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(Friday, July 5th)
Final Score: New York 3, Baltimore 2
Bronx, NY (Sports Network) - Vernon Wells grounded the game-winning single into left field to cap a two-run rally against Jim Johnson in the bottom of the ninth inning to boost the New York Yankees to a 3-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles.
Ivan Nova (3-2) had a season-high 11 strikeouts in the first complete game of his career, but the Yankees were trailing going into their final at-bat.
David Adams singled to right field and Johnson was unable to field Brett Gardner's bunt. Both runners advanced on Ichiro Suzuki's sacrifice bunt, and Robinson Cano was intentionally walked to fill the bases.
Travis Hafner walked on four pitches, with ball four coming high to tie the game. Wells, facing a 2-2 count, grounded his hit past a diving Manny Machado in the hole between shortstop and third base.
Nova allowed three hits and walked only one batter to help the Yankees to their fifth straight victory. They also broke a five-game skid against the Orioles.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi complimented Nova on his curveball.
"You look at his last two starts and it's been really, really good. He needs that. It's been good for him," Girardi said.
Nova threw 102 pitches, while Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez tossed 104 over his six-inning stint.
Johnson (2-7) suffered his sixth blown save of the season, as the Orioles lost their second in a row.
"The thing that really changed it was me screwing up the whole bunt," Johnson said. "That was trying to do too many things at once instead of just taking the out."
Matt Wieters hit a two-run homer for Baltimore, which had three hits and couldn't put a runner in scoring position.
After Chris Davis was hit by a pitch to start the second, Wieters homered to left field. The ball caromed off the top of the wall and over it, just beyond the glove of Wells.
Luis Cruz singled in Wells in the fourth inning. The throw home from left fielder Nate McLouth was perfect, a one-bouncer to the plate. Wieters made the tag, but home plate umpire Gary Darling ruled Cano got his foot on the plate first.
New York wasted a bases-loaded, one-out chance in the fifth. Adams didn't try to score on Hafner's fly ball to center field. The throw to the plate was cut off. Wells then popped out in foul territory to first.
Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Saturday ... Gonzalez allowed four hits and had five walks and four strikeouts ... The Yankees left 13 men on base ... Nova had been winless in his last three starts versus the Orioles, going 0-2 with a 10.26 ERA.
07/05 23:53:20 ET
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