With Jeter's Milestone, Yankees Win Battle Over Baltimore

A.J. MartelliSenior Analyst IAugust 22, 2008

The New York Yankees beat the Baltimore Orioles Friday night by a score of 9-4.

Mike Mussina took the ball for New York. Mussina lasted six innings and gave up four runs on nine hits. He walked nobody and fanned three.

Radhames Liz started for the Orioles. Liz went 4.2 innings, gave up three earned runs on nine hits, walked one, and struck out four.

The Yankees jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. After Derek Jeter made history by blooping a single for his 2,500th career hit, Bobby Abreu knocked in Johnny Damon with a single of his own.

The Orangebirds tied the game quickly in the bottom of the frame. Aubrey Huff singled to score Brian Roberts, and the game was knotted at one.

In the bottom of the third, the Orioles took the lead on an RBI single from Huff to score Nick Markakis, and the O's went ahead 2-1.

Ramon Hernandez crushed a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth, his 14th homer of the year, and it looked like another bad night for the Yankees as Baltimore went up 3-1.

However, the Yankees turned the tables in the top of the fifth. Robinson Cano slugged a solo homer off the bar-b-q tent and onto Eutaw Street, his 11th long ball of the year.

Cano was followed by Jose Molina, who homered to left field, his second homer of the campaign, and the Yankees tied the game with the back-to-back jacks.

In the bottom of the sixth, Baltimore took the lead back with the help of a sacrifice fly from Hernandez to score Kevin Millar, and the O's went up 4-3.

The Yankees got some help in the top of the eighth, and were able to score two runs and get the lead. Baltimore reliever Kameron Mickolio tossed a wild pitch, and Abreu scored from third base. After the wild pitch, Xavier Nady hit an RBI single to score Alex Rodriguez, and the Yankees went ahead 5-4.

In the top of the ninth, the Yankees padded their one-run lead. Newcomer Cody Ransom, who pinch-hit for Jason Giambi, clubbed a three-run homer, his second home run in pinstripes.

He was followed by Nady, who launched a solo homer, his 21st of the year, and the Yankees took a 9-4 lead as they went back-to-back with home runs for the second time in the game.

Mariano Rivera, who came into the game in the eighth inning, nailed down the win for the Bombers in the bottom of the ninth.

Jose Veras picked up the win and is now 4-2.

Jamie Walker of the Orioles took the loss and is now 1-1, but he gets a hold for his effort tonight.

Rivera nailed down save number 29, as he came into the game in a save situation in the eighth inning.

Damaso Marte recorded a hold for the Yankees, Rocky Cherry of the Orioles recorded a hold, and Mickolio blew his first save this season.

Abreu had a great night at the plate, going 5-5 with two runs rcored and an RBI.

"We have to win series, and to win a game like this is really important," said Yanks' manager Joe Girardi after the win.

As already noted, Jeter connected for the 2,500th hit of his career tonight. "When I think about Derek, he could get well beyond 3,000" said Girardi.

Tomorrow night at 7:05 ET, the Yankees and Orioles will play game two of the three-game weekend set.

Carl Pavano (0-0, -.--) will make his first start for the Yankees since April 9, 2007. Pavano underwent Tommy John surgery and was forced to shut it down last year . He will face O's starter Jeremy Guthrie (10-9, 3.15 ERA).