NEW YORK – Brian Matusz won his fourth straight start and Brian Roberts hit a go-ahead single in the seventh inning off struggling A.J. Burnett, leading the Baltimore Orioles to a rare 4-3 win over the New York Yankees on Monday.
Alex Rodriguez homered and drove in two runs to reach 100 RBIs for the 13th straight season and record 14th time overall. He surpassed Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Jimmie Foxx, who each reached 100 RBIs 13 times.
New York lost its second in a row following a season-high, eight-game winning streak. Baltimore had been 0-6 at Yankee Stadium this year and had lost 17 of 19 games in the Bronx coming in, but the AL-worst Orioles came to New York for the first time under Buck Showalter and won their third in a row, improving to 20-13 under their new manager.
New York, still a major league-best 86-52, began the day 2½ games in front of second-place Tampa Bay in the AL East and leads after play on Labor Day for the 41st time, according to STATS LLC. The Yankees have failed to finish first only twice in those years, in 1906 and 1944.
Matusz (8-12) allowed three runs and five hits in six innings, beating the Yankees for the first time in four decisions against New York this season.
Burnett (10-13) lost for the fifth time in six decisions, giving up four runs, seven hits and four walks in seven innings. Burnett and CC Sabathia, New York's scheduled starter Tuesday, entered the series a combined 24-4 against Baltimore.
Josh Bell doubled leading off the third, with Brett Gardner trying for an outstanding leaping grab in left-center only to allow the ball to pop free when his glove hit the field. After Roberts' single, Felix Pie hit into a run-scoring double-play grounder.
Rodriguez's first homer in 12 at-bats against Matusz tied the score in the fourth. The drive off the back wall of the visiting bullpen in left-center gave Rodriguez 22 homers this season and 605 overall.
Roberts' run-scoring single gave Baltimore a 2-1 lead in the fifth.
New York put runners on second and third with two outs in the bottom half, and third baseman Josh Bell made a nice sliding pickup on Jeter's grounder before throwing to first for the out. Matt Wieters added a sacrifice fly in the sixth.
Nick Swisher walked leading off the bottom half, with Matusz going to a 3-0 count for the first time in the game. Rodriguez's sacrifice fly tied the score, and Robinson Cano hit a catchable short pop near the left-field line that fell past Pie, the left fielder, and shortstop Cesar Izturis for a single on the sunny afternoon. Roberts' two-out RBI single in the seventh put the Orioles back ahead 4-3.
Albers walked pinch-hitter Lance Berkman leading off the bottom half. Gardner fouled off two sacrifice attempts, then struck out, and Wieters threw out pinch-runner Greg Golson trying to steal second.
NOTES: Orioles OF Adam Jones, out of the starting lineup since aggravating a left shoulder injury Wednesday, could return Tuesday. ... Baltimore had two runners thrown out stretching and grounded into two double plays. ... Swisher started for the first time since leaving Thursday's game against Oakland because of a stiff left knee. ... Swisher went 0 for 2 against Matusz, dropping to 0 for 14 against him.