 4-0 in the second as Nick Swisher hit a triple to left-center with

no outs to score Jorge Posada and Curtis Granderson. Jeter hit a sacrifice fly to right

to score Swisher and make it 5-0. The Yanks made it 6-0 in the third as Cano hit his

sixth homer of the year, a solo shot with two outs off Guthrie.

"He is a great hitter. He is swinging the bat well for them," Guthrie said of Cano.

Guthrie, with a fastball clocked at 94 mph in the second, avoided more damage by fanning Johnson to end the second.

Guthrie, who turned 31 on April 8, entered Wednesday's game with a lifetime mark of 3-6 with an ERA of 4.92 in 11 career starts against the Yankees. The right-hander was 0-2, with a 3.46 ERA in his four previous starts this season and had gone at least six innings and allowed eight hits or fewer in each game.

But against the Yankees he had his first poor outing of 2010. Last season Guthrie was 10-17 with an ERA of 5.04 for the Orioles in 33 starts as he threw a career-high 200 innings.

He has made at least 26 starts in each of his three full seasons in Baltimore, who end

the three-game series with New York on Thursday. But Wednesday was a throwback to last season, not his last start.

Said Trembley: "Well, you wouldn't want to draw it up getting behind 5-0 against Sabathia. That's a tough hill to climb."