BALTIMORE: The Yankees captured the game Brett Gardner a night before called, in a bit of hyperbole, a “must-win.”
There are none of those, of course, in early May, but the Yankees certainly were in desperate need of a course correction.
For one night, they got it.
Behind a turn-back-the-clock performance from CC Sabathia and a three-run sixth inning, the Yankees snapped their six-game losing streak with a 7-0 victory over the Orioles in front of 15,998 at Camden Yards.
Sabathia, who came in 1-2 with a 5.06 ERA, threw goose egg after goose egg over a season-high seven innings.
The 35-year-old left-hander, keeping the Orioles off balance with a precise fastball and terrific off-speed pitches, struck out six and walked two.
The Yankees (9-16) entered the night tied for last in the AL in runs (82) and had just two hits over the first five innings against Baltimore right-hander Tyler Wilson. But they erupted for three runs in the sixth against Wilson to take a 3-0 lead and put up four more in the eighth against left-hander T.J. McFarland and Dylan Bundy to make it 7-0.
The Orioles (15-11) went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position against Sabathia and stranded five.
Baltimore loaded the bases with one out in the eighth against Kirby Yates but Dellin Betances, who has struggled of late, came on to strike out Chris Davis and get Mark Trumbo, who homered twice on Tuesday, to pop out.
In the four-run top of the eighth, Brett Gardner was hit on the right elbow with a pitch and stayed in the game, though he was replaced in left in the ninth.
Brian McCann had two hits and three RBIs to lead the Yankees’ offense. Leadoff man Jacoby Ellsbury added three hits and two walks, reaching base all five times he was up, and Mark Teixeira reached base four times — walking three times — and scoring two runs.
The way things started, however, suggested another long night with the bats.
The Bombers, who came in batting .201 with RISP, immediately blew a scoring chance in the first. Ellsbury led off by lining a 2-and-1 fastball off the wall in right for a double and moved to third on Gardner’s fly out to the wall in right. Carlos Beltran followed with a ground smash to first where Davis immediately came home with the throw to clip the sliding Ellsbury, who ran on contact, for the second out. Teixeira then grounded into a force play.
Sabathia again worked out of trouble in the bottom of the third. He walked the No. 9 hitter, Ryan Flaherty and leadoff man Joey Rickard pushed a bunt toward third for a hit. Sabathia, however, struck out Manny Machado with a nasty change up and got Adam Jones to ground an 88-mph fastball into a 6-4-3 double play, the first of three the Orioles grounded into against the left-hander.
Trumbo singled with one out in the fourth but Sabathia stifled the rally, getting Reimold to pound a full-count fastball to second where Starlin Castro started a 4-6-3 double play. Sabathia was at 56 pitches through four.
Sabathia stranded two more in the fifth, an inning that started with a Jonathan Schoop double.
The Yankees finally got on the board in the sixth. Ellsbury started the rally with a one-out single and he stole second. Gardner then lined a single to center and third base coach Joe Espada held Ellsbury. Beltran’s sacrifice fly brought in Gardner to make it 1-0. After Teixeira walked, McCann singled to right to make it 2-0. Castro then chopped one that Wilson fielded and threw away, the error allowing Teixeira to score to make it 3-0.
Sabathia walked Chris Davis with one out in the bottom half of the inning, but induced a grounder off the bat of Trumbo that turned into a 6-4-3 inning-ender.