BALTIMORE -- The Yankees used a four-run fourth inning, which included RBI doubles by Starlin Castro and Rob Refsnyder, to jump out to a big lead before holding off a furious Orioles charge for an 8-6 series-evening win Saturday night at Camden Yards.
The Yanks eked by despite allowing a six-run seventh inning, picking up just their second win in the last six games as they near the end of a four-city road trip. Alex Rodriguez had three hits, along with an RBI and a run scored, while Jacoby Ellsbury stole home on the back end of a double steal in the sixth.
"It was tough and that's why we kept playing and we kept trying to score runs, because we know how explosive they are," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. "We get the seventh run on a double steal, we get the eighth run, which was really important to tack on, but they're an explosive lineup and they've had a lot of come-from-behind wins."
New York righty Ivan Nova took a shutout into the seventh inning, but couldn't record an out. Mark Trumbo hit his Major League-leading 18th homer, and Pedro Alvarez followed that up with a two-run blast. Nova left with two runners aboard and was charged with five of Baltimore's six runs in the seventh, which culminated with Adam Jones' three-run homer off Nick Goody.
"It's like the 3-point shot in the NBA," Jones said. "That helps big time when you're coming back. I think the home run power that we have as a team top to bottom, it just always keeps us in the game. We're always a bloop and a blast away from anything. It's just a cool weapon to have."
Orioles starter Tyler Wilson lasted just four innings, allowing five runs on seven hits.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Yankees bats come to life in fourth: The Yankees entered play Saturday last in the American League with a .233 team batting average, but they matched a season-high with five hits in an inning during a four-run fourth. Castro and Refsnyder each had an RBI double and a run scored as the Yankees built a 5-0 lead. By the end of the night, all nine Yankees starters had a base hit.
"We had 16 hits tonight," Girardi said, "so it's nice to see us string hits, and score runs and tack on and score them in bunches. That's what you need to do."
Swinging in the seventh: After Trumbo and Alvarez made some noise, Jones put the O's within striking distance. The three-run blast saw him record his 370th career RBI at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, passing Cal Ripken Jr. as the all-time RBI leader at the ballpark. Ripken had 368 RBIs. More >
"That's impressive," manager Buck Showalter said. "He's got more than Cal? Pretty significant milestone."
Double trouble The Yankees added to their lead in the sixth inning, with Ellsbury and Brett Gardner picking up back-to-back two-out singles. With Gardner on first and Ellsbury on third, the Yankees pulled off a successful double steal on Dylan Bundy's 0-1 pitch to Carlos Beltran, with Gardner swiping second and Ellsbury just beating the throw home to give New York a 7-0 lead. More >
O's pitching woes continue: Wilson's short night was another piece in a disturbing trend for the O's rotation. Baltimore's starters have allowed five or more runs in five consecutive games and pitched to an 8.70 ERA in six games on this homestand.
"We have opportunities, and that's all we can ask for -- the opportunity to stop the bleeding and to kind of recognize the moment and kind of rise up," Wilson said of the rotation's struggles. "I think we're really close to turning a corner -- everybody, in a lot of different ways."
"I've been feeling better. It took me a couple of days after the DL, but the last few days have been good. … It's definitely something to build on. Overall I think my at-bats have been getting a little bit more consistent and I'm not trying to do as much at the plate." Rodriguez, who was 3-for-5 Saturday and has now hit safely in four straight games
Yankees catcher Austin Romine left the game in the ninth inning after taking an Aroldis Chapman pitch off his left wrist as the closer was warming up. Romine was making his third straight start as Brian McCann deals with a hyperextended left elbow. McCann caught the ninth in his first action since Wednesday. More >
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
With two on and no outs in the top of the fourth, Didi Gregorius launched the first pitch of his at-bat out of play deep down the right-field line. The call on the field was a foul ball, but the play went to video review to determine whether it was a home run. After viewing all relevant angles, the call of foul ball stood.
WHAT'S NEXT Yankees: The Yanks send CC Sabathia (3-4, 2.85 ERA) to the mound Sunday at 1:35 p.m. ET as they wrap up a 10-game road trip. Dating to last season, the left-hander has tossed eight straight quality starts on the road -- the longest active streak in the American League.
Orioles: Baltimore will close out the series against New York at Oriole Park by sending Kevin Gausman to the mound. Gausman has surrendered three home runs in each of his last two outings and is 0-3 with a 3.78 ERA on the year.