Rapid Reaction: Yankees 4, Orioles 3
September, 1, 2012
By Mike Mazzeo | ESPNNewYork.com
WHAT IT MEANS: The Yankees gave themselves a little more breathing room in the race for the American League East title.
Thanks to a three-run seventh inning and 4 1/3 scoreless frames from their bullpen, the Yanks rallied for a 4-3 victory over the Orioles on Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium to extend their division lead to three games.
NUN-EEEE: In his first game with the Yankees since May 10 -- following a 44-game stint in the minor leagues -- Eduardo Nunez delivered a clutch, two-out RBI single that brought the Yankees within 3-2 in the seventh. He then scored to put the team ahead when J.J. Hardy couldn’t handle Nick Swisher’s grounder.
ROB-IN-SON: After Baltimore southpaw Wei-Yin Chen retired the first 11 hitters he faced, Robinson Cano greeted him with a solo homer -- his 28th of the season -- to left in the fourth. Cano narrowly missed hitting another homer in the sixth that would have tied the game. And he made a tremendous catch in the seventh, ranging out to shallow left-center to rob Robert Andino of a hit with an over-the-shoulder basket grab.
CAPTAIN CLUTCH: Derek Jeter came back from an 0-2 hole to draw the game-tying walk with two outs in the seventh. Jeter took a close 3-2 backup breaking ball for ball four.
WALK IN THE PARK: David Phelps issued a career-high six walks and threw 98 pitches in just 4 2/3 innings. The 25-year-old right-hander gave up three runs on three hits -- including a solo homer to Matt Wieters in the fourth -- but got taken off the hook and finished with a no-decision.
NOT GRAND AT ALL: Curtis Granderson left the game in the second inning due to tightness in his right hamstring. Granderson will undergo a precautionary MRI, the Yankees said. In his only at-bat, the center fielder recorded his 159th strikeout of the season.
PUT IT IN THE BOOKS: Steve Pearce recorded his first hit as a Yankee when he singled in the seventh.
UNTUCK: Rafael Soriano struck out two in a 1-2-3 ninth to pick up his 35th save in 38 opportunities.
UP NEXT: Phil Hughes (13-11, 4.02 ERA) versus Orioles right-hander Chris Tillman (7-2, 3.26) on Sunday afternoon.