Curtis Granderson busted out of his slump at least for one day going 3-for-3 with a homer and five RBI off the bench as the Yankees beat the Orioles 13-3. (Image: Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE)

Grand Fashion: Yankees blast Orioles, leave town with AL East lead

The New York Yankees regained sole possession of first place in the American League East after busting out the whipping sticks with Curtis Granderson‘s five RBI leading the way in yesterday afternoon’s 13-3 win against the Baltimore Orioles.

The Yankees and Orioles split the four-game series and the season series 9-9. Each team will go their separate ways and while the Yankees had two disappointing losses in the series those games and the victories showed plenty of heart and determination.

Yesterday, the Yankees went into a tough environment and bounced back the day after losing a game aided by the call of a terrible umpire and did so with a vengeance. The Yankees took advantage of a wild Zach Britton to mount a 5-0 lead after scoring once in the first and four times in the top of the fourth inning. Britton walked in two of the runs and the others were driven in by singles.

It was a good sight to see the Yankees try to put Saturday’ night’s loss behind them with some early runs, but Freddy Garcia had them thinking that no lead was going to be safe. After throwing three successful innings, he lost it in the fourth as the Orioles received a two-run double by Wilson Betemit and a RBI-single from Matt Wieters to pull within two. Garcia got the quick hook from manager Joe Girardi. With the rosters expanded there are plenty of arms in the bullpen and Girardi was not going to let this one slip away. Don’t be surprised if that was the last of Garcia’s time as a starter this season.

Girardi brought in Joba Chamberlain, who seems to be rounding into form and finding his rhythm on the mound. Chamberlain has tossed 4 1/3 innings of one-run ball in his last three outings with one hit and one walk, plus eight strikeouts. He pitched 1 2/3 scoreless yesterday with two Ks lowering his ERA to 7.50, which shows how much he was struggling before.

Meanwhile the Yankees got a perfectly timed performance from Granderson off the bench. Granderson was sitting for the second straight day with a lefty on the hill and being mired in a 5-for-43 slump. Girardi called on Granderson to pinch-hit for Andruw Jones in the sixth and he responded with a solo homer.

Granderson then added a pair of two-run hits becoming the star of the offensive onslaught. His second hit was a double with the bases loaded in the Yankees five-run eighth inning which also featured a two-run homer by Derek Jeter, his 15th of the season.

The Yankees (79-61) will enjoy a well-timed off day after a hard fought series. They head to Boston to finish off this road trip before a nine-game homestand. With 22 games left in the season, the Yankees still control their own destiny and considering all the team has been through they can’t ask for much more.

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