YANKEES 12, ORIOLES 7
It was like shooting Orioles in a barrel.
Nick Swisher homered and drove in five runs and Curtis Granderson drove in four with a “grander” slam as Phil Hughes coasted to his eighth victory in nine decisions.
When the Camden Yards diamond clay settled the New York Yankees had collected their ninth straight victory over the Baltimore Orioles with a 12-7 beating on Tuesday night that was not really as close as the score indicated.
Hughes (8-1) gave up three runs on nine hits and struck out four in six innings to tie with Clay Buchholz of the Red Sox and David Price of the Rays for the American League lead in wins. Hard-luck right-hander Kevin Millwood (0-7) took the loss. He gave up six runs on 10 hits and five walks in 5 2/3 innings to remain winless in 13 starts this season.
With the victory the Yankees increased their season record to 36-22 and they remain two games behind the first-place Tampa Bay Rays in the A.L. East. The Orioles are now 16-42 and they are already 22 games out in the basement of the division.
- Swisher homered before many in the crowd of 23,171 had found their seats. He followed a Derek Jeter walk in the first inning with a two-run home run to straightaway center-field on the first pitch he saw from Millwood. Swisher later added a bases-clearing three-run double off Matt Albers in the seventh inning that made the score 10-3. Against the Orioles this season, Swisher is hitting .405 with two home runs and 12 RBIs. He is hitting .450 at Camden Yards.
- Granderson’s grand slam off Millwood in the third inning was the second of his career. His first since April 4, 2007 when he was playing for Detroit. Granderson has four home runs on the season — two against the Boston Red Sox and two against the Orioles.
- Coming back to his home certainly seemed to help Mark Teixeira. The struggling first baseman was on base in all of his first five at-bats. He singled twice, w
alked twice and blasted a majestic two-run home run to right-center off Albers that made the score 12-3. Teixeira came into the game with only three hits this month and ended up with three hits on the night.
- Robinson Cano was 3-for-4 with three singles, a walk and two runs scored in the game. He reclaimed the lead in the batting race from Justin Morneau of the Twins. Cano is batting .370 and Morneau is at .362.
- If you are wondering why the Yankees had a 12-3 lead and won the game by the score of 12-7, don’t look any further than Chad Gaudin. Gaudin gave up four runs on five hits and a walk in the last two innings of work. His ERA in spring training was a plus 8, which led to his release. His ERA with the Oakland A’s was plus 8, which led to his release. After this performance, Gaudin looks to be headed for his third DFA (Designated For Assignment) of 2010. The Yankees had Mariano Rivera warming up in the ninth despite the fact Gaudin had a seven-run lead gong into the inning.
- Alex Rodriguez was 0-for-5 in the game with one strikeout and he managed to get only one ball out of the infield. Rodriguez, who left Sunday’s game in Toronto with a slight strain in his right groin, was taken out of the game in the eighth inning as a precaution.
- The Yankees likely could have scored a lot more runs if they did not shoot themselves in the foot with runners on base. With two on and one out in the first, Jorge Posada struck out and Granderson fouled out. In the sixth inning, Brett Gardner, who had reached on a fielder’s choice, slipped at second base on a Jeter single and was thrown out by O’s right-fielder Nick Markakis trying to make third. The Yankees loaded the bases later that inning but Rodriguez bounced out to third baseman Miguel Tejada.
Brett Gardner was removed from Tuesday’s game with soreness in his left thumb. Gardner said he felt a twinge on a check-swing against Millwood in the sixth inning and felt it again while batting in the seventh inning. Gardner said he felt the same twinges off and on since he broke the thumb last July. Gardner was replaced by pinch-hitter Marcus Thames in the eighth inning. Manager Joe Girardi said he does not think the injury is serious and he took Gardner out as a precaution. . . . Jorge Posada began catching drills on Tuesday in hopes of being able to return behind the plate soon. The Yankees do not have a timetable for Posada to return to catching. . . . In the last post, the odd strike zone of Bruce Dreckman on Sunday was discussed. Well, Tuesday’s home-plate umpire D.J. Reyburn actually may have been worse. Throughout the game both Yankees and Orioles batters were dismayed by balls clearly out the strike zone being called strikes. Then Hughes and Millwood were mystified when pitches in the same place would later be called balls. Jim Palmer, who was working the game as an analyst for the Orioles TV network, MASN, said Reyburn’s strike zone appeared to be 24 inches wide. He even laughed when Teixeira was called out on strikes in the ninth inning on a pitch a foot over in the left-hand batters box. You know you are bad at calling balls and strikes when both teams have no idea what is a strike or ball in a given inning or at-bat. The only other claim to fame for Reyburn, who is a vacation replacement umpire, is that he was the umpire Jose Offerman punched in a game in January in the Dominican Republic. After seeing Reyburn’s work, I now understand what caused Offereman to explode.
THE NEXT GAME
The Yankees will continue their three-game series at what can be called “Yankee Stadium South” on Wednesday.
CC Sabathia (5-3, 4.14 ERA) will try to continue his dominance of the Orioles. Sabathia gave up three runs on just three hits in seven innings last week against the Orioles at Yankee Stadium. He still is having trouble with yielding the long ball, giving up a solo home run to Adam Jones and two-run shot by Luke Scott. But Sabathis has already had three starts against the Orioles and won all three In his career he is 12-1 against the O’s.
The Orioles will counter with young right-hander Chris Tillman (0-1, 7.71 ERA). Tillman has only made two starts since being recalled from Triple-A Norfolk. In his last start he gave up four runs on five hits and only 1 1/3 innings against the Boston Red Sox. He had one start against the Yankees in 2009 in which he gave up four runs on nine hits and fanned a career-high eight batters over five innings.
Game-time will be 7:05 p.m. EDT and the game will be broadcast by the YES Network.