J.J. Hardy and Adam Jones each clubbed three-run homers as the Baltimore Orioles scored seven times in the seventh inning to rally for a 7-3 victory over the New York Yankees.
After going scoreless for a stretch of 18 consecutive innings, Baltimore's offense erupted against the New York bullpen in the deciding seventh to enable the Orioles to avoid a sweep in this key three-game series and move back in front of their AL East rivals in the wild card standings.
"This team's gonna grind," said Jones. "This win is huge, and we need to continue to grind."
Baltimore's relievers did their part as well, with four pitchers combining for five scoreless innings after starter Wei-Yin Chen struggled through the first four. Kevin Gausman (2-3) fanned three over two near-spotless frames to record the win.
Both Hardy and Jones finished with two hits and a run scored for Baltimore, as did the newly acquired Michael Morse, Danny Valencia and Brian Roberts.
The Yankees had a six-game home winning streak snapped after the relief corps squandered a strong effort from Andy Pettitte, who took a shutout into the seventh inning but was removed after allowing back-to-back singles by Morse and Valencia. Shawn Kelley (4-2) served up Hardy's go-ahead blast and was saddled with the loss.
Brett Gardner and Eduardo Nunez each went 2-for-4 with a run scored to pace New York offensively.
Pettitte had yielded just five singles prior to Morse and Valencia beginning the pivotal seventh with consecutive hits, prompting Yankees manager Joe Girardi to summon Kelley into the game to try to protect a 3-0 lead.
"He's a first-ballot Hall of Famer to me," said Jones of Pettitte. "He's 41, 42 years old and still going out there and carving hitters up, breaking bats."
Kelley was greeted by a Matt Wieters single that knocked in Morse, right before Hardy drove a first-pitch fastball into the bleachers in right to send Baltimore in front.
The Orioles weren't finished. A bunt single by Roberts and a walk to Nick Markakis against Boone Logan put two more aboard for Jones, who crushed a Joba Chamberlain offering into the monuments behind center field to extend the margin to 7-3.
"You can't second-guess going to our bullpen," said Pettitte afterward. "We've got the best bullpen in the league as far as I'm concerned. It [just] wasn't a good day for them."
New York mustered just two singles over the remaining three innings, but took advantage of Chen's wildness to stake Pettitte to a three-run advantage early on.
Chen was able to work out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the first by coming up with key strikeouts of Robinson Cano and Vernon Wells, but was touched for the game's first run in the third. Gardner led off the Yankees' half of the inning with his second double of the day and was brought home on Alfonso Soriano's two-out single to center.
The Baltimore lefty then lost his command of the zone in the fourth. Chen issued three walks, including one to Gardner with the bases loaded, around an Nunez double, with Derek Jeter following the final free pass with a sacrifice fly that put New York up by a 3-0 count.
Chen walked five in all while picking up five strikeouts in his four innings of work.
Morse was playing his first game with the Orioles since being acquired from Seattle for minor league outfielder Xavier Avery on Friday ... Alex Rodriguez returned to the Yankees' lineup after being scratched from Saturday's game with flu-like symptoms, but went 0-for-3 ... Jeter and Cano combined to go 0- for-9 with six strikeouts ... Baltimore designated backup catcher Taylor Teagarden for assignment prior to the contest, with the club selecting the contract of Chris Snyder from Triple-A Norfolk to fill that role ... New York stranded 10 baserunners and finished 1-for-10 with men in scoring position.