W: Vazquez (4-5, 6.06)
L: Matusz (2-6, 5.28)
S: Rivera (11)
The Yankees offensive struggles returned on Tuesday night. Fortunately they were playing the 15 win Baltimore Orioles. The Yankees snuck by the Orioles, 3-1.
Starting pitcher Javier Vazquez earned his fourth win of the season, and pitched what was by far his best game of the season.
Vazquez surrendered just four hits and one run in seven innings of work. With the win, his ERA is down to 6.06, which is much better from where he started the day.
The New York offense didn’t have their best offense on display, but they didn’t need it against the struggling Orioles.
The Yanks struck for their first run and only RBI on Curtis Granderson’s third home run of the season.
Corey Patterson tied the game at one apiece in the 6th inning, which was Vazquez’s only flaw of his outing.
The Yankees stormed to the lead with a pair of runs in the seventh inning, but that wasn’t too pretty.
With two outs, Derek Jeter on third, and Nick Swisher on second, Alex Rodriguez hit a routine ground ball to third base, which appeared would end the inning. Orioles 3B Miguel Tejada fired to first base, but his throw bounced away from 1B Ty Wigginton. Both Yankee base runners scored, and the Yanks took a 3-1 lead.
Setup man Joba Chamberlain worked a 1-2-3 eighth inning, and closer Mariano Rivera closed it out in the ninth inning.
The win gives the Yankees a three-game winning streak heading into the second game of their series with the last place Orioles.
New York was unable to gain ground on the first place Rays, as they snapped their funk.
Heading into Wednesday, the Yankees are 2 ½ games behind the Rays, with Toronto 4 ½ games behind and Boston five games back. For the record, the Orioles have locked up last place as they are 19 ½ games behind the Rays.
The two teams return to action on Wednesday as Phil Hughes (6-1, 2.70) will take on Brad Bergesen (3-3, 5.96). Game time is set for 7:05 ET. at Yankee Stadium.