By Larry Fine
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Eric Chavez supplied the firepower with a two-run home run and Hiroki Kuroda combined with two relievers on a five-hitter as the New York Yankees edged the Baltimore Orioles 2-1 on Monday in the opener of their three-game series.
Kuroda improved to 2-3, allowing four hits over seven innings, with David Robertson and Mariano Rivera pitching an inning each to wrap up the win.
Chavez blasted a long home run to the back of the Yankees bullpen in right field in the second inning off Baltimore starter Jason Hammel with Mark Teixeira aboard for all the runs New York would need.
Baltimore had taken a 1-0 lead in the top half of the second inning when Adam Jones walked, went to third on a single by Matt Wieters and scored on a sacrifice fly by Chris Davis.
The Orioles, who entered the game in a tie for first place in the American League East at 14-8, squandered a golden opportunity in the seventh inning when Nick Markakis was called out at the plate trying to score on a Kuroda pitch that got past catcher Russell Martin.
Martin scrambled back to retrieve the ball and flipped to Kuroda covering home and the right-hander applied the tag for the final out of the inning.
Rivera notched his fifth save of the season as he made his 1,051st appearance to move into eighth place on the all-time Major League Baseball list, passing former reliever Kent Tekulve.
Hammel took the loss, dropping to 3-1, while the Yankees improved to 13-9 for the season.
(Editing by Peter Rutherford)