NEW YORK (AP) — Freddy Garcia helped show why the Yankees didn't make a trade at the deadline.
The veteran right-hander pitched six strong innings and Brett Gardner hit a bases-loaded triple to help the New York Yankees beat the Baltimore Orioles 4-2 Sunday.
Garcia (10-7) struck out six in six innings and allowed two runs on five hits to send the Yankees 22 games over .500, their highest point of the season.
He was signed by the Yankees as a free-agent, and expectations were that he would fill in for a while, while youngsters Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova got their feet under them.
Instead, he and Bartolo Colon have become mainstays in the Yankees' rotation. Their strong seasons made it easy for general manager Brian Cashman to stand pat at the trade deadline.
"I think the positions that were presented to me were easy to say no on," Cashman said. "It's not like I'm blowing smoke, trying to promote our guys. No, I believe in our guys."
Derek Jeter left after getting hit by a pitch, but X-rays only showed a bruised right middle finger. Girardi said he didn't expect to be without the Yankees captain for too long.
"I'm not expecting it to be a week," Girardi said. "Could it be a day, or two? I think it could be."
New York improved its major league best record in day games to 31-7 and finished a 10-game homestand with a 7-3 record.
Yankees reliever David Robertson struck out the side in the eighth and pitched 1 1-3 innings of perfect relief overall before Mariano Rivera pitched the ninth for his 27th save in 31 chances.
Garcia won his third straight start and is 8-3 in 12 starts since late May. Now that the Yankees won't be adding a big-name starter such as Ubaldo Jimenez or Wandy Rodriguez, Garcia will be a key to their rotation for the next two months as they try to win the AL East, as well as games in October.
"You got to be really happy. This division is really tough," Garcia said. "Hopefully I can pitch the way I've been pitching."
Baltimore's Jake Arrieta (10-8) walked six batters in five innings, giving up five hits along with four runs. Only two of the runs were earned.
"Six walks, hit by pitch, and the runs he gave up weren't usually enough to get you beat," Orioles manager Buck Showalter. "Not a lot offensively, but if he could cut down on the walks, he could get a lot deeper in games and be a lot more valuable pitcher for us."
The Orioles have lost six of their last seven and 18 times in 24 games. They won the first game of the series on Friday night, then were outscored 29-8 in three games since then.
Adam Jones put the Orioles up early with an RBI single on a hit-and-run in the third inning. Jeter went far to his left at shortstop to reach Jones' hopper up the middle, but his throw to second was errant and late.
In the fourth, Gardner came to bat after Eric Chavez walked to lead off the inning, Russell Martin reached on shortstop J.J. Hardy's fielding error and Eduardo Nunez singled. Gardner slowed almost imperceptibly as he rounded second to see where the play would be, then motored straight into third to give the Yankees the lead with his sixth triple this season.
"I couldn't really bounce back from it," Arrieta said. "It's frustrating, putting those guys on base for free and having to face a guy with multiple guys on base with less than two outs. That being said, it doesn't mean you can't pitch out of those jams."
Baltimore's Chris Davis, acquired the day before in a trade for Koji Uehara, arrived Sunday morning and played first base. He went 0 for 4, striking out in his first at-bat. The Orioles, who struck out 10 times overall, also acquired right-hander Tommy Hunter in the deal, and he will join the team in Kansas City.
Jeter was hit by a pitch from Arrieta on his right knuckles in the third inning and lifted for pinch-hitter Francisco Cervelli in the fourth.
Vladimir Guerrero hit an RBI single in the sixth inning and Robert Andino stole three bases for the Orioles.
Notes: Hardy went 0 for 17 in the series and made two errors. "J.J. spoiled us with a great level of play," Showalter said. ... Baltimore, swept in a day-night doubleheader on Saturday, hasn't won a series since June 24-26 against the Cincinnati Reds. The O's last AL series win was a three-game sweep of Oakland from June 6-8. ... Cervelli, normally the Yankees' backup catcher, had to take over at second in the fifth inning after batting for Jeter. The Yankees' usual 2B, Robinson Cano, was the DH Sunday. Cano later moved to second and reliever Hector Noesi had to go into the lineup in the second spot. When the No. 2 place came up again in the order, Robertson was lifted for pinch-hitter Andruw Jones with two outs in the eighth. ... When Baltimore LF Felix Pie batted in the fourth inning, the scoreboard showed the Greek letter pi, along with 15 decimal places of the constant: 3.141592653589793.
- Baltimore Orioles
- Jake Arrieta
- first base
- Brett Gardner
- Bartolo Colon
- Phil Hughes
- Russell Martin