David Cone has twice been a 20-game winner. Right now, he'd be thrilled to just get one.
The right-hander, who won 20 games with the Mets in 1988 and again with the Yankees two years ago, is winless in 11 starts since April 28.
"It's hard to put a finger on it as to why I can't seem to get it done," said Cone, who also lost a career-worst five straight in 1993. "All my workouts are good in-between, I feel good about my approach and my mechanics. It just seems to be one or two sequences, or a couple of pitches here or there that seem to kill me every time"
Mark Lewis hit a three-run homer in the sixth to stretch the lead to 7-2 and end Cone's day.
"There's no excuses," said Cone, who allowed seven runs four earned and six hits in 5 2-3 innings. "I've just got to keep the ball in the ballpark."
Cone, manager Joe Torre and catcher Chris Turner were all in agreement after the game that mistakes were plaguing the pitcher, not physical limitations. He has allowed 17 homers.
"Basically, it's command with him," Torre said. "The stuff's still thereIt's something David has to fight right now. You have to find a way to win a game."
Williams' RBI single in the eighth chased Erickson. Jorge Posada homered in the ninth off Alan Mills, and Mike Trombley got two outs for his second save in seven chances, allowing a two-out, run-scoring single to Chuck Knoblauch and an RBI double to Derek Jeter before retiring Paul O'Neill on a game-ending grounder.
Scott Erickson (4-6), who had lost five of his previous six starts, gave up three runs on six hits in 7 2-3 but managed to snap his own three-game losing streak and help the Orioles to their fourth win in five games,
He settled down after a rough first inning when it looked like he might repeat his previous start, when he allowed seven runs and 10 hits in only five innings at Boston.
"I tried to keep the ball down," Erickson said. "We scored some runs early which always helps the pitcher."
The Yankees, coming off a 6-7 road trip, lost their fifth straight at home and ninth in 11. New York, which has lost seven of 11 overall, was swept by Chicago in a four-game series before their season-long trip.
Bordick started the scoring with his career-high 14th homer with one out in the first.
The Yankees responded in their half, taking a 2-1 lead. O'Neill's RBI single scored Knoblauch and Jeter scored when Bernie Williams, elected to the AL All-Star team earlier in the day, hit into a double play.
Williams' 13-game streak of scoring at least one run ended five games shy of the team and major league mark held by Red Rolfe, who did it in 1939.
New York's good fortune was also short-lived as Baines led off the second with his ninth homer. Charles Johnson followed with a walk and after Lewis flied out, Anderson homered deep into the right-field bleachers for a 4-2 lead. Cone settled down and retired 11 of 12 hitters.
"I got him the first time, but he struck me out the second time," Baines said. "I think he's just as tough as he ever was."
Cone created his own trouble in the sixth, making a bad throw on B.J. urhoff's come-backer. After getting Jeff Conine to ground out, Cone intentionally walked Baines to get to Johnson. Williams made a diving catch to temporarily save Cone, but Lewis followed with his first homer since last Sept. 4.
"Bernie makes a nice play on a broken-bat blooper by Charles Johnson and I'm one batter from getting out of it. Then, first-pitch slider, three-run home run. It's just a crusher," Cone said. "I couldn't believe that ball left the yard. I was stunned at that point."
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