Even though half the hits he gave up tonight were home runs, Miguel Gonzalez still was on his game for most the evening, keeping the Yankees off balance with some offspeed pitches which produced eight strikeouts as the Orioles beat New York 5-4 in the opener of a three-game series.
With the win the Orioles improved to 4-1 in their last five games against New York and 4-5 on the season overall. They are now 8-5 over the last 13 games and 54-49 overall.
Gonzalez gave up six hits and four runs over 6 2/3 to improve to 3-2 with an ERA of 4.46. His night ended when he gave up back-to-back homers to Eric Chavez and Ichiro Suzuki in the last of the seventh to pull New York within 5-4.
Wilson Betemit gave the O’s a 1-0 lead in the third with his 12th homer. He had just three RBIs over his previous 26 games. Omar Quintanilla and Nick Markakis produced sac flies in the fifth to give the Orioles a 3-1 lead.
In the seventh, the O’s extended a one-run lead to 5-2 as Markakis had an RBI double and J.J. Hardy an RBI single.
Pedro Strop pitched a scoreless eighth and Jim Johnson bounced back from his outing Friday against Oakland to gain the save. Johnson gave up a leadoff double to Nick Swisher in the last of the ninth but then fanned Russell Martin with runners on the corners and two outs to end a dramatic win for the Orioles.