"I feel like I'm wasting starts," Sabathia said. "I'm feeling great and throwing the ball good. I've just not been able to put together a whole start. It's just frustrating."
Sabathia screamed after exiting the game after the seventh inning, spiking his glove and hat to the dugout bench, and his rage was understandable. He may have had his sharpest stuff of the season, with his fastball, slider and changeup all working beautifully in concert through five innings.
"I think it's just everything from tonight," he said of his frustration. "Like I said, not being able to hold the lead. Then you're ultimately giving up the lead and giving up the game. I try not to show my emotions too much, but it happens."
Baltimore managed just one baserunner through the first five frames, with Alexi Casilla reaching on Alberto Gonzalez's third inning error. McLouth ended the no-hitter with a clean single to center field leading off the sixth, and more misfortune followed, with Sabathia laboring throughout the inning.
Two soft hits crushed Sabathia. The first was a soft roller by Casilla to the right side of the infield that both Sabathia and David Adams pursued, leaving first base uncovered and Robinson Cano with no chance to get there in time for a play.
"It's my fault. I messed up. I need to be on the bag for that," said Adams, who was making his first Major League start at first base. "Honestly, any situation like that, there's no one else to get to the bag. Cano's up the middle. CC, his job is to go get the ball. There's no one else to be on the bag. I've got to get to the bag."
Manny Machado capitalized by ripping a two-run double up the gap in right-center field, and Adam Jones tied the score by beating out a weak two-out dribbler after Sabathia rushed to field the ball and ended up making an awkward throw as he fell to the grass.
"[CC] gave up two hard-hit balls and gave up two runs in that inning," manager Joe Girardi said. "That's the tough part about it."
With the lead erased, Sabathia hung a seventh-inning slider to McLouth, who barreled up a high arcing drive that left no doubt about its outcome. Ichiro Suzuki, standing in right field, moved about two steps only as a courtesy.
McLouth, meanwhile, immediately let his mind travel back to Game 4 of last year's American League Division Series, when he belted a similar homer off the Yanks' Phil Hughes.
"I wasn't even out of the batter's box before I thought that," McLouth said. "Off the bat, I knew it had the distance, it just stayed true. It stayed straight, and I was happy about that."
Consider Sabathia unimpressed. Instead of recording career victory No. 200, he'll chug into July with an 8-6 record and a 4.15 ERA, leading the Yankees in homers allowed, with 17.
"He's un-CC-like maybe numbers-wise, but as far as intensity and the way he goes about it, he's the same guy," catcher Chris Stewart said. "It's just tough that his numbers aren't with him this year."
The Yankees seemed in early command of the game, roughing up starter T.J. McFarland for three runs and seven hits in 2 2/3 innings. Orioles manager Buck Showalter pressed McFarland into duty in hopes of capitalizing on the Yankees' troubles against left-handed pitching this year.
Cano tied Frank Crosetti for 19th place on Yankees' all-time hits list (1,541) with a run-scoring single in the first inning, and the Yankees added two runs off McFarland in the third, when Vernon Wells and Stewart connected for RBI singles.
But Kevin Gausman, Baltimore's originally scheduled starter, then entered the game and turned in an impressive outing, holding the Yankees to three hits over 4 1/3 scoreless innings. Tommy Hunter pitched the final two innings around a single to pick up his second save.
"We had some opportunities and weren't able to do it," Girardi said. "Gausman came in and threw the ball extremely well. You can tell the kid is extremely talented. But we had some early opportunities. We had seven hits in the first three innings and were only able to get three runs."
Sure, additional support would have been helpful, but Sabathia knows better than to get greedy with the diminished lineup behind him. He draped the loss across his shoulders, acknowledging that his season thus far has not been a good one.
"It's super-frustrating," he said. "We've been battling and scuffling all year, dealing with injuries and everything. For us to come out here and put up three [runs] against a tough team and not be able to hold it late in the game is extremely frustrating. I have to get better."