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Baltimore at New York

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Baltimore (67-85)110000000280
N.Y. Yankees (83-71) «00201000x391

Gardner's catch helps Yankees start final homestand with win

CBSSports.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- Brett Gardner paused for a moment after crashing into the wall in the fourth inning. Sitting on the warning track, he collected himself as Luke Scott rounded the bases and the crowd waited in breathless anticipation.

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Finally, he pulled the ball from his glove and threw it toward the infield, sealing his bid for the last great catch at Yankee Stadium.

The center fielder robbed Scott with a terrific grab and doubled in a run Friday night, sparking New York to a 3-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles in the opener of the final series at the 85-year-old ballpark.

"The guy made a great play," Scott said. "God must be a Yankee fan."

Gardner also threw a runner out at the plate, but it was his play on Scott that received the most attention.

"I just went back hard and was fortunate that I caught the ball before I hit the fence," he said. "I really wasn't trying to pause or add any suspense to what had happened. I guess I was maybe a little shaken up and just kinda taking a moment to get back up."

Robinson Cano hit a solo homer for New York, which has won six of seven after losing the opener of its last homestand. Carl Pavano (4-1) settled down after a shaky start and went five innings to win his second consecutive start.

Even with their late surge, the Yankees are almost certain to miss the postseason for the first time since starting their run in 1995. They remained 7½ games behind Boston for the wild card and nine back of AL East-leading Tampa Bay with eight games left.

Radhames Liz (6-6) pitched 6 1/3 solid innings for Baltimore, already assured of finishing last in the AL East for the first time since 1988. The Orioles dropped to 2-18 in their last 20 one-run games and have lost 23 of 30 overall.

"I felt like I made some good pitches in tough situations," Liz said through a translator.

The Yankees went in front 3-2 in the fifth, getting a big assist from Liz. Johnny Damon hit a one-out single, stole second and advanced to third on Derek Jeter's hit. Bobby Abreu fouled out, but Damon scored the go-ahead run on Liz's wild pitch to Alex Rodriguez.

Five New York relievers combined for four innings of two-hit ball after Pavano left. Phil Coke, Brian Bruney and Damaso Marte each recorded two outs, Joba Chamberlain struck out the side in the eighth and Mariano Rivera worked the ninth for his 37th save in 38 opportunities.

New York's bullpen is 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA and four saves in its past 10 games.

"The guys have done a nice job," manager Joe Girardi said.

Jeter made a sharp play on Adam Jones' grounder leading off the ninth, throwing out the center fielder from the outfield grass. Baltimore put runners on first and third with two out but Brian Roberts popped up to end the game.

"It really came down to pitching and defense," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. "Gardner had a great game in center field and Derek made a great play there in the ninth."

Gardner sparked the Yankees in the field and at the plate. He threw out Nick Markakis trying to score from second on Aubrey Huff's RBI single in the first, and doubled in Ivan Rodriguez in the third to tie it at 2.

Scott led off the fourth with a drive that sent Gardner scrambling back to the track, just to the left of the 408-foot sign in center. Gardner made a leaping catch against the wall before crumpling to the ground.

After Gardner pulled the ball out, Scott swung his arm in disgust. Pavano just smiled and pointed to center as the sellout crowd of 54,136 roared on a cool night in the Bronx.

"That was an amazing play," Pavano said. "I thought it went out."

Notes

  • When the Yankees asked players what they'd like from the ballpark, Mike Mussina asked for the flag pole. How would he get it back home to Pennsylvania? "Cut it in pieces, I guess.
  • I don't think it's realistic," he said. "I ain't paying a fortune for it, which is what they're going to ask."
  • Orioles RHP Daniel Cabrera was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Sunday, with a sprained elbow. He is done for the season.
  • Trembley said LHP Brian Burres will start Saturday.
  • A historic artifact from the Yankees' past will be unveiled during the ceremony before Sunday's final game. The Yankees are urging fans to be in their seats by 6:50 p.m.
  • Dozens of cops went onto the field after the final out.
  • Jeter gave his spikes that he wore Tuesday night when he broke Lou Gehrig's record for most career hits at Yankee Stadium to the Hall of Fame.
  • Seen in the crowd: actress Lorraine Bracco.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Several fans display their feelings for The House That Ruth Built during the opener of the final series.  (AP)
Several fans display their feelings for The House That Ruth Built during the opener of the final series. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

J. Damon
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
Baltimore

A. Jones
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 0
RBI 0
 
Baltimore Orioles
Brian Roberts, 2B4110003 .298
Nick Markakis, RF3000101 .301
Melvin Mora, 3B3000011 .282
Aubrey Huff, 1B4011020 .313
Luke Scott, LF4000031 .267
Adam Jones, CF3110110 .271
Ramon Hernandez, C4020000 .258
Luis Montanez, DH3011013 .311
Juan Castro, SS3010011 .192
   a- Oscar Salazar, PH1010000 .273
    Brandon Fahey, PR0000000 .229
Totals3228229  
a-singled for Castro in the 9th
Batting
2B - Brian Roberts (50, Pavano), Juan Castro (5, Pavano)
SF - Luis Montanez (1)
SH - Brian Roberts (3), Melvin Mora (3)
RBI - Aubrey Huff (107), Luis Montanez (12)
SB - Adam Jones (9, 2nd base off Pavano/Rodriguez)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Mora-B. Roberts-Huff, Huff
Baltimore Orioles
Radhames Liz (L,6-6) 6.1833311 6.69
Lance Cormier 1100100 3.88
George Sherrill 0.2000100 4.91
IBB - Rodriguez by George Sherrill
WP - Radhames Liz (6), Lance Cormier (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Radhames Liz 106-68, Lance Cormier 19-10, George Sherrill 13-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Radhames Liz 5-11, Lance Cormier 2-1
Batters Faced - Radhames Liz 28, Lance Cormier 5, George Sherrill 3
New York Yankees
Johnny Damon, DH4120011 .310
Derek Jeter, SS4010002 .305
Bobby Abreu, RF2000202 .298
Alex Rodriguez, 3B3000104 .302
Jason Giambi, 1B3020102 .251
    Melky Cabrera, PR-LF0000000 .243
Xavier Nady, LF4010002 .310
    Cody Ransom, 1B0000000 .333
Robinson Cano, 2B4111001 .264
Ivan Rodriguez, C3110101 .279
Brett Gardner, CF4011002 .190
Totals3139251  
Batting
2B - Brett Gardner (4, Liz)
HR - Robinson Cano (14, Liz)
RBI - Robinson Cano (62), Brett Gardner (12)
SB - Johnny Damon (29, 2nd base off Liz/Hernandez), Ivan Rodriguez (10, 2nd base off Liz/Hernandez)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Brett Gardner 1
E - Jason Giambi (9, Throwing)
New York Yankees
Carl Pavano (W,4-1) 5622120 4.99
Phil Coke (H,2) 0.2000120 0.00
Brian Bruney (H,10) 0.2000020 1.99
Damaso Marte (H,25) 0.2000000 3.94
Joba Chamberlain (H,17) 1000030 2.51
Mariano Rivera (S,37) 1200000 1.49
Pitches-Strikes - Carl Pavano 73-47, Phil Coke 17-8, Brian Bruney 8-7, Damaso Marte 5-4, Joba Chamberlain 15-10, Mariano Rivera 18-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Carl Pavano 5-7, Phil Coke 1-0, Damaso Marte 1-1, Mariano Rivera 2-1
Batters Faced - Carl Pavano 21, Phil Coke 4, Brian Bruney 2, Damaso Marte 2, Joba Chamberlain 3, Mariano Rivera 5
Game Information
Attendance - 54136
Game Time - 3:05
Temperature - 60
Umpires - Home - Derryl Cousins, First Base - Eric Cooper, Second Base - Angel Hernandez, Third Base - Marty Foster