New York's bats fell cold on a chilly May night in the Bronx, and Baltimore leaves town with a series victory after the Yankees swept a set at Oriole Park at Camden Yards earlier this year.
With the Bronx Bombers' heavy hitters struggling at the dish, the Yankees managed just three runs in the midweek series against their division rivals, who now sit 2 1/2 games ahead of New York in the American League East.
"We're better than we showed the last three days," said first baseman Mark Teixeira, who finished the homestand 2-for-21. "We've been really good at scoring runs all year, but the last three days, we just didn't get it done."
Nova's impressive stretch, which began early in his rookie campaign last season, ends one victory shy of Roger Clemens' franchise record (16, from May 26-Sept. 19, 2001). Nova was also tied with four other pitchers for the seventh-longest such streak in the Majors over the last 40 years.
But Baltimore's Jake Arrieta stole the show Wednesday, racking up a season-best nine strikeouts and eight full frames of work. His third career win against the Yankees brought the Orioles to seven games over .500 for the first time since July 19, 2005.
"Jake was as good as you can be, especially with all the challenges of pitching on the road," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "I was real proud of him. He was the difference-maker tonight. He never let them put anything together."
Baltimore catcher Matt Wieters broke a scoreless tie in the top of the fourth with a leadoff homer, his seventh of the season. The Orioles scored again in the top of the sixth, when Nova issued two walks and allowed an infield single to the bottom four hitters of the lineup.
Nova was knocked out of the game in the seventh, when Nick Markakis crushed a homer to right, Adam Jones was hit by a pitch and Wieters laced a double off the right-center-field wall. Nova was charged with all five runs on nine hits, while walking four and striking out three.
"It was 2-0 after six innings, we had a chance to win that game and it got away from [Nova] in the seventh," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "For the most part, I thought he threw the ball pretty well."
While the Yankees dropped the series, they lost another man -- Eric Chavez, who left the game in the fifth inning with a whiplash injury and a possible concussion after diving for a ball earlier in the frame. They were already planning to head to Kansas City with outfielders Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner sitting out at least the series opener.
Still, New York is hoping the change of scenery might do some good.
"Bad last week and a half, since Boston," Teixeira said of his own performance. "Haven't really been doing much. Looking forward to getting to Kansas City and some warm weather and heating up -- in more than one way."