The game moved along quickly for a couple innings, with neither team getting many opportunities to score. Granderson doubled to left in the top of the fifth and moved to third on a single by Teixeira. Rodriguez hit a grounder to Izturis, who made the play at second, allowing another New York run to score. Garcia gave the Orioles little chance of closing in, as he threw perfect innings in the fifth and sixth, holding onto the Bombers’ 3-0 edge.
Joba Chamberlain came in for Garcia in the seventh. He struck out Scott to start, but gave up a single to Jones. Mark Reynolds followed with a two-run homer, and the Orioles had pulled within one run of the Yankees. David Robertson relieved Chamberlain in the eighth and struggled. He allowed a one-out single to Nick Markakis, and another single to Vladimir Guerrero. Joe Girardi called on Rivera for his first four out save opportunity of the season, and the veteran closer got Scott to fly out to end the inning. Unfortunately, he would not be as lucky in the bottom of the ninth.
Rivera gave up a lead-off walk to Jones in the ninth. He struck out Reynolds and Wieters before a single by Jake Fox put runners on first and second. Brian Roberts lined a double to right, scoring Jones to tie the game. Robert Andino tried to score the winning run, but Swisher and Cano relayed the ball to Martin who was able to tag out the Baltimore player at the plate and send the game into extra innings.
The Yankees looked like they might get on the board quickly in the tenth, when Jeter singled and Granderson worked a walk. Teixeira flew out and Rodriguez hit into a double play, wasting the opportunity. Boone Logan put together a solid bottom of the tenth, sitting down the Baltimore players in order. Rain then descended on Baltimore, delaying the game.
When the rain cleared, Cano started the eleventh off with a double to right. Eric Chavez was intentionally walked and Russell Martin singled to short, plating Cano. Andino made a great diving stop, but (as seemed to be a problem for Baltimore) instead of holding onto the ball he tried to throw out Martin at first. The ball went wide and Chavez moved to third. With two on and two out, Jeter singled to third, scoring Chavez. Jeter moved to second and Martin moved to third on another ill-conceived and poorly executed throw by an Orioles infielder, this time the culprit was Reynolds. Granderson singled in Martin and the Yankees carried a 6-3 lead into the bottom of the eleventh, where Logan and Buddy Carlyle combined to pitched a perfect inning and the Yankees took the victory.
Nick Swisher: Swisher has been cold lately and went 0-5 with three strikeouts and four stranded base runners.
Jorge Posada: Jorge went 0-4 with two strikeouts. The Yankees’ new DH is still hitting just .153, though his slugging percentage is .458 with six of his nine hits being home runs.
The Bullpen Regulars: Joba Chamberlain, David Robertson and Mariano Rivera have been some of the Yankees’ most reliable arms out of the pen this season, however, they all struggled on Sunday. Joba gave up two runs on two hits in his inning of work. Robertson gave up two hits and needed Mo to come in and get him out of a jam in the eighth. Mo then struggled in the ninth, giving up a run on two hits for his second blown save of the season.
Brett Gardner: Now, if you read this regularly you know I never hesitate to give Gardner a Bronx Cheer. I have yet to drink the kool-aid on Gardy, though I recognize the potential there. Today would typically be no exception, as he went 0-5 and struck out four times. Still, it is Easter and I am feeling generous – and Gardner also deserves a Curtain Call for his homer yesterday. Gardner actually made at least two really great plays in the outfield, which is why I am giving him a Curtain Call today. He made a fantastic sliding catch, where I was almost convinced the replay would show the ball hitting the ground. It did not. Perhaps even more important was the play Gardner made in the eighth inning. With two outs and runners on first and third, Scott drove a long fly ball to left. Gardner tracked it down and made a nice running catch to end the inning and save at least one run for the Yankees. It was one of the plays that truly saved the game for the Yankees.
Curtis Granderson: Grandy went 3-5 with two runs scored and three RBIs. He also drew a walk and struck out once.
Freddy Garcia: Garcia went six innings and held the Orioles scoreless, giving up just two hits. He struck out seven and walked just two.
The Rest of the Bullpen: The bullpen seemed a bit backwards today, as Boone Logan and Buddy Carlyle were the heroes of the day. Logan pitched 1.1 innings of scoreless and hitless ball, while Carlyle did the same for the last two outs of the game.
In The On Deck Circle:
The Bombers will head back to the Bronx for a four game set against the Chicago White Sox. A.J. Burnett, who has looked more and more like the number two pitcher for the Yankees this season, will take the mound. Burnett has struck out 22 hitters in his 22.2 innings of work, while walking just ten. Most of the runs that have been scored off the righty seemed to have more to do with one or two bad pitches and not a total loss of control, as was often the case last season. Chicago will start Philip Humber, who will be making his first appearance against the Yankees. He is coming off a loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, when he allowed four runs on six hits in 5.1 innings of work. First pitch will be Monday at 7:05pm at Yankee Stadium.