Britton knocked out in the third as New York avoids the sweep

Zach Britton threw 80 pitches today and failed to get through the third inning. That should tell you how his day went as the Yankees hammered the Orioles 12-3.

Britton allowed seven runs in just 2 2/3 innings to fall to 1-1 with an ERA of 8.35. In three career starts in the Bronx, the lefty has allowed 20 runs (17 earned) over eight innings for an ERA of 19.12. Winning pitcher Phil Hughes gave up one run over six innings.

The Orioles missed a chance to complete their first three-game sweep at Yankee Stadium since June 6-8, 1986. They began the day 4-1 this year in New York and had outscored the Yankees 29-12 in the Bronx.

But by the end of the third this afternoon, it was 11-1. New York scored twice each in the first and second innings and got seven in a third inning which featured Robinson Cano's grand slam off Kevin Gregg.

The Orioles would have moved to within 4 1/2 games of first with a win, but New York ended a four-game losing streak, improved to 61-43 and moved back to a lead of 6 1/2 games over the Birds.

J.J Hardy went 3-for-4 with a solo homer for the Orioles. He is batting .342 (13-for-38) over his last 10 games with two homers and nine RBIs. Endy Chavez drove in two runs for the O's and Wilson Betemit went 2-for-3. In the three-game series, Betemit was 7-for-11 with a homer and three RBIs.

The loss ended the O's three-game win streak and they are now 55-50. The Orioles have won nine of their last 15 and fall to 20-18 against the AL East.

After an off day on Thursday, the Orioles play the Rays in St. Petersburg this weekend. The Orioles are 4-5 against Tampa Bay in 2012.

A note from the minors: Right-hander Bobby Bundy underwent surgery yesterday to shave down a bone spur in his right elbow. Dr. Jeffrey Angel of Batesville, Arkansas performed the procedure which will keep Bundy out the rest of the year.

Bundy went 2-11 with an ERA of 6.25 this season at Double-A Bowie and will not pitch again this year but is expected to be ready for the start of the 2013 season.

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