Yankees Hit 4 Solo HRs, Beat Orioles 6-1

August 6th, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: Yankees Hit 4 Solo HRs, Beat Orioles 6-1

After watching the New York Yankees muster only one hit in their second shutout loss of the season, manager Joe Torre was almost certain that the poor offensive showing was merely an aberration.

It didn't take long for the Yankees to prove him right.

Derek Jeter hit the first of four solo homers against Rodrigo Lopez, and New York beat the Baltimore Orioles 6-1 Sunday behind an efficient pitching performance by Jaret Wright.

Jason Giambi hit his 32nd home run, matching his total from last year, and finished 3-for-3 with a walk and two RBIs. Johnny Damon and Melky Cabrera also connected for the Yankees, who took two of three from Baltimore and are 11-1-1 in their last 13 series.

On Saturday, New York got one single off Adam Loewen and two relievers. In the series finale, two of the first three Yankees to step to the plate got hits, including Jeter, who put New York up 1-0 with his ninth home run.

"I knew yesterday wasn't going really going to have anything to do with today. We've been pretty good at bouncing back," Torre said. "We had some bombs today. Scored six runs, four home runs."

The pitching was solid, too.

Wright (8-6) allowed one run, five hits and four walks in six innings, winning for the fourth time in five decisions. He didn't retire the side in order until the sixth, but was good enough to provide New York with its 10th win in 12 games.

"I thought Jaret was great," Torre said. "Again, he always flirts with danger. But he manages to keep his head about him with men on base."

Scott Proctor pitched 1 2-3 innings, and Mariano Rivera got four outs for his 28th save in 30 chances.

The victory, combined with Boston's 7-6 loss to Tampa Bay, left first-place New York a season-high two games in front of Boston in the AL East.

"We're the team that has to be caught. We just don't have to worry about any other team right now," Torre said. "As long as we play up to our expectations, we should be able to get to where we need to."

Nick Markakis drove in the lone run for the Orioles, who were 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position - including 1-for-10 in the first four innings.

"That was pretty much the key to the game, not being able to put a couple of runs on the board early when we had the chance," Baltimore manager Sam Perlozzo said. "We just couldn't come up with the big hit when we needed it."

Lopez (8-12) has yielded a team-high 26 homers this season; the four he surrendered Sunday were a season high. He gave up five runs and nine hits in seven innings, striking out seven and walking one.

"Once I missed my spot, they took advantage of it," Lopez said. "I guess it wasn't my day."

After Jeter homered, the Orioles wasted leadoff doubles by Brian Roberts and Jeff Conine in the first and second innings.

Damon led off the third with his 15th homer. Later in the inning, doubles by Bobby Abreu and Giambi made it 3-0.

Baltimore again threatened in the third, getting runners to second and third with two outs before Wright retired Jay Gibbons on a groundout.

"I would have liked to have seen less guys on base, but I think it's just making a pitch when you have to," Wright said. "The leadoff doubles and two-out walks, you just got to pitch out of it."

Cabrera opened the fourth with his fifth homer, and the Orioles finally scored in the bottom half when Markakis singled in Conine, who led off with a single.

Giambi homered on a 3-2 pitch in the fifth for a 5-1 lead. The score stood until the ninth, when Abreu capped a three-hit day with an RBI single.

Notes:@ New York's Alex Rodriguez was 0-for-5 and went 1-for-13 in the series .... Lopez has allowed at least four runs in 18 of his 24 starts. ... Bernie Williams went 0-for-3 against Lopez and is 0-for-18 against him lifetime. ... Abreu stole two bases, his first SBs in the AL. ... Miguel Tejada, who came in batting .618 against New York, went 0-for-4. ... Now in his 11th professional season, Baltimore RHP Winston Abreu made his major league debut in the ninth inning. He struck out Rodriguez and retired Andy Phillips on a fly ball.