BALTIMORE (AP) -- Adam Loewen doesn't have a 100 mph fastball,
and few would describe his offspeed pitches as wicked.
"It looks like you'd want to go up there and hit against him,"
New York Yankees manager Joe Torre said, "but you'd come back
That's how it went Saturday for the Yankees, who managed only
one hit off Loewen and two relievers in a 5-0 loss to the Baltimore
Loewen entered with one win in eight starts and a 6.44 ERA, but
he couldn't have been much better over 6 1/3 innings against the AL
East leaders. The left-hander struck out eight, walked five and
retired 11 straight during one stretch.
"I don't think I have ever pitched like that in my career
against such a great team," Loewen said. "It feels good to get
that one out of the way, and hopefully there are a lot more of them
to come. I can't say enough about the great defense today."
New York's lone hit was a clean first-inning single to right by
Bobby Abreu. Baltimore shortstop Miguel Tejada made two outstanding
plays on grounders in the hole, robbing Jorge Posada and Craig Wilson of hits.
Tejada went 3-for-4 and scored twice, and the Orioles scored
three runs off Mike Mussina to end New York's five-game winning
But the postgame talk centered on Loewen, a former first-round
draft pick whose performance belied his unimpressive won-lost
record and lofty ERA.
"He definitely threw a great game," said Johnny Damon, who
went 0-for-2 with a walk against the rookie. "His record is no
indication of what kind of pitcher he is."
"The way we've been playing lately, you feel every little thing
is going to spark something," Torre said. "But we never could put
any pressure on him. We just kept spinning our wheels."
After a visit to the mound by manager Sam Perlozzo, Loewen
struck out Posada before being lifted. As he walked off the mound,
many in the crowd of 49,159 stood and applauded his finest
performance -- and longest stint -- in the big leagues.
"I'm adapting to my environment," Loewen said. "I think I
just feel more comfortable out there."
Said Perlozzo: "I like his makeup for the future. It's
something where you sit there and say, next year we've got
ourselves a guy."
Mussina (13-4) gave up three runs and six hits in five innings.
The right-hander was 5-0 in his last seven starts and had not lost
since June 15.
"Three runs, five innings, he kept us in the game," Torre
said. "But we weren't going anywhere."
Posada went 0-for-2, but with his 81st start at catcher this
season, his $12 million option for 2007 became guaranteed.
Yankees second baseman Miguel Cairo left in the third inning
with a strained left hamstring and could be out for "a couple of
weeks," Torre said.
New York's threatened in the first inning. Derek Jeter drew a
one-out walk and took second on a single by Abreu. Rodriguez flied
out to left, and Jeter was thrown out trying to steal third.
The Orioles went up 3-0 in the second. After Tejada led off with
a double and scored on a single by Jay Gibbons, Mussina walked
Ramon Hernandez and Nick Markakis in succession to load the bases
with two outs. Brian Roberts fell behind 0-2 in the count, then
concluded a nine-pitch at-bat with a two-run single.
"Moose looked like he tried to throw harder. He wasn't as
smooth, delivery-wise," Torre said. "You don't see him walk
people, fall behind in the count like he did. After that he seemed
to smooth it out a little bit."
Baltimore added two runs in the sixth against Ron Villone.
Tejada hit a leadoff single and took third on a one-out single by
Jeff Conine before Corey Patterson singled in a run and Markakis
hit a run-scoring grounder.
New York right-hander Jose Veras pitched two scoreless innings
in his big league debut.
Jeter's season-high 13-game hitting streak ended. ... It
was only the second times the Yankees have been blanked. ...
Mussina's strikeout of Markakis in the fourth was his 1,000th as a
Yankee. He fetched the ball before leaving the mound.