Yankees

Swisher Leads Yanks Over Orioles 8-3 In DH Opener

(Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

(Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (AP) - Nick Swisher had three hits, including a two-run homer, and the New York Yankees backed Bartolo Colon with plenty of production from the bottom of their lineup to beat the Baltimore Orioles 8-3 Saturday in the opener of a day-night doubleheader.

Swisher also doubled and singled to pace a Yankees offense missing Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson and Russell Martin. All three All-Stars were rested in a game that began about 13 hours after last-place Baltimore finished off a rain-delayed 4-2 win Friday night.

The nightcap was set for 7:05 p.m. to make up an April 12 rainout. Zach Britton was scheduled to face New York rookie Ivan Nova, with both starting pitchers returning from the minors.

Brett Gardner had a two-run single for the Yankees, who improved to 7-1 in the season series. They have outscored Baltimore 61-25, though three of the games went to extra innings.

Colon (8-6) has won consecutive outings following a three-start losing streak. The husky right-hander labored through five innings under a hot sun, throwing 105 pitches while wriggling out of three jams.

Cory Wade worked three strong innings in relief of Colon, allowing only a solo homer to Mark Reynolds. Boone Logan finished up with a scoreless ninth.

Baltimore recalled touted prospect Chris Tillman from Triple-A Norfolk to make the start and he looked sharp early before fading fast.

With the score tied at 2, Tillman (2-4) issued a leadoff walk to Robinson Cano in the fourth and fell behind Swisher 2-0. Swisher sent a drive to right for his 13th homer, giving New York the lead for good. No. 9 batter Francisco Cervelli added an RBI single.

After making 35 pitches through three innings, Tillman doubled that total in the fourth.

In the fifth, a tough throwing error on rookie second baseman Blake Davis led to three unearned runs. Swisher’s one-out double chased Tillman, and Eric Chavez greeted lefty reliever Troy Patton with an RBI single. Jorge Posada drove in a run with a groundout, and Chris Dickerson‘s single made it 8-2.

Tillman got off to an impressive start. He retired his first six batters, striking out four, before the bottom of the lineup got New York going in the third.

Cervelli’s ground-rule double put runners on second and third. With Reynolds playing in at third to guard against a bunt, Gardner slapped a sharp grounder toward the line that deflected off Reynolds’ glove for a two-run single.

Reynolds singled to start a two-run fourth, when Baltimore got RBI groundouts from Craig Tatum and J.J. Hardy.

Later in the inning, Adam Jones‘ foul ball hit plate umpire Tim Welke flush in the mask. Welke staggered backward but regained his balance – with help from Cervelli – and remained in the game.

Colon struck out Jones on a full-count slider with runners at second and third to end a 35-pitch fourth. The 2005 AL Cy Young Award winner also fanned Reynolds with the bases loaded to escape unscathed in the first.

Reynolds hit his 23rd homer in the eighth.

NOTES: To open a roster spot for Tillman, the Orioles placed RHP Brad Bergesen on the paternity leave list. Bergesen left the team to be with his wife for the birth of their first child. He can stay on the paternity leave list for a maximum of three days. … It was Tillman’s first big league start since May 27 at Oakland. … Baltimore will need to make a roster move between games to create a spot for Britton. New York must do the same for Nova. … Jones had two hits and reached base four times. … Orioles 1B Derrek Lee struck out looking three times. … Mark Teixeira was the DH for the Yankees and Posada played 1B.

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