(AP) — For most of this year, Baltimore mustered little success against the New York Yankees. However, the last-place Orioles are in position for a rare sweep in the Bronx.
The Orioles go for their first three-game road sweep of New York in more than 24 years when they meet the AL East leaders Wednesday afternoon.
Baltimore (53-86), which halted a 10-game skid to the Yankees nearly three months ago, hasn’t swept a series at Yankee Stadium since June 6-8, 1986, when Scott McGregor, Mike Boddicker and Ken Dixon beat Ron Guidry, Tommy John and Ed Whitson, respectively.
After a 4-3 victory in the opener, the Orioles cruised to a 6-2 win Tuesday night, denying CC Sabathia his first 20-win season and handing the hefty left-hander his first home loss since July 2, 2009.
“They kind of took my aggressiveness away,” said Sabathia, who was 16-0 with a 2.05 ERA in his previous 21 home starts.
Adam Jones’ two-run single helped stake the Orioles to a 3-0 first-inning lead. Nolan Reimold added a long two-run homer in the third to make it 5-1.
“When (Sabathia) makes a mistake, you’ve got to jump on it,” Reimold said. “He doesn’t make too many.”
Baltimore has won four in a row six times this year, and is 21-13 since former Yankees manager Buck Showalter took over the club in August. The Orioles’ last five-game winning streak was June 17-21, 2009, all against interleague opponents.
The Yankees (86-53), who had won eight in a row heading into this series, had their division lead over Tampa Bay reduced to 1 1/2 games after the Rays ripped Boston 14-5.
Lance Berkman had three of New York’s eight hits Tuesday to continue his recent surge. After being activated from the disabled list Sept. 1, Berkman is 8 for 16, but has no homers and hasn’t driven in a run.
In the finale, Baltimore will go with Brad Bergesen (6-10, 5.47 ERA) as he again tries to match his win total as a rookie last season. The right-hander failed in his first attempt Thursday, surrendering five runs, eight hits and a season-high five walks in a 6-4 loss to the Red Sox.
He had been 3-0 with a 2.70 ERA in his previous six starts.
Bergesen is 0-2 with a 10.38 ERA over two career starts in the Bronx, and his only appearance there this year was miserable. In 2 1-3 innings, Bergesen was tagged for six runs and seven hits in a 9-1 defeat June 2.
Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson has three hits and three RBIs in five career at-bats against Bergesen.
Ivan Nova (1-0, 2.89) will be making his second start and third appearance at home for New York as he faces Baltimore for the first time.
The rookie right-hander has no record and a 4.76 ERA at home. He gave up three runs and six hits in 4 2-3 innings of a 7-3 win over Toronto on Friday.
Updated September 8, 2010
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