Cumberland Times-News

Baseball

July 31, 2012

Gonzalez, Orioles hold off Yanks

NEW YORK  — Nick Markakis drove in two runs to back a solid outing by rookie Miguel Gonzalez and the Baltimore Orioles held on to beat the struggling New York Yankees 5-4 Monday night.

Gonzalez (3-2) cruised through 6 2-3 innings, giving up just four hits and two runs, before he was chased by consecutive homers from Eric Chavez and Ichiro Suzuki that made it 5-4.

Suzuki had a chance to tie it with two runners on in the ninth against Orioles closer Jim Johnson but grounded into a fielder's choice.

Darren O'Day relieved Gonzalez and pinch-hitter Russell Martin gave his second pitch a ride to the warning track in straightaway center field for the third out. Derek Jeter led off the eighth with a hit off the glove of reliever Pedro Stroop, but the Yankees failed to advance the runner.

Stroop did not have to face Mark Teixeira, though. The Yankees first baseman was lifted before the eighth after he appeared to injure his wrist while trying to make a diving play on J.J. Hardy's sharp grounder that went through for an RBI single and a 5-2 lead.

Johnson gave up a leadoff double to Nick Swisher in the ninth. With one out, Chavez walked. Suzuki walked to the plate to chants of "Ee-Chi-ro!" He grounded to shortstop but, still speedy at 38 years old, he beat the relay throw from second to put runners on first and third for Martin. Johnson struck him out for his 31st save.

Wilson Betemit homered in the third off Freddy Garcia (4-5) for Baltimore, which has had trouble scoring of late. The Orioles cut New York's lead in the AL East to 6 1/2 games despite winning for just the third time in eight games. The Yankees have lost eight of 11 after opening a 10-game advantage.

Baltimore hasn't been to the playoffs since 1997 and with the trade deadline looming Tuesday afternoon is rumored to be in the market for a starter to shore up the rotation.

Gonzalez could help offer stability to a staff that has had nine pitchers start games this season. Making his fifth big league start, Gonzalez allowed six hits and four runs. He struck out a career-high eight without walking a batter but is having trouble with the long ball, giving up three Monday and nine in five starts.

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