Eduardo Nunez batted in the game-winning run on his return from an injury to give the New York Yankees their season-high sixth straight Major League Baseball victory 5-4 over the Baltimore Orioles.
The Yankees have won the first two of the three-game series against the Orioles to move a half-game ahead of Baltimore into second place in the American League East.
Chris Davis hit his league-leading 33rd home run in the first inning at Yankee Stadium yesterday as the Orioles got out to a 2-0 advantage. Alexi Casilla’s run-scoring double in the second put Baltimore ahead 3-0.
“Anytime you’re leading early in the game, you expect to continue to lead, or at least put up some more runs,” Davis told reporters. “One- and two-run leads in this game don’t last very long, especially in this ballpark and with their offense.”
Luis Cruz got a bases-loaded single while Nunez hit a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded as the Yankees moved within 3-2 in the bottom of the second inning.
Taylor Teagarden’s run-scoring single in the fourth restored a two-run lead for the Orioles.
Nunez, who came off the 60-day disabled list, scored on Ichiro Suzuki’s infield single in the fifth followed by Robinson Cano’s run-scoring single that tied the game at 4-4. Nunez singled in the sixth to send Lyle Overbay home.
Andy Pettitte (6-6) allowed four runs on nine hits and struck out four in 6 2/3 innings for the win. Mariano Rivera got his 29th save, giving up one hit and striking out one in the ninth inning.
Pettitte, who broke his three-game losing streak, remains undefeated in his last 11 starts against Baltimore since Sept. 19, 2007, going 8-0 with a 2.99 earned-run average.
Yankee pitchers held their opponent without a walk for the 12th time this season, surpassing Washington and Philadelphia who each have 11 no-walk games.
Chris Tillman (10-3) surrendered five runs on 10 hits, walked two and struck out three in 5 1/3 innings for the loss.