BALTIMORE -- Matt Holliday's job is to serve as the Yankees' designated hitter, but the Orioles turned him into a designated walker on Sunday afternoon, sending the slugger to first base with five free passes in New York's 7-3 win at Camden Yards.
The five walks were a career high for Holliday, who tied a franchise record last accomplished by Mark Teixeira on April 25, 2009, against Boston. The last Yankee to walk five or more times without an intentional walk was Russ Derry on Sept. 6, 1945, in the first game of a doubleheader against the Tigers.
"I feel good about it because I took some tough pitches," Holliday said. "I was waiting for a pitch to drive; felt like I really honed in on what I was looking to hit. When it didn't show up, I didn't swing, so I think it's a good sign. Not chasing and waiting for your pitch -- as hitters, I think it's your goal."
Holliday swung the bat just twice, fouling off one pitch in the first inning and another in the third. His previous career high was three walks, and the ninth-inning walk proved to be the deciding run in the game, as Starlin Castro drove home pinch-runner Jacoby Ellsbury with the fourth Yankees run.
According to Baseball Reference, Holliday is just the fifth player in history to go 0-for-0 with five walks, no intentional walks, no RBIs and no runs scored. The others are Steven Souza Jr. (June 6, 2015), Ivan Rodriguez (April 8, 2003), Danny Walton (May 22, 1970) and Mel Ott (Sept. 1, 1933). (Lou Gehrig and Hersh Martin both had games that fit those criteria, but Baseball Reference did not list intentional walks for those games.)
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that Holliday's performance could serve as a good lesson in patience for the team's younger players.
"I think you can learn a lot from Matt Holliday anytime you're around him, whether it's about baseball or life," Girardi said. "That's why we love having him so much. Sometimes you're not going to get a pitch to hit, and you've got to take your walks."
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.