BALTIMORE -- Facing Yankees ace CC Sabathia, who entered Saturday 14-2 with a 2.86 ERA in his career against Baltimore, the Orioles had a microscopically slim margin for error.
Less than three minutes into the game, it had dissolved. Alex Rodriguez -- who finished with six RBIs -- sent Brad Bergesen's 10th pitch of the night off the right-field scoreboard, scoring a pair of runs to set the tone for the Orioles' disappointing evening.
Bergesen -- who allowed six earned runs over six innings -- and an Orioles relief corps that surrendered seven runs did little more than watch as Sabathia turned in what has become a typically dominant outing at Camden Yards.
"He was just sitting on the outside corner, and he's tough to beat when you do that," Baltimore catcher Matt Wieters said of Sabathia, who picked up his ninth win in 11 starts at the O's home park. "He's also tough to beat if you give him 15 runs."
Yes, 15. Saturday's unsightly loss -- the Orioles' worst this season -- was a 15-3 contest that saw just one swing of Adam Jones' bat provide all of Baltimore's offense. There wasn't much to say about the Orioles' third consecutive defeat in as many tries to its American League East rival except that Baltimore would like to forget it happened.
"I'm glad they don't carry over," manager Buck Showalter said after his club's 10th loss in 12 games. "I'm glad in a way that we've got a day game [on Sunday]. We'll have a challenge tomorrow, and we'll see if we're up to it."
The Orioles didn't put up much of a fight on Saturday, as Sabathia cruised through the first half of the game, not allowing a hit until Derrek Lee singled two outs into the fourth. Working with a three-run lead from the time he stepped on the hill, the big lefty was on cruise control through six innings, needing just 56 pitches over that span.
"He had that type of stuff," Showalter said of Sabathia, who went eight innings en route to his first win of 2011. "He had everything there for him tonight, and I thought [Russell] Martin did a great job with him."
Martin made his presence felt on the other side of the plate as well, clubbing two homers and finding himself in the middle of a heated ninth-inning exchange when reliever Josh Rupe drilled him in the upper back.
"Trust me, that's the last thing that I want to do," Rupe said of the first-pitch fastball, which came close to hitting Martin's head.
"I know how it looked, and for me and a lot of these guys on this team, I pitch in. That's what I do when I'm coming out of the 'pen. I've already given up a home run, and yeah, I was really [ticked] off. But I'm not going to resort to possibly hurting a guy and end his career or anything like that. There's no reason for me to do that."
"I was all over the map. For me, did I want to send a message? No, I'm not that type of guy."
Rupe entered the game with the bases loaded in the eighth inning and surrendered a grand slam to Rodriguez. After recording two outs in the ninth, he hit Martin and -- after flipping his bat -- Martin had some choice words for Rupe on his way to first base.
"Yes -- there's no doubt about it," Martin said when asked if he thought Rupe's pitch was intentional. "I want to stay in the lineup, so I'm not going to do anything stupid, but I wouldn't recommend him doing that again."
Rupe wasn't the only reliever who struggled, as Clay Rapada was charged with three earned runs and Jason Berken allowed back-to-back homers to Jorge Posada and Martin to net the Yankees another trio of runs. Berken came on in lieu of Bergesen with the Orioles in a six-run hole and a largely pro-New York crowd already drowning out the O's faithful.
"It's really tough to swallow," Bergesen said of the loss. "To get beat by 12 runs tonight with that many Yankees fans, it's not fun whatsoever."
Bergesen -- making his third start this season -- did settle down after a three-run first inning, retiring 14 of 17 at one point. But Martin's first homer of the night -- a three-run, 382-foot drive in the sixth -- was enough to send Bergesen out with a lopsided line. The 25-year-old allowed six runs on eight hits and two walks, striking out four.
"By no means is it a good outing whatsoever," said Bergesen, who dropped to 0-3. "Physically, it's weird. You feel real good at times, but the damage is there. You see the line and how many runs they put up tonight, which is never a good thing. [You] try to take the positives, forget the negatives and just continue to build and go from here.
The only positive against Sabathia came in the seventh. After the left-hander issued a leadoff walk to Nick Markakis, Lee followed with his second hit of the night, and Jones homered off Sabathia's 2-1 pitch to slice the lead in half before New York posted a seven-run eighth.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.