|N.Y. Yankees (76-56) «||0||0||0||1||0||0||3||0||x||4||4||2|
NEW YORK -- When the calendar turned to September, the first-place New York Yankees suddenly played a little more like, well, the first-place Yankees.
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The struggling Yankees scored three times in the seventh and restored their three-game lead in the AL East over Baltimore. The streaking Orioles had won 13 straight one-run decisions.
"You don't look at the standings," Jeter said. "If we play well, we'll be fine."
As to whether his team's past history of playing important games was any factor, the Yankees' captain demurred.
"If you win, they say experience helps," Jeter said. "If you lose, they say you don't have enough youth."
The Yankees won for only the fourth time in 11 games, but lost another power bat when Curtis Granderson left after two innings because of tightness in his right hamstring. He was taken to the hospital for a precautionary MRI, which showed nothing major.
Shut down all afternoon, the Yankees took advantage of what Baltimore gave them. Neither team did a lot with the bats -- each side got just four hits.
Newly promoted Eduardo Nunez hit an RBI single with two outs that chased Wei-Yin Chen (12-8) and made it 3-2. Pedro Strop, one of baseball's best relievers, walked Ichiro Suzuki and then threw two quick strikes to Jeter before walking him, forcing home the tying run.
"You know Jete's not going to panic," Girardi said.
Nick Swisher followed with a hard, one-hopper that ate up Hardy, who leads major league shortstops in fielding percentage, and the Yankees took the lead.
"I think he's the best shortstop in the league. I do," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "I don't even think twice about it."
Baltimore had won six of seven, and was looking to trim the Yankees' division lead to one game. Rather than having a chance to pull even Sunday, the Orioles need a win to avoid losing ground on their trip to the Bronx.
"A lot of people bend, but don't break," Showalter said. "It's not one of those things that we're going to dwell on. This could have been. That should have been. That would have been."
"We understand that. These guys will turn the page," he said.
The Orioles were perched shoulder-to-shoulder on the dugout railing for the first pitch. Playoff contenders for the first time in 15 years, they were clearly playing a big game.
They started out well, too.
Left fielder Nate McLouth and right fielder Nick Markakis made nifty diving catches on the first two Yankees batters. Matt Wieters homered to give Baltimore a 3-0 lead in the fourth, and Chen was in control.
But the Orioles missed a chance to score more by grounding into three double plays, keeping the Yankees in the game.
Chen set down the first 11 batters before Robinson Cano poked an 0-2 pitch for an opposite-field homer to left, his 28th.
Chen mixed speeds right away, showing Swisher a 68 mph curve in the first inning and following with a 92 mph fastball.
Yankees starter David Phelps looked out of sorts. He walked two, made a wild pickoff throw, gave up a run on McLouth's double-play grounder and got a visit from pitching coach Larry Rothschild, all in the first inning.
|Rafael Soriano earns his 35th save as the Yankees snap the Orioles' 13-game winning streak in one-run games. (US Presswire)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Nick Markakis, RF||2||1||0||0||2||1||2||.296|
|J.J. Hardy, SS||3||0||1||0||1||0||1||.231|
|Nate McLouth, LF||3||0||0||0||1||1||2||.201|
|Adam Jones, CF||3||0||0||0||1||1||2||.284|
|Matt Wieters, C||3||1||1||1||1||1||1||.239|
|Chris Davis, DH||3||1||0||0||0||0||1||.255|
|Mark Reynolds, 1B||2||0||0||0||2||1||1||.223|
|Omar Quintanilla, 2B||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.253|
|a- Robert Andino, PH-2B||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.223|
|b- Wilson Betemit, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.264|
|Manny Machado, 3B||4||0||2||1||0||0||0||.257|
|a-popped out for Quintanilla in the 7th|
|b-struck out for Andino in the 9th|
|HR - Matt Wieters (18, Phelps)|
|SH - Omar Quintanilla (1)|
|RBI - Matt Wieters (66), Manny Machado (11)|
|PK - Mark Reynolds (1, Phelps)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|E - J.J. Hardy (6, Misplayed grounder)|
|Wei-Yin Chen (L,12-8)||6.2||4||4||3||2||4||1||3.79|
|Pedro Strop (BS,5)||0||0||0||0||2||0||0||1.86|
|Pitches-Strikes - Wei-Yin Chen 101-67, Pedro Strop 18-7, Brian Matusz 6-3, Darren O'Day 14-10|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wei-Yin Chen 6-10, Pedro Strop 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Wei-Yin Chen 26, Pedro Strop 3, Brian Matusz 1, Darren O'Day 3|
|New York Yankees|
|Derek Jeter, SS||3||0||0||1||1||1||0||.318|
|Nick Swisher, 1B-RF^1B||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||.272|
|Robinson Cano, 2B||4||1||1||1||0||0||4||.304|
|Andruw Jones, RF-LF^RF||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||.203|
|Curtis Granderson, CF||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.235|
|Steve Pearce, 1B||2||1||1||0||0||1||0||.248|
|a- Raul Ibanez, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.235|
|Chris Dickerson, LF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Russell Martin, C||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.196|
|Jayson Nix, 3B||1||1||0||0||2||1||0||.254|
|Eduardo Nunez, DH||3||1||1||1||0||0||1||.296|
|Ichiro Suzuki, LF-CF||2||0||0||0||1||0||0||.266|
|a-flied out for Pearce in the 8th|
|HR - Robinson Cano (28, Chen)|
|RBI - Derek Jeter (46), Robinson Cano (71), Eduardo Nunez (6)|
|2-OUT RBI - Derek Jeter (20), Robinson Cano (25), Eduardo Nunez (3)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|DP - Cano-Swisher, Jeter-Cano-Swisher, Nix-Cano-Pearce|
|E - Jayson Nix (4, Throwing), David Phelps (3, Throwing)|
|New York Yankees|
|Boone Logan (W,6-2)||2||1||0||0||2||1||0||3.72|
|David Robertson (H,22)||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||2.14|
|Rafael Soriano (S,35)||1||0||0||0||0||2||0||1.98|
|IBB - Hardy by Boone Logan|
|HBP - Davis (by David Phelps)|
|Pitches-Strikes - David Phelps 98-50, Cody Eppley 2-1, Boone Logan 27-17, David Robertson 11-8, Rafael Soriano 14-12|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - David Phelps 3-5, Boone Logan 1-3, David Robertson 2-1|
|Batters Faced - David Phelps 21, Cody Eppley 1, Boone Logan 8, David Robertson 3, Rafael Soriano 3|
|Attendance - 46122|
|Game Time - 3:02|
|Temperature - 88|
|Umpires - Home - Mike Estabrook, First Base - Jerry Layne, Second Base - Bill Miller, Third Base - Dan Bellino|