Yankees knock off Orioles, Pavano wins in return

A.J. MartelliSenior Analyst IAugust 23, 2008

The New York Yankees beat the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday night by a count of 5-3.

Carl Pavano made his long-awaited return to the Yankee rotation, his first game since last April. Pavano turned in five innings, gave up three runs on seven hits, walked one, and struck out five. Not a bad outing coming off Tommy John surgery.

Jeremy Guthrie started for the Orioles. He lasted 6.2 innings, gave up five earned runs on seven hits, walked one, and struck out seven.

The Yankees drew first blood in the top of the first inning. Alex Rodriguez doubled and reached third base as he knocked in Johnny Damon to put the Yankees up 1-0. Damon had just beaten the tag in a close play at home plate.

Jason Giambi came up next and knocked in Rodriguez with an RBI single, and the Yankees went up 2-0 after a half inning of play.

The Orioles put up three runs in the bottom of the second. Juan Castro, Brian Roberts, and Nick Markakis each had an RBI, and the Orioles took the lead 3-2 after two innings.

Also in the bottom of the second, Orioles' skipper Dave Trembley was ejected by home plate umpire Joe West for arguing a call. Melvin Mora was called out to end the inning for leaving the dirt circle after a dropped strike three. Trembley vehemently protested that Mora was making his way to first base, but was tossed from the game after the argument. 

The Bronx Bombers answered right back in the top of the third with a two-run home run from Jason Giambi, his 25th jack of the year, and the Yankees took the lead back at 4-3.

The Yankees got an insurance run in the top of the seventh inning. Hideki Matsui clobbered a solo home run, his ninth round tripper of the season and second since coming off the disabled list, and the Yanks held a 5-3 lead over the O's after seven innings. This was also Matsui's 500th RBI of his Major League Baseball career.

Mariano Rivera came in to shut the door in the ninth. He put pinch-hitter Alex Cintron, Roberts, and Markakis out to end the game and secure a Yankee win.

Pavano picked up the win, and is 1-0 in his first start in 2008. This was his first win since his last start on April 9, 2007.

Guthrie loses, and is now an even 10-10 on the year.

The Yankees' bullpen was outstanding tonight, tossing a combined four innings and only allowing two hits. Brian Bruney and Jose Veras each recorded holds, and Rivera notched his 30th save of the year, tying his 2007 save total.

"He did great, he got the win for us, and he did everything we asked him to do," said manager Joe Girardi about Pavano's start. "I told him he threw the ball great, and it was great to see. His next start will probably be Friday."

Tomorrow afternoon at 1:35 ET, the Yankees and Orioles will play the final game of the three-game weekend set.

Darrell Rasner (5-9, 4.93 ERA) will square off against Daniel Cabrera (8-8, 4.98 ERA).