Orioles, Yankees wrap up important series in Baltimore

The Sports Network
9/9/2012 11:22:53 AM
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(Sports Network) - Left-hander Zach Britton goes after a fifth straight win on Sunday when the Baltimore Orioles close out a four-game series with the New York Yankees at Camden Yards.

He'll have to do so, though, without the services of outfielder Nick Markakis, who broke his thumb after getting hit with a CC Sabathia pitch in Saturday's 5-4 win and will miss the remainder of the regular season.

"It's broken. A minimum of six weeks, but it's so preliminary right now," said Orioles manager Buck Showalter after the game. "They'll get some more pictures. ... I knew when I looked at it going out there. I'm sure you guys that have been around Nicky know when he comes out of a game that quick, it's not good. It breaks my heart, personally, and for him. I know how much this time of the season means to him. We'll go forward from there."

The Orioles moved back into a first-place tie with the Yankees with a little help from the umpires on Saturday. Baltimore overcame an early two-run hole thanks to home runs from Lew Ford, J.J. Hardy and Mark Reynolds, but New York rallied in the ninth.

Holding a 5-3 lead, Orioles closer Jim Johnson gave up back-to-back singles to Ichiro Suzuki and Eric Chavez before Derek Jeter's bunt single loaded the bases with no outs. Nick Swisher plated a run when he grounded into a fielder's choice. Mark Teixeira, who returned to the lineup after missing 10 games with a strained left calf, hit a grounder to second that turned into a game-ending double play. Teixeira appeared to be safe as he slid into first, leading to frustration for New York.

"Sometimes you wonder if the umpires are just trying to get out of there," Teixeira said. "They don't want you to make a comeback. They want to go home, because those are terrible calls."

Then, to add injury to insult, Teixeira aggravated the calf injury and will miss Sunday's finale.

Still, Johnson earned his 42nd save, as the Orioles won for the fifth time in seven tries.

Alex Rodriguez hit a solo homer and knocked in two runs for the Yankees, who have lost seven of their last 10 games. Sabathia (13-5) gave up five runs on eight hits while striking out five over 6 1/3 innings. He fell to 16-4 lifetime against the O's, but failed to hold a lead for the Yankees for the third straight start.

"I feel like I'm letting everybody down, not going out and making pitches I need to make," Sabathia said. "We had a 2-0 lead and I come right back and give it up. That's not me. Hopefully I can correct this thing and go out and pitch well next time."

Britton, meanwhile, won again on Tuesday with a terrific effort in Toronto that saw him scatter four hits over seven scoreless innings. He also struck out eight and ran his record to 5-1 to go along with a 4.15 ERA.

"I think when he misses a few times, he's able to adjust and make a good pitch -- it's not just sort of aim for the middle, he's able to hit a good spot," said O's catcher Matt Wieters.

He has a 0.94 ERA during his four-game winning streak and a 29-7 strikeout-to- walk ratio. Britton had struck out a career-high 10 batters in his previous trip to the hill.

Britton, though, will be looking to avenge his lone loss this season against the Yankees back on Aug.1 when he was pounded for seven runs in just 2 2/3 innings. In five starts against the Yankees he is 1-2 with a 6.95 ERA.

Opposing him will be veteran Freddy Garcia, who is 7-6 with a 5.09 ERA, but is winless in his last three starts. Garcia took the loss on Tuesday against Tampa Bay, as he was hit for five runs and five hits and walked four batters in 5 1/3 innings.

"That's my fault today," said Garcia. "I gave up five runs; we lost, 5-2. Like I say, I don't make the pitch when I need it, and that's why I got hurt."

Garcia lost to the Orioles the last time he faced them and is 6-8 with a 4.34 ERA in 20 games (18 starts) against them.

Despite Saturday's loss, the Yanks have won five of eight in Baltimore this season and 22 of 32 at Camden Yards since last losing a series of at least two games there April 6-9, 2009.

The Orioles have won nine of 17 games with the Yankees this season.

Rangers at Rays

(Sports Network) - Roy Oswalt returns to the Texas Rangers' rotation on Sunday when they play the rubber match of a three-game set with the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.

Oswalt hasn't started since he picked up a no decision against the Minnesota Twins on Aug. 23. He's since pitched 2 1/3 innings in relief, but Texas manager Ron Washington decided to give him the start in an effort to give Matt Harrison an extra couple of days rest.

Tampa, meanwhile, will counter with right-hander James Shields, who has won five of his last six decisions. Shields' latest win came on Monday against the New York Yankees, as he allowed three runs and five hits in eight innings to improve to 14-8, while lowering his ERA to 3.88.

Tigers at Angels

(Sports Network) - The move to acquire Zack Greinke is beginning to pay off for the LA Angels of Anaheim and the right-hander looks to keep his unbeaten streak intact in the finale of a three-game series versus the Detroit Tigers.

Greinke is 3-0 with a 1.66 earned run average and 16 strikeouts in his last three starts, spanning 21 2/3 innings, and fired seven innings of one-run ball in a 6-1 win at Oakland last time out Tuesday. He improved to 4-2 in eight starts with the Halos to go along with a 4.36 earned run average.

Detroit will counter with Anibal Sanchez. Much like Greinke, Sanchez was acquired in a deal and came over from the Miami Marlins. Even though he has given up two earned runs in his last three starts, Sanchez is 1-1 in that time. He last toed the rubber in a 3-2 loss to Cleveland and did not figure into the decision, permitting two unearned runs in six frames.

The Angels are even with Tampa Bay at two games off a wild card spot, and will host Oakland for four games on this homestand.

Athletics at Mariners

(Sports Network) - The Oakland Athletics have their sights set on a sweep of the Seattle Mariners today at Safeco Field.

The A's have posted back-to-back 6-1 victories and received another strong outing from Brett Anderson last night, as he allowed one unearned run in six innings for the victory. Pat Neshek, Sean Doolittle and Evan Scribner held the Mariners off the board the rest of the way.

Milone was tagged for five runs and 10 hits, and dropped to 11-10 in 26 starts while his ERA went from 3.73 to 3.94. Opposing batters are hitting .267 against the left-hander this season. Milone faced the Mariners in a 4-1 win on July 6 and did not factor in the outcome, as he struck out nine and permitted just one run through seven innings.

Jason Vargas looks to extend his career-high win total to 15 games when he toes the rubber this afternoon for Seattle. Vargas was 0-1 in three starts before defeating Boston with seven innings of one-run ball, five strikeouts and no walks in a 4-1 win on Monday. He lifted his record to 14-9 in 29 starts to go along with a 3.85 earned run average.

Zach Britton (Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images)


(Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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