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Orioles seek rare sweep at Yankee Stadium

Zach Britton tries to pitch the Baltimore Orioles to their first three-game sweep in the Bronx in more than 26 years this afternoon when they conclude their set with the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium.

Baltimore narrowed its deficit in the American League East to 5 1/2 games on Tuesday, as Chris Davis highlighted a seven-run second inning with a grand slam and the Orioles rolled to an 11-5 win.

Nick Markakis, Omar Quintanilla and Wilson Betemit knocked in two runs apiece for the Orioles, who have won three in a row on the heels of a 1-5 stretch.

A win today would give the O's their first three-game sweep in the Bronx since June 6-8, 1986 and also give them five wins in a season there for the first time since 1997.

New York jumped on Baltimore starter Chris Tillman (4-1) for five runs in the first inning on Tuesday, but the right-hander settled down and held the Yankees scoreless over the next four frames before giving way to the bullpen.

Yankees starter Ivan Nova (10-5) was victimized for a career-high nine runs on 10 hits over five innings.

New York has matched a season high with four straight losses and has dropped nine of 12 overall.

"We're not stressing," the Yankees' Nick Swisher said. "We just have to come out here, keep continuing to pound, to grind and basically win some ball games."

Today for Baltimore it will be Britton, who has made three starts for the Orioles this season and is 1-0 with a 5.74 ERA. He was banged around his last time out on Friday against Oakland, which battered him for six runs in 5 2/3 innings, but did not get a decision in his team's 14-9 loss.

"I told myself to try to go as deep in the game as I could," Britton said.

In his two no decisions he's allowed 10 runs in 9 2/3 frames.

Britton has faced the Yankees four times and is 1-1 with a 4.66 ERA.

New York, meanwhile, will counter with righty Phil Hughes, who won for the first time in four starts on Friday. Hughes held the Boston Red Sox to three runs and five hits - 3 home runs - in seven innings of that one, as he improved to 10-8 to go along with a 4.08 ERA.

"I tend to overthrow a little bit sometimes, especially early in the game," Hughes said afterward. "I've talked about it before, just trying to settle those nerves and be smart out there from pitch No. 1. I'll continue to work on that."

Hughes lost to the O's earlier in the year and is 4-3 lifetime against them with a 5.34 ERA in 14 games (11 starts).

Baltimore has split its 10 matchups with the Yankees this season, but is 4-1 in the Bronx.