Possibly pitching with his rotation spot on the line, Vidal Nuno didn't pitch well enough to keep it, as the Baltimore Orioles tagged him for five runs in 6.2 innings, as the O's rebounded from Carlos Beltran's wall-off homerun last night to beat the Yankees, 6-1, on a sunny Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium thanks to a quartet of homeruns.
The Yankees honored former first baseman Tino Martinez before the game, but didn't make the actual game any more special. The O's took an early lead and never looked back, eventually extending that lead on a couple of homeruns by Nelson Cruz and Steve Pearce later in the game.
Adam Jones put Baltimore on the board with a 1st inning homerun off of Nuno, taking him deep ot left field as the third batter of the game, making it 1-0. Jones later walked to open the 4th inning, then Cruz followed with a two-run shot that extended the Orioles' lead to 3-0. That was Cruz's 23rd homerun of the year -- what a bargain for Baltimore, right?
Mark Teixeira was the only Yankee of the day to drive in a run against Bud Norris, who was setting down the Yankees' lineup rather easily, with just two walks and a single through three innings. It was Teixeira's team-leading 12th homerun of the season that cut the lead to 3-1.
Norris gave up a Brian Roberts double in the 5th, the only other hit against him after the Teixeira homerun. He was only able to make it through five innings, though, having to leave the game with a groin injury after throwing just a couple of warm-up pitches prior to the bottom of the 6th. He only gave up a run on three hits, with two walks and four strikeouts in five frames.
Pearce pushed Baltimore's lead up to four in the 5th inning with another two-run homerun off of Nuno, making it a 5-1 game.
Nuno somehow made it into the 7th inning -- I'm guessing that Joe Girardi was trying to get as much as he could out of Nuno without going to the bullpen. He left after retiring Nick Markakis with his 107th pitch of the day. He was hit for the three homeruns, four earned runs of the five, with six hits, two walks and four strikeouts. It'll be interesting to see if he gets another start.
Jose Ramirez took over with an out in the 7th, finished off the inning, gave up a homerun to JJ Hardy in the 8th -- Hardy's first homerun of the season -- that put the Orioles by five runs, then worked around a couple of singles by Pearce and Jones in the 9th.
Looking to rally in the 9th for the second straight day, Tommy Hunter retired the first two hitters before Ichiro Suzuki singled and took second on defensive-indifference, but Brian McCann flew out to end the game.
The Yankees and Orioles will both look to take the rubber-match of this three-game series tomorrow afternoon, with Masahiro Tanaka and Chris Tillman on the mound for their respective teams. Tanaka Sunday, y'all!