BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 09: Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees is congratulated by Jayson Nix #17 of the New York Yankees after scoring during the fourth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 9, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
One day after a loss, which could have easily had an adverse effect, the Yankees rebounded by scoring 13 runs on 14 hits and retook the lead in the AL East. Despite Mark Teixeira returning to the bench with calf problems, the Yankees offense hit Orioles' starting pitcher Zach Britton early, and never really looked back.
Derek Jeter set the tone for everything in the top of the first, singling before advancing to second on a throwing error by Manny Machado. He later came around to score on a single by Robinson Cano. Most of the damage came from two big innings, the first of which happened in the top of the fourth. Alex Rodriguez's single was followed by walks to Cano, Russell Martin, and Steve Pearce which allowed a run to score. Singles by Jayson Nix and Ichiro Suzuki scored a run each. After another bases loaded walk, this time to Jeter, Britton was pulled for Jake Arrieta, who managed to get the last two outs. But the damage was already done, as the Yankees extended the lead to 5-0.
Freddy Garcia made it through the first three innings without much trouble, but started to unravel in the bottom of the fourth. He opened the inning by walking Nate McLouth and hitting J.J. Hardy. Wilson Betemit drove them both home with a double, before scoring himself on a Matt Wieters' single. Garcia was removed in favor of Joba Chamberlain who escaped without anymore damage. From there the Yankees pulled away.
In addition to the offensive outburst, the bullpen was more than solid in relief of Garcia. Chamberlain made it through 1.2 innings, just walking one, while Corey Wade made his Yankees' return pitching two perfect innings. Boone Logan and Derek Lowe also made it through their innings scoreless.
While the bullpen was doing its job, the offense continued piling on the runs. Curtis Granderson pinch hit for Andruw Jones in the top of the sixth and homered on the first pitch he saw. Overall, Granderson looked much better than he has, as he went 3-3 on the day, driving in five runs, including a two-run double in the eighth, which removed any doubt.
It's hard to make any conclusion from one game, but if the Yankees can play anything like we've seen today, there's no doubt they can turn around the disappointing run they've gone through. They're still going to need more out of their starting pitching, as Freddy Garcia's smoke and mirrors act only lasted into the fourth. But if the lineup and bullpen continue on the progress made today, there's no reason to think they can't get back to their winning ways.
The Yankees have tomorrow off as they travel to Boston to take on some team called the Red Sox.