Homers aren't enough as Yanks fall to Orioles

Homers aren't enough as Yanks fall to Orioles

Homers aren't enough as Yanks fall to Orioles
NEW YORK -- A three-homer showing wasn't enough to avert the Yankees' third straight defeat, and yet the final score may not even be their biggest concern of the evening.

Mark Teixeira aggravated a left wrist injury and will be sent for a MRI to determine the full extent of the issue, darkening the cloud even more in Monday's 5-4 loss to the Orioles at Yankee Stadium.

"It's part of the game, so you've got to keep fighting," said Yankees outfielder Raul Ibanez, who slugged a fifth-inning homer. "Guys will keep stepping up. They keep playing baseball games regardless of what happens. Hopefully Tex will be back, but at the same time you've got to keep plugging away; keep moving forward."

The division-leading Yankees have found victories in short supply of late, losing for the eighth time in their last 11 contests. That task could grow more difficult without Teixeira in the lineup.

The switch-hitter said that he first noticed soreness in his wrist on Sunday, but tried to play through the injury. He may have made matters worse after falling on his wrist in pursuit of J.J. Hardy's seventh-inning RBI single, leaving Yankee Stadium wearing a brace.

"When I dove, I landed right on my glove and I just tweaked it even more," Teixeira said. "I went back in the dugout, in the clubhouse, tried to swing the bat, and just couldn't do it."

While the Yankees were cranking up the X-ray machine for Teixeira -- results were negative -- New York's lineup was trying to dig out of a deficit after starter Freddy Garcia (4-5) battled to hold the Orioles to three runs in six innings.

Baltimore starter Miguel Gonzalez (3-2) was a winner in his first career start against the Yankees and his fifth big league start, keeping New York to four runs and six hits over 6 2/3 innings.

"I made a couple bad pitches in the game and those guys are great hitters," Gonzalez said. "They're going to hit mistakes, and that's what happened."

Eric Chavez knocked home Ibanez with a run-scoring single in the second inning, but Gonzalez settled in and was touched thereafter only by the three solo long balls, beginning with Ibanez's 14th of the season in the fifth.

"Our offense has been sputtering a little bit," Chavez said. "We seem to do some things every once in a while, but we're not really consistent right now offensively."

Seventh-inning homers by Chavez and Ichiro Suzuki closed the deficit, the seventh time the Yankees have hit back-to-back homers this year. For Ichiro, the home run marked the 100th of his big league career, as well as his first in pinstripes.

"I've been playing for 11 1/2 years, so 100 home runs -- not that I'm embarrassed, but it's not something to make a big deal out of," Ichiro said through an interpreter.

Ichiro found it more notable that the blast was his first for the Yankees, saying, "That was very special. To go out there and have the fans react the way they did toward me, that was very special."

Jim Johnson struck out Russell Martin with two men on in the ninth for his 31st save, clinching the Yankees' sixth straight loss when playing in a one-run game.

"I think you'd be more concerned if you were getting pounded," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "We've had a chance to win a lot of those games. If you get yourself in enough of those opportunities, you're going to start to win them. I think we're playing pretty decent baseball. We're pitching well. It's just been a lot of those types of games."

Garcia wasn't exactly sharp, tying his season high with nine hits allowed, but he kept New York in the game until Baltimore rallied for two runs charged to Boone Logan in the seventh.

"It's frustrating, but it's part of the game," Garcia said. "We hit a lot; sometimes we don't hit. We needed a hit today, and it didn't happen. So we have to continue to play every day hard, and everything will go right."

The Orioles only got one big swing against Garcia: Wilson Betemit's solo home run to right field in the third inning.

"He [didn't] really hit that ball, but when you play here, that happens," Garcia shrugged.

The Orioles added two fifth-inning sacrifice flies from Omar Quintanilla and Nick Markakis, and Markakis delivered a big run-scoring double with two outs in the seventh off Logan.

"Fortunately, we were able to add some tack-ons off guys that don't usually give anything up," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.

That set up Hardy for an at-bat against David Phelps, whom he greeted with the single that would knock out Teixeira, at least for the rest of the night. The Yankees can only cross their fingers and hope it won't be much longer than that.

"I'm always going to be out there as long as I can help the team out and as long as it's not going to hurt more," Teixeira said. "But obviously, something like this, we're going to need to take a little bit of time and make sure it's right."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.