By HOWIE RUMBERG
AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ Nick Markakis drove in two runs to back a solid
outing by rookie Miguel Gonzalez and the Baltimore Orioles held on
to beat the struggling New York Yankees 5-4 Monday night.
Gonzalez (3-2) cruised through 6 2-3 innings, giving up just
four hits and two runs, before he was chased by consecutive homers
from Eric Chavez and Ichiro Suzuki that made it 5-4.
Suzuki had a chance to tie it with two runners on in the ninth
against Orioles closer Jim Johnson but grounded into a fielder’s
Darren O’Day relieved Gonzalez and pinch-hitter Russell Martin
gave his second pitch a ride to the warning track in straightaway
center field for the third out. Derek Jeter led off the eighth with
a hit off the glove of reliever Pedro Stroop, but the Yankees
failed to advance the runner.
Stroop did not have to face Mark Teixeira, though. The Yankees
first baseman was lifted before the eighth after he appeared to
injure his wrist while trying to make a diving play on J.J. Hardy’s
sharp grounder that went through for an RBI single and a 5-2 lead.
Johnson gave up a leadoff double to Nick Swisher in the ninth.
With one out, Chavez walked. Suzuki walked to the plate to chants
of “Ee-Chi-ro!” He grounded to shortstop but, still speedy at 38
years old, he beat the relay throw from second to put runners on
first and third for Martin. Johnson struck him out for his 31st
Wilson Betemit homered in the third off Freddy Garcia (4-5) for
Baltimore, which has had trouble scoring of late. The Orioles cut
New York’s lead in the AL East to 6 1/2 games despite winning for
just the third time in eight games. The Yankees have lost eight of
11 after opening a 10-game advantage.
Baltimore hasn’t been to the playoffs since 1997 and with the
trade deadline looming Tuesday afternoon is rumored to be in the
market for a starter to shore up the rotation.
Gonzalez could help offer stability to a staff that has had nine
pitchers start games this season. Making his fifth big league
start, Gonzalez allowed six hits and four runs. He struck out a
career-high eight without walking a batter but is having trouble
with the long ball, giving up three Monday and nine in five starts.
Raul Ibanez has New York’s other homer with a leadoff shot in
the fifth. Suzuki’s drive was his first with New York and, upon his
return to right field he was greeted with a warm reception from
fans sitting out there.
Gonzalez helped the Yankees get on the board first, balking
Ibanez to second after his two-out single in the second inning.
Chavez followed with an RBI hit to left field.
Betemit opened the third with a soaring fly to right that left
Suzuki standing at the wall watching as the ball landed several
rows into the seats, tying the game.
The Orioles went ahead on back-to-back sacrifice flys by Omar
Quintanilla and Markakis.
Robinson Cano, a career .340 hitter against Baltimore, went 0
Garcia tied a season high by allowing nine hits in six innings.
He did not walk a batter and struck out two.
NOTES: The Orioles are 2-10 on Mondays. … The Yankees have
said they are committed to get their payroll for 2014 under the
$189 million threshold for paying a luxury tax, and Brian Cashman
reiterated that when asked about possibly trading for a high-priced
player Monday. “I cannot speak about another team’s player, but if
there’s a hypothetical, mythical beast that makes like $25 million
a year for the next X amount of years that (hit the market) we
certainly could not participate at that type of level of talent,
financial talent.” … RHP Joba Chamberlain will make a rehab
appearance for Double-A Trenton on Tuesday. … Orioles 2B Robert
Andino (left shoulder) played in a rehab game for Triple-A Norfolk
Sunday, going 1 for 5. He could join Baltimore in New York on
Tuesday if all goes well in Monday’s game. … Orioles slugger Jim
Thome will have an MRI Tuesday morning. He has not played since
Friday because of neck spasms.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)