Damon homer lifts Yanks over Orioles

May 10, 2009 2:14:55 PM PDT
Johnny Damon hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning, the biggest blow in a long-ball attack that carried the New York Yankees past the Baltimore Orioles 5-3 Sunday. Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano also connected for the Yankees, who received a gritty pitching performance from Joba Chamberlain (2-1) to capture the decisive matchup of the three-game series.

Held to one run through six innings by Orioles rookie Koji Uehara, New York rallied in the seventh against the struggling Baltimore bullpen. After Cano hit a solo shot off Jamie Walker, Francisco Cervelli and Derek Jeter got infield hits against Jim Johnson (2-1) before Damon drove a 3-2 pitch into the right-field seats.

It was Damon's ninth homer, the sixth in 10 games, and marked the seventh straight game in which he got at least one extra-base hit. He struck out twice and hit into a double play against Uehara.

Aubrey Huff homered off Chamberlain in the first for the Orioles, who have outscored the opposition 79-59 in the first three innings this season but have been outscored 57-35 after the sixth inning.

In a possible dig at Chamberlain, Huff emphatically pumped his fist after rounding first base, then did it again with even more gusto after he crossed the plate. It was a rare show of emotion by the 32-year-old, who is usually far more reserved after hitting a home run - especially in the first inning.

Chamberlain has angered opponents for his enthusiastic fist pumps on the mound.

The right-hander allowed three runs and nine hits in six innings. Although he popped a blood vessel in his right thumb on Saturday, Chamberlain did not appear bothered by the injury.

An outing after giving up back-to-back homers for the first time in his career, Mariano Rivera worked the ninth for his sixth save in seven opportunities.

Alex Rodriguez went 1-for-4 for New York in his third game since returning from the disabled list following hip surgery. He's 1-for-10 since homering in his first at-bat Friday night.

After Teixeira hit a solo home run in the first inning, Huff answered in the bottom half following singles by Brian Roberts and Adam Jones. The drive, on a 2-0 pitch, carried into the center-field bleachers.

It was the second straight game in which Huff connected with two on.

Uehara gave up six hits, walked none and struck out five. The Japanese rookie has a 1.64 ERA in two starts against the Yankees this season, but only one win to show for it.

Notes: Orioles DH Luke Scott left with a left shoulder injury that occurred while he was running the bases. He was replaced in the fourth inning by Ty Wigginton. ... Cano was 3-for-29 before getting two hits Sunday. ... Orioles pinch hitters are 0-for-13 with eight strikeouts, the only team in the AL without a pinch hit. ...Damon's GIDP was his first of the season. ... Baltimore fell to 4-1 when Huff homers.