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Yankees eye series win over Orioles

Two teams fighting for second place in the hotly contested American League East will square off again on Saturday when the Baltimore Orioles clash with the New York Yankees.

Vernon Wells hit a walk-off RBI single to lift the Yankees to a 3-2 victory over the Orioles on Friday. The game-winning hit came just one batter after Travis Hafner walked with the bases loaded to tie the game at 2-2.

Wells was 2-for-5 in the contest and Ivan Nova pitched a complete game, allowing two runs on three hits while striking out 11 to get the win. The Yankees, who are just a half-game back of the Orioles for second place in the division, have won five straight.

Jim Johnson blew his MLB-leading sixth save of the season to take the loss for Baltimore, which wasted a strong effort from starter Miguel Gonzalez. Gonzalez held the Yanks to a run and four hits in six innings.

Matt Wieters hit a two-run home run in the second inning to account for the only runs of the game for Baltimore, which has lost three of its last four.

Making his second start against the Yankees in the last week will be Chris Tillman. The right-hander earned his 10th win of the season last Sunday when he tossed six innings of two-run ball against New York in Baltimore.

The win was the sixth in as many outings for Tillman, who has not dropped a decision since May 19. Tillman has also struck out at least five batters in four of his last six starts, including the six K's he had last Sunday against the Yankees.

Overall, Tillman is a stellar 10-2 on the campaign with an ERA of 3.68 as he continues to build of his solid effort a year ago when he went 9-3 with a 2.93 ERA in 15 starts.

Tillman has not has sustained much success in his career against the Yankees. He has split six decisions over eight starts while holding an ERA that sits at a lofty 7.27 when facing the Yankees.

Taking the mound for the Yankees on Saturday will be Andy Pettitte. The 41- year-old veteran has posted average numbers this season with a record of 5-6 and an ERA of 4.40. The left-hander has struggled with his last three decisions ending in losses.

Over his last four starts, Pettitte has allowed at least three earned runs in each outing, including his most recent start when he allowed four runs on six hits in five innings of work against Minnesota. Pettitte did not factor in that decision as the Yankees' bats picked him up to score 10 runs en route to a victory.

Pettitte has yet to face the Orioles this season but he does not lack for experience during his career against them. Pettitte is 27-6 with a 3.52 ERA in 42 games (40 starts) against the O's.

Baltimore had won five straight against the Yankees before Friday. New York has won only four of the 10 matchups this season.