Yanks halt four-game skid in romp over O’s


For the second straight game the New York Yankees put up crooked numbers in the early innings against the Baltimore Orioles, this time however, the Bombers were able to hold the lead and cruised to victory. The Yankees halted a four-game losing streak led by a seven-run third inning and another productive outing by Phil Hughes.

The Yanks came out of the gates swinging once again, scoring two in the first inning and then two in the second before blowing the game wide open in the third off Orioles starter Zach Britton and reliever Kevin Gregg. Curtis Granderson got the Yankees on the board with his 29th homer of the season in the first, and they scored one more in the opening frame on a sac fly from Andruw Jones.

In the Yankees’ half of the second, after the Orioles scored via a RBI-groundout, Derek Jeter and Nick Swisher plated runs with singles. This put the Yankees up 4-1 and would have been enough for Hughes, but the bats broke out with two outs in the third.

Britton walked Russell Martin and newcomer Casey McGehee, who made the start at first base, in between outs. Jayson Nix, starting at third base, roped a ground-rule double scoring Martin ending Britton’s day. Jeter laced a two-run single off Gregg, followed by a single from Granderson and then a walk to Swisher. With the bases juiced, Robinson Cano drilled a grand slam into the right field seats. It was the second grand slam of the season for Cano and the ninth of his career. Since a 0-for-14 dry spell, Cano is 3-for-6 with two homers and six RBI.

Hughes was not especially dominant in this one, scattering nine hits and two walks and striking out only two Orioles’ batters over six innings. But, he did not allow the big hit and made it through the contest without allowing a home run, his bugaboo for the season. With the win, Hughes took over the team lead in victories with 11.

Joba Chamberlain made his first appearance in the major leagues since June 5, 2011 with 1.2 innings of work. He looked like a pitcher who hadn’t seen major league hitters in over a year. He threw 28 pitches, allowing two runs on four hits, including a home run to J.J. Hardy and a walk.

The Yankees (61-43) moved 6 1/2 games up on the Orioles (55-50) and Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East. The Bombers will enjoy an off-day today as the Seattle Mariners come into the Bronx for a three-game set starting tomorrow night at Yankee Stadium.