Robinson Cano had other plans.
Burnett pitched eight innings of three-hit ball, Cano homered twice, and the Yankees cruised to a 4-0 victory Thursday night.
Burnett (3-0) improved to 10-2 lifetime against the Orioles, 5-0 at Camden Yards. He struck out four and allowed only two runners past first base.
"I was so locked in. I knew I was in a groove," the right-hander said. "I had a good tempo and I repeated myself well tonight."
Burnett has been pitching in the majors since 1999, and this is the first time he's 3-0.
He received plenty of help from Cano, who got three hits to lift his AL-leading batting average to .407. Cano hit solo homers in the fourth and eighth innings, his sixth career multihomer game.
"When I grow up I want to be like him," teammate Nick Swisher said of Cano. "The dude's on fire. He's in a zone right now and not missing any pitches."
Cano has hit in eight consecutive games and is on a 16-for-24 tear.
"It feels good, but not because I'm having a good season," he said. "I'm happy the team is winning and I'm contributing."
Cano went 8 for 13 with three home runs during the three-game series.
"We couldn't get him out, and the way he's hitting right now, no one in the American League is getting him out," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. "He's a quality player."
Cano also made a brilliant play at second base, robbing Nolan Reimold of a third-inning hit by grabbing a grounder up the middle and making a perfect throw to first from the outfield grass.
"That was amazing. I had to throw my arms up in the air after that," Burnett said. "He's locked in both at the plate and in the field right now. It gives you confidence to attack hitters when you know you have guys behind you that can make plays like that."
Marcus Thames had three hits and an RBI for the Yankees, who took two of three from Baltimore to finish a three-city road trip with a 5-4 record.
"It was good to win a series and finish up strong and have some momentum going back home," manager Joe Girardi said.
The defeat dropped Baltimore's record to 4-18, worst in the majors. The Orioles are 1-8 at home and 3-12 against the AL East.
Baltimore starter Brian Matusz (2-1) allowed three runs and nine hits in six innings. The left-hander had won six straight decisions since Aug. 15, including at Yankee Stadium in September.
"Matusz was good, but Burnett was better," Trembley said.
Matusz lamented allowing the leadoff batter to reach in four of six innings.
"One positive thing I take away from this start is that I didn't walk any guys and I battled through a couple jams that I got myself into," Matusz said.
Getting past Cano was far more difficult.
"That guy is swinging the bat so well. The hits he got today were all on pitches in different locations," Matusz said. "He's a tough out right now."
Despite collecting his 13th RBI, Rodriguez went 0 for 3 and is hitless in his past 19 at-bats.
Cano's first home run made it 2-0 in the fourth, and successive doubles by Cano and Thames gave the Yankees a three-run cushion in the sixth.
Cano hit his eighth home run of the season in the eighth against Alberto Castillo. He has 17 career home runs against the Orioles, the most against any opponent.
- Yankees C Jorge Posada was rested but available after being plunked in the right knee by a pitch on Wednesday night.
- Orioles RHP Koji Uehara (hamstring) pitched a scoreless inning for Double-A Bowie and will probably come off the 15-day DL next week.
- Mariano Rivera worked the ninth and struck out Miguel Tejada to move with one K of Roger Clemens for 10th place on the Yankees' career list (1,104).