BALTIMORE (AP) — Freddy Garcia returned from the disabled list to pitch six innings of two-hit ball, Nick Swisher homered and the New York Yankees beat the Baltimore Orioles 3-2 Monday night earn a split of the four-game series.
It was New York’s second straight win without third baseman Alex Rodriguez and shortstop Derek Jeter. Rodriguez will join the team in Boston on Tuesday after getting an MRI on his sore left thumb in New York, and Jeter rested a bruised right knee but was available “in case of an emergency,” manager Joe Girardi said.
Mark Teixeira doubled in a run for the Yankees, who moved within 1 1/2 games of the first-place Red Sox in the AL East.
Mark Reynolds and J.J. Hardy homered for Baltimore, which was seeking to win a four-game series against New York for the first time since 1997.
After being sidelined for three weeks with a cut right index finger, Garcia (11-7) picked up where he left off. He allowed one run, walked one and struck out four to win his fourth straight decision. The right-hander is 4-0 with a 1.72 ERA in his last five starts.
Baltimore’s only hits against Garcia were a first-inning double by Adam Jones and Reynolds’ drive in the fifth. The homer was the first against Garcia in 11 starts since June 7.
The Orioles closed to 3-2 when Hardy connected on an 0-2 pitch from David Robertson in the eighth. It was his 26th home run, matching a career high set with Milwaukee in 2007.
It was also the first run Robertston allowed on the road this season. The Orioles then got a runner to second with two outs before Robertson struck out Jones.
Mariano Rivera worked a perfect ninth to complete the three-hitter and earn his 34th save.
Alfredo Simon (4-7) gave up three runs and four hits in seven innings for Baltimore.
New York got a first-inning run when Curtis Granderson walked and scored his major league-leading 122nd run on a double by Teixeira.
In the fourth, Robinson Cano hit a one-out single before Swisher hit Simon’s next pitch over the 25-foot scoreboard in right. He has 21 homers this season, six in his last seven games.
Garcia retired 11 straight batters before Reynolds hit his 31st home run.
NOTES: To make room for Garcia, the Yankees optioned reliever Hector Noesi to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre. … Hardy extended his hitting streak to 12 games. … The Yankees send CC Sabathia (17-7) to the mound Tuesday night in the opener of a three-game series against the Red Sox. New York is 2-10 against Boston this season, 2-4 at Fenway Park. … Baltimore begins a three-game set against Toronto on Tuesday night. The Orioles will start RHP Jeremy Guthrie (6-16), whose 3.62 career ERA against the Blue Jays is the best against any AL East foe.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)