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Yanks Rally, Beat O’s 4-3

After looking like a lifeless free falling ball club for the first 15 innings of the weekend series, the Yankees (76-56) rallied and beat the Baltimore Orioles (73-59) 4-3 on Saturday. The Orioles came into the day only trailing the Yanks by two games in the AL East standings and got a great start from Wei-Yin Chen until the Yankees were finally able to put some runs on the board in the seventh inning.

Yankees starter David Phelps was banged up early allowing Baltimore runs in the first and second innings. Nick Markakis led off the game with a walk, JJ Hardy singled and Nate McLouth then grounded into a double play but a run scored putting the O’s up 1-0. In the second inning Manny Machado laced an RBI single scoring Mark Reynolds.

Meanwhile, Wei-Yin Chen was shutting down the Yanks only allowing two hits and one run in his first six innings of work. The lone run came on a Robinson Cano opposite field solo shot in the fourth inning. It was Cano’s 28th of the year.

In the seventh Chen found himself in some trouble. After retiring Andruw Jones, Steve Pearce singled, his first hit as a Yankee. Russell Martin flew out. With two outs and a runner on Chen walked Jayson Nix then an RBI single to Eduardo Nunez prompted Buck Showalter to bring on Pedro Strop to face Ichiro. Ichiro walked loading the bases then Derek Jeter worked from a 0-2 count to draw a walk scoring a run, tying the game at three. The next batter Nick Swisher hit what looked to be a routine groundball to JJ Hardy at shortstop; Hardy could not make the play bobbling the ball, everybody safe, Yankees up 4-3. Chen went 6 2/3 gave up four runs (three earned) on four hits and struck out four.

The Orioles third run came in the fourth inning when Matt Wieters drilled a David Phelps fastball over the right field wall putting the Orioles up 3-0 at the time. It was Wieter’s 18th of the season. David Phelps went 4 2/3 gave up three runs on three hits and struck out three. Phelps walked six and threw 98 pitches. Rafael Soriano came on in the ninth inning and retired the side for his 35th save of the season.

It wasn’t all good news for the Yankees. Curtis Granderson was pulled from the game in the second inning after his at bat with an injured right hamstring.

The Yankees will play the Orioles (73-59) on Sunday afternoon in the rubber game of the series. Chris Tillman (7-2 3.26) starts for the Orioles, while Phil Hughes (13-11 4.02) will go for the Yankees. Pregame coverage begins at 12:30, first pitch at 1:05 right here on 104.5 The Team ESPN Radio.

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