Baltimore, MD – Derek Jeter was 4-for-4, Ivan Nova struck out seven batters in seven innings and the New York Yankees topped the Baltimore Orioles, 6-2, on Monday night for their first win of the season.
The Yankees, swept in a three-game series at Tampa Bay to begin the season, avoided their first 0-4 start since 1973 despite giving up 13 hits in the opener of this three-game set.
Nova (1-0) surrendered two runs and 10 hits, but didn't issue a walk and got out of numerous jams, while Andruw Jones hit a solo homer in the victory.
Matt Wieters was 4-for-4 with a solo shot for the Orioles, who suffered their first loss after sweeping a three-game series against Minnesota to open the season.
Brian Matusz (0-1) threw 96 pitches in just four innings and gave up four runs on six hits and four walks to take the loss.
The Yankees, trying to avoid their worst start in almost 40 years, jumped on the Orioles starter early.
Jeter singled and Alex Rodriguez walked in the first inning before Mark Teixeira knocked Jeter in with a base hit to right-center, giving the Yanks a 1-0 lead.
Wieters tied the game in the second for Baltimore, driving Nova's 2-0 pitch over the wall in right for his second homer of the season.
Both teams wasted chances in the third. Jeter and Robinson Cano singled, but the Orioles escaped the jam after Rodriguez struck out and Jeter was caught stealing third base. Baltimore then stranded Robert Andino at second base after a leadoff double.
"We gave up some hits, but we got some big outs when we needed to," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi.
Back-to-back walks by Curtis Granderson and Jones with one out in the fourth sparked a three-run Yankees rally. Granderson scored on Russell Martin's single, Jones came home on Eduardo Nunez's sac fly and Jeter added an RBI double to make it 4-1.
Nunez made a leaping catch on Wilson Betemit's sharp liner in between third and short in the bottom of the fourth -- an inning-ending grab that stranded Wieters at second base after a double.
Darren O'Day threw a 1-2-3 fifth inning for the Orioles, retiring Rodriguez, Teixeira and Granderson, but Jones sent his first pitch of the sixth over the left field wall for his 421st career homer, making it 5-1 New York.
In the seventh, Granderson hit a two-out double off Troy Patton and scored on Brett Gardner's single to give the Yankees a 6-1 lead. The Orioles cut it to 6-2 in the bottom of the inning after Betemit hit a leadoff double and scored on Chris Davis' sliced two-base hit to left field.
David Robertson stranded two Orioles on base in the eighth inning and Mariano Rivera left a man on second in the ninth.
Nova went 16-4 with a 3.70 ERA last season, but had a rough spring. He threw 65 of his 92 pitches for strikes...Matusz was coming off a 1-9 season with a 10.69 ERA.