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Sports

Bombers Blast O’s in Nightcap

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Robinson Cano

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By MIKE FITZPATRICK

AP Sports Writer

NEW YORK (AP) – One inning, 12 runs, 40 minutes and 70 pitches.
Those were just some of the wild numbers in a record-setting start
for the New York Yankees.

Robinson Cano, Nick Swisher and the Yankees broke loose for 12
runs in the first inning Saturday night, setting a franchise mark
en route to a 17-3 rout of the Baltimore Orioles that completed a
painfully embarrassing sweep of their split doubleheader.

“I think it was a great day for the Bombers, no doubt,”
Swisher said. “We sent a message.”

Cano went 5 for 5 with five RBIs, a career high for hits, and
Swisher smacked his second two-run homer of the day in the
nightcap. Curtis Granderson added four hits for the Yankees, who
roughed up both young pitching prospects called up from the minors
to start for Baltimore.

“If they’re going to be what we think they’re going to be,
stuff like that will be something they’ll reach back for and get
better as a result of it,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.
“And one day, it will be on the other foot.”

During the blowout, last-place Baltimore announced it had traded
setup man Koji Uehara and cash to Texas for right-hander Tommy
Hunter and infielder Chris Davis.

Afterward, the Orioles sent first baseman Derrek Lee to
Pittsburgh for minor league first baseman Aaron Baker.

New York opened a 15-0 lead after two innings, making it an easy
night for Ivan Nova (9-4) in his return from Triple-A
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Despite an excellent record and 4.12 ERA, the rookie was sent
down July 3 to make room in the rotation for Phil Hughes when the
2010 All-Star came off the disabled list.

“I just was thinking to pitch my game, pitch a good game,”
Nova said. “If I had to prove something, I already did.”

Swisher had three hits in the opener and New York backed Bartolo
Colon with plenty of production from the bottom of the lineup in an
8-3 victory.

Derek Jeter, Russell Martin and Granderson sat that one out. In
their place, Eric Chavez, Francisco Cervelli and Chris Dickerson
came through.

“We expect all our guys to hit, but the bottom of the order did
a lot of damage today,” manager Joe Girardi said. “It’s always
nice when everyone’s contributing.”

Swisher finished the day 6 for 10 with four runs and five RBIs.
New York matched its 2011 high for runs and set a season high with
24 hits in the nightcap.

By the late innings, it literally had become dangerous for
Baltimore’s brutal pitching staff. Mark Hendrickson and Mike
Gonzalez were both drilled by searing line drives, and neither
threw another pitch.

Swisher homered and drove in three runs in the first inning of
the nightcap, following up his big game in the afternoon. Cano had
a pair of RBI singles and the Yankees sent 16 batters to the plate
in an offensive outburst that lasted 40 minutes.

New York banged out 10 hits in its biggest inning since a 13-run
eighth on June 21, 2005, against Tampa Bay.

“We were bound to have a breakout game like this,” Swisher
said. “We need to build off it.”

A two-run single by Jeter in his second at-bat chased Orioles
starter Zach Britton (6-8), recalled from Double-A Bowie before the
game. Britton got only one out, throwing a called third strike past
Jeter to start the inning.

Mark Teixeira hit a two-run double off reliever Jason Berken,
and Swisher added a two-run homer to cap the scoring. After a walk
to Andruw Jones, Berken finally ended the frenzy when Martin
grounded into a force play on the 70th pitch of the inning.

“It wasn’t about stuff today. It was about execution,” Britton
said. “It’s tough to swallow. The game’s over in the first inning.
As a position player, I can only imagine what they’re thinking.”

Baltimore helped the Yankees with a pair of errors, including a
costly one by shortstop J.J. Hardy. Six of the 12 runs were
unearned.

The 23-year-old Britton left trailing 7-0 and was ultimately
charged with nine runs, six earned, and seven hits. He also walked
a batter.

His previous big league start was nearly as bad. The highly
touted left-hander got just two outs on July 8 at Boston, where he
was roughed up for eight runs _ seven earned _ and six hits in a
10-3 loss.

After that game, his third straight loss, he was sent down to
Double-A, where he stayed for three weeks.

Even after their big first inning, the Yankees weren’t done.
Eduardo Nunez hit a leadoff triple in the second and Cano capped a
three-run inning with a two-run double.

Jones, who hit an RBI double off the top of the left-center
fence in the first, added a leadoff homer in the third against
Berken to make it 16-1.

Cano had four RBIs in the first two innings and four hits by the
fourth.

In the opener, six players drove in at least one run for the
Yankees. The final five hitters in the lineup combined to go 10 for
19 with six RBIs and six runs scored.

Cory Wade worked three strong innings in relief of Colon (8-6),
who threw 105 pitches over five.

New York is 8-1 in the season series, outscoring Baltimore
78-28, though three of the games went to extra innings.

Vladimir Guerrero went 4 for 4 with a homer and two RBIs for the
Orioles in the nightcap.

Baltimore recalled right-hander Chris Tillman from Triple-A
Norfolk to start the first game and he looked sharp early before
fading fast.

With the score tied at 2, Tillman (2-4) issued a leadoff walk to
Cano in the fourth and fell behind Swisher 2-0. Swisher sent a
two-run drive to right, giving New York the lead for good. Cervelli
added an RBI single.
After making 35 pitches through three innings, Tillman doubled
that total in the fourth. It was his first big league start since
May 27 at Oakland.
“It’s been a long two months,” Tillman said. “It’s a work in
progress. It won’t change overnight.”
The right-hander was optioned back to Norfolk between games to
make roster room for Britton.
NOTES: Baltimore placed RHP Brad Bergesen on the paternity leave
list. Bergesen left the team to be with his wife for the birth of
their first child. … Jeter got his 3,020th hit, tying Rafael
Palmeiro for 24th place on the career list. … Yankees RHP Rafael
Soriano struck out two in a perfect ninth, his first appearance
since coming off the 60-day disabled list. … Harry Belafonte was
in the crowd of 43,190 for the nightcap.

     (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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