By DAVID GINSBURG AP Sports Writer
BALTIMORE (AP) _ The New York Yankees finally won their first
game of the season, using four hits by Derek Jeter and an effective
pitching performance by Ivan Nova to defeat the Baltimore Orioles
6-2 Monday night.
Andruw Jones homered for the Yankees, who averted the fourth 0-4
start in franchise history _ the first since 1973. New York began
the season by losing three straight to Tampa Bay.
Matt Wieters went 4 for 4 with a homer for the Orioles, who were
coming off a season-opening, three-game sweep of Minnesota.
Jeter singled and scored in the first inning, singled in the
third, hit an RBI double in a three-run fourth, sacrificed in the
sixth and singled in the eighth to cap a 4-for-4 night. He came in
batting .231 with no runs and no RBIs.
Nova (1-0) allowed two runs and 10 hits (six for extra bases) in
seven innings, striking out seven with no walks. The right-hander
went 16-4 last year but was 1-2 with an 8.06 ERA during spring
It was Nova’s 13th straight win, tied with Ron Guidry for the
third-longest streak in Yankees history.
Orioles starter Brian Matusz (0-1) threw 96 pitches in laboring
through four innings. He gave up four runs, six hits and four walks
in absorbing his 10th straight loss over two seasons.
Against the Twins, Orioles starters pitched a collective 22
innings and allowed one earned run.
Matusz kept it close until New York sent eight batters to the
plate in the fourth. Russell Martin followed two straight walks
with his first hit of the season, an RBI single, and Eduardo Nunez
hit a sacrifice fly before Jeter doubled in a run.
Jones homered off Darren O’Day in the sixth, and Brett Gardner
singled in a run in the seventh for a 6-1 lead.
Two hours before the first pitch, Yankees manager Joe Girardi
expressed little concern over his team’s slow start.
“If you’re a baseball player and you’ve never been through a
three-game losing streak, God bless you,” he said. “It’s three
games. You can’t make too much of it. We’ve got a lot of three-game
series left. Lots. It’s one, you move on.”
New York’s big-name players wasted no time pushing the team in
the right direction. Jeter began the game with a single, Alex
Rodriguez drew a two-out walk and Mark Teixeira _ who stepped to
the plate with a .111 batting average and no RBIs _ delivered a
It was the first time this season that Baltimore trailed.
Wieters rectified that in the second inning by hitting a 2-0 pitch
over the right-field wall.
NOTES: Jeter is 11 for 22 lifetime against Matusz. … In his
last three starts against New York, Matusz is 0-2 with a 12.66 ERA.
… Yankees LHP Andy Pettitte allowed one run and two hits over
three innings for Class-A Tampa Monday night in his second game
since ending a one-year retirement. … Orioles LHP Wei-Yin Chen
makes his U.S. debut Tuesday night against Yankees RHP Freddy
Garcia. Chen, a Taiwan native who pitched in Japan for the last
four seasons, says he’s familiar with Jeter and Rodriguez. “I
heard about them in Taiwan and Japan. They are really big names
over there, too.” … Baltimore LHP Tsuyoshi Wada, who is on the
15-day disabled list with a sore left elbow, pitched six innings in
an extended spring training game Monday.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)