The New York Yankees head to Boston after retaking a one-game division lead over Baltimore with a 13-3 rout of the Orioles.
Curtis Granderson had a home run and drove in five runs yesterday at Camden Yards in Baltimore as the Yankees earned a split of the four-game Major League Baseball series. New York is back atop the American League East division with a 79-61 record, while the Orioles fell to 78-62.
“We lost a couple tough games, but we did battle back, we never gave up,” said Yankees captain Derek Jeter, who had a home run and three runs batted in. “We’ve come to expect that.”
The Yankees now face the Red Sox (63-78) at Fenway Park in a three-game series starting tomorrow before heading back to New York for three games against the Tampa Bay Rays (77-63). Boston lost 4-3 to the Toronto Blue Jays yesterday, while the Rays beat the AL-leading Texas Rangers 6-0.
“The bottom line is we’re still in first place,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi told reporters. “The one thing that you want to be able to do is just rely on your club. You don’t want to have to rely on other people.”
Baltimore and the Oakland Athletics, who beat the Seattle Mariners 4-2 yesterday, hold the top two places in the AL wild-card standings. Each league sends its three division winners and top two teams in the wild-card standings to the playoffs. The Rays and the Los Angeles Angels, who beat the Detroit Tigers 3-2 yesterday, are a game back.
The Yankees will face the Red Sox without Mark Teixeira, who aggravated a calf injury two days ago after sitting out 10 games because of the strain. He’ll have a scan today and won’t play until at least Sept. 15, Girardi said.
Teixeira was injured during the Yankees’ 5-4 loss to the Orioles two nights ago when he slid headfirst into first base trying to prevent a game-ending double play. Teixeira was called out, although replays showed he was safe.
“I think that’s when he really felt it,” Girardi said. “He busted his rear end to get down there. It’s unfortunate.”
Teixeira is second on the team to Granderson with 81 runs batted in, while his 23 home runs are third behind Granderson and Robinson Cano.
Cano opened the scoring yesterday with a single that brought Jeter home in the first inning.
The Yankees then used a four-run fourth-inning to open a 5-0 lead. After the Orioles scored twice in their half of the inning, Granderson hit a solo home run in the sixth and had a two-run single in the seventh.
The Yankees then added five runs in the eighth, when Jeter hit a two-run homer and Granderson had a two-run double.
Joba Chamberlain, who relieved New York starting pitcher Freddy Garcia in the fourth, got his first win since May 2, 2011, after 1 2/3 hitless innings. The right-hander was activated off the disabled list Aug. 1 following elbow ligament replacement surgery in June 2011.
“Joba’s last three outings have really taken a step in the right direction,” Girardi said. “We felt that was important. We need him.”