Eduardo Nunez capitalized on a bases-loaded error to give the New York Yankees a 4-3 victory that extended their American League East lead over the Baltimore Orioles to three games.
Nunez raced home on shortstop J.J. Hardy’s error to cap a three-run seventh inning yesterday as New York came from behind to split the first two games of the three-game series at Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees improved to 76-56 atop the AL East. In the AL wild card race, the Orioles (73-59) are tied with the Oakland Athletics (75-57) who defeated the Boston Red Sox 7-1 last night.
“A lot of people bend, but don’t break,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter told reporters. “It’s not one of those things that we’re going to dwell on. This could have been. That should have been. That would have been. We understand that. These guys will turn the page.”
The Orioles had a team-record 13 straight one-run decisions broken by the loss. It was the longest streak of one-run victories in Major League Baseball since the Toronto Blue Jays had 19 straight in 1984, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Matt Wieters hit a home run in the fourth to give the Orioles a 3-0 lead until Robinson Cano answered with a homer in the bottom of the inning and the Yankees scored three in the seventh, with Nunez hitting a run-scoring single, Derek Jeter walking in a run and Nunez scoring when Hardy misplayed Nick Swisher’s one-hop grounder.
Wei-Yin Chen (12-8) went 6 2/3 innings for the Orioles and took the loss, allowing four runs on four hits.
Boone Logan (6-2) earned the win in relief and Rafael Soriano tallied his 35th save with a perfect ninth inning.
Curtis Granderson, who leads the majors with 75 home runs since the start of 2011, left the game with a tight right hamstring. An MRI at New York Presbyterian Hospital showed he has tendinitis, Yankees manager Joe Girardi told reporters.
“He had a hard time getting loose, and we just thought if he had to make a burst that it could turn into something really not good,” Girardi said. “If he had a strain, you’re looking at probably a minimum of two weeks. At this time of the year, it’s hard to overcome that.”
At Nationals Park, the Washington Nationals lost 10-9 to the St. Louis Cardinals while holding on to the top spot in the majors. The Nationals (80-52) share the best record in the league with the Cincinnati Reds (81-53).
The Cardinals (72-61) are tied for the lead in the NL wild card race with the Atlanta Braves (74-59), who lost 5-1 to the Philadelphia Phillies.