4 straight free passes put O's in tough spot

Wright, Matusz have control issues while Yanks pull ahead in fifth

4 straight free passes put O's in tough spot

BALTIMORE -- It's never good when you walk the leadoff batter. When you walk the first four of an inning, well, that's even worse.

Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for #ASGWorthy O's players

The Orioles did just that in the fifth inning of Sunday's 5-3 loss to the Yankees to end their six-game winning streak.

Orioles starter Mike Wright didn't have his best stuff while filling in for the injured Miguel Gonzalez. He ran into the most trouble in the fifth when he walked Chase Headley, Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira to begin the inning.

"It [stinks] whenever you walk three people," Wright said. "I was throwing some good pitches and they kept fouling them off and kept battling. They ended up having the upper hand."

Wright was pulled following his third consecutive walk and Brian Matusz took the mound with the bases loaded and no outs. It was the left-hander's first appearance since May 31 after serving an eight-game suspension for having a foreign substance on his arm in a May 23 game against the Marlins.

Matusz walked the first batter he faced, Garrett Jones, to tie the game at 4. He then struck out the next two batters before allowing a go-ahead double to John Ryan Murphy that ricocheted off Manny Machado's glove to give the Yankees a 5-3 lead.

"Walking the leadoff guy, that was a killer," Matusz said.

Murphy plates a pair

Matusz lasted 1 2/3 innings, with his two mistakes both resulting in runs. The Orioles' pitching staff, which was a big contributing factor to the team winning six straight, wasn't at its best, but Tyler Wilson impressed.

Wilson went 3 1/3 innings -- the longest relief outing by an Orioles pitcher this season -- to keep the game within two runs after being recalled on Sunday.

"No matter what the situation is -- ahead or behind -- especially there down a couple runs is to just try and get quick contact, get the offense back in the dugout and give them a chance to score some runs," Wilson said.

Connor Smolensky is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.