BALTIMORE 5 N.Y. YANKEES 4
The Orioles continued their long-ball onslaught against the Yankees, hitting three home runs off CC Sabathia in a 5-4 victory Saturday night that moved Baltimore back into a tie atop the AL East with New York.
Mark Reynolds, Lew Ford and J.J. Hardy homered for the Orioles, who have won 11 of 15 overall and nine of the last 13 against the Yankees. With a victory Sunday, Baltimore will win the season series (10-8) for the first time since 1997.
Trying to secure a victory for Joe Saunders (2-1), Baltimore closer Jim Johnson entered with a 5-3 lead in the ninth. He promptly gave up three straight singles, the last a bunt by Derek Jeter, to load the bases with no outs.
Nick Swisher drove in a run with a forceout. Johnson then went to 3-0 on Mark Teixeira, who was playing for the first time in 11 games after being sidelined with a calf injury. On a 3-2 pitch, Teixeira hit a grounder to second that turned into a game-ending double play in spite of Teixeira's desperate slide into first.
That gave Johnson his 42nd save, improved Baltimore's record in one-run games to 25-7 and delighted Orioles fans in the sellout crowd of 46,067.
Baltimore has hit 12 home runs, three by Reynolds, in the first three games of a four-game showdown that concludes today.
But it might have been a costly win. Orioles leadoff hitter Nick Markakis was struck in the left hand by a pitch from Sabathia in the fifth inning and immediately left for a pinch runner. The team offered no word on his condition, but Markakis was wearing a splint while watching from the dugout in the late innings.
Coming off a victory Friday night, New York was seeking its first winning streak since mid-August.
The Yankees have now gone 22 straight games without successive victories.
Sabathia (13-5) gave up five runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings. The three homers he allowed were a season high, and the lefthander has now yielded a career-high 21 for the year.