Yanks recover on 3-1 trip prior to Subway Series

One night after it took the Yankees 15 innings to score four runs, they put up a five-spot in the very first inning Thursday night at Baltimore. Of their 15 hits Wednesday night into Thursday morning in the 4-1, 15-inning victory, the Yankees had 14 singles, but they didn’t have a single in their first-inning assault in the series finale.

The Yankees used three extra-base hits, two walks and a hit batter to jump out to the 5-0 lead. A lot of people at Camden Yards were still looking for their seats while the Yankees scored two runs quickly on a double by Derek Jeter, a triple by Curtis Granderson and an infield out by Mark Teixeira.

Orioles starter Brad Bergesen caught Alex Rodriguez looking at a third strike for the second out but allowed the Yankees to fill the bases by hitting Robinson Cano with a pitch and walking Russell Martin and Jorge Posada. Nick Swisher, who had not driven in a run with a two-out hit all year, made up for lost time with a double off left fielder Felix Pie’s glove to clear the bases.

CC Sabathia, who usually pitches well against the Orioles, must have loved going to the mound with a five-run lead, especially since the Yankees averaged 3.2 runs per game in the lefthander’s starts. The big lead made it easy for CC to take care of business by planting a pitch in the back of Nick Markakis with two out and none on in the first.

Now I am not suggesting that Sabathia did that on purpose, but Cano had been hit in the top of that inning and the night before Chris Dickerson took one off the helmet from Mike Gonzalez, who was ejected and before Thursday night’s game apologized to Dickerson. Yankees pitchers have to make sure opposing pitchers don’t take target practice against Yankees hitters is all I am saying.

Bergesen started in place of Jeremy Guthrie, who was originally scheduled to start but had to pitch in relief in the 15th inning in the previous game after Gonzalez was ejected because the Orioles had run out of relievers. The Yanks knocked Bergesen out of the game in the fourth with two more triples – by Brett Gardner and Jeter – and Teixeira belted his 10th home run off Chris Jakubauskas.

Teixeira was the designated hitter as Posada put on a glove for the first time this year and started at first base for the first time since July 10, 2008 in an inter-league game at Pittsburgh. Jorgie had a good night at the plate with an RBI double and two walks.

The Yankees didn’t have a single until the fifth when Cano led off with one and scored on two more by Martin and Swisher.

The only question for Sabathia at this point was whether the game would continue as a steady drizzle turned conditions slippery. The umpires kept the game going, which was good news for the Yankees, who certainly did not want to lose Sabathia to a lengthy rain delay. Once CC got through the fifth with the Yankees’ lead swollen to 10-0, the game was official.

Sabathia kept putting up zeroes against the Orioles and extended the string of scoreless innings by Yankees starters to 19 1/3. CC struck out nine batters and walked none in eight innings and improving his career record against the Orioles to 16-2 with a 2.74 ERA in 157 2/3 innings and 10-1 with a 2.73 ERA at Camden Yards in 85 2/3 innings.

A 13-2 blowout to complete a 3-1 trip was just what the Yankees needed as they head home to play the Mets this weekend.

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