Curtis Granderson may insist he's not a home run hitter, but he's going to have to stop hitting them before anyone starts to believe him. Granderson added two more blasts tonight as the Yankees topped the Baltimore Orioles 8-3 to gain a split of the day-night doubleheader.
Granderson had already hit a 3-run shot in the 3rd when he came to bat again in the 7th and unloaded his Major League leading 38th home run of the year. It's the first time he's been in sole possession of teh home run lead. That was the cherry on top of the sundae for the Yankees who broke the game open in the 6th inning.
After a Mark Teixeira single, Robinson Cano blasted an opposite field 2-run home run off of start Brian Matusz for a 5-3 Yankees lead. Nick Swisher followed with a solo shot and Andruw Jones made it three straight with a long home run of his own.
That would be plenty of run support for Yankees' starter Ivan Nova, who earned his 14th win of the season. In doing so he became the first Yankees rookie pitcher to win 14 games since Ron Davis in 1979 and the first start since Doc Medich in 1973. The 24-yr old gave up single runs in each of the first three innings before settling down. He pitched into the 8th inning before giving way to David Robertson after he allowed a pair of base runners to reach to start the inning.
Robertson gave up a single to Adam Jones to load the bases, but baseball's Houdini performed his great escape act again. Robertson struck out Vladimir Guerrero, Mark Reynolds and Ryan Adams in succession to get out of trouble.
Derek Jeter was scheduled to play in the second game, but was a late scratch due to a sore knee. Alex Rodriguez also sat with his sore thumb. Marc Carig of the Star Ledger tweeted that neither is likely to play in the series finale Monday night according to Joe Girardi.