July 6 (Bloomberg) -- Vernon Wells hit a bases-loaded single in the ninth inning to give the New York Yankees their fifth straight Major League Baseball win, 3-2 over the Baltimore Orioles.
The Yankees (47-39) moved within a half-game of the second-place Orioles (48-39) in the American League East, six games behind the division-leading Boston Red Sox, who topped the Los Angeles Angels 6-2.
The Orioles, who swept the Yankees in a three-game home series June 28-30, took a 2-0 lead in the second inning at Yankee Stadium on a Matt Wieters home run.
Luis Cruz hit a run-scoring single in the fourth inning off Oriole starter Miguel Gonzalez.
New York third baseman David Adams singled in the ninth off Baltimore closer Jim Johnson, who then bobbled Brett Gardner’s bunt attempt to put runners at first and second.
“Holy mackerel, it was kind of a line-drive bunt, so my initial reaction was to freeze,” Adams said. “As soon as I see it down, I’m going as fast as I can. In my mind, I’m just, ‘Oh my God, just get there, get there.’ Thank God he fumbled the ball.”
Johnson was charged with an error on the play.
“The thing that really changed it was screwing up the bunt,” Johnson said. “That was trying to do too many things at once instead of just taking the out.”
Ichiro Suzuki advance Adams and Gardner on a sacrifice, and Johnson intentionally walked Robinson Cano, loading the bases before throwing four balls to Travis Hafner to send Adams home and tie the score.
Wells then hit his run-scoring single off Johnson (2-7), who gave up two runs on two hits and walked two in 1/3 inning for the loss.
‘Had Our Number’
“That team over there has had our number,” Wells said of the Orioles. “They’ve played well against us, even in the games that we’ve won. We were just able to come through late. We need to win games like that.”
Yankee starter Ivan Nova (3-2) pitched a complete game, allowing two runs on three hits and striking out 11 batters.
“I was positive the whole night. I knew that we were going to win at some point,” Nova said. “I told a couple of the guys, ‘It’s impossible that I can pitch that way, the first time, and lose the game.’”
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