For six and a half innings, it looked as though the Yankees would go down to the Orioles without much of a fight for the second consecutive game. Baltimore starter Wei-Yin Chen was effective through six innings, and the Orioles were cruising with a three-run lead. But a two-out walk in the seventh from Jayson Nix put runners on first and second, and the Yankees managed to put together a rare, homerless rally. Eduardo Nunez hit an RBI single on the same day that he rejoined the big league club, and then Ichiro walked to load the bases. Derek Jeter drew a walk to tie the score, before Nick Swisher hit a tough, one-hopper that J.J. Hardy couldn’t handle to put the Yanks up 4-3.
Robinson Cano hit an opposite field solo homer in the fourth off of Chen for the Yankees’ first run. Starter David Phelps battled with control issues all day, walking six and hitting a batter before being pulled in the fifth inning. He gave up three runs, including a solo homer to Matt Wieters, in 4 2/3 innings pitched.
The win extends the Yankees’ lead in the AL East back to three games over the O’s, which feels a whole lot more comfortable than a one game lead would have.
Associated Press photo