BALTIMORE (AP) - The New York Yankees got a solid performance from starter Phil Hughes, Travis Hafner drove in a pair of runs and the bullpen permitted only three hits over the final four innings.
Throw in the fact that New York scored first, and the formula seemed perfect for a victory.
Not this time.
Nate McLouth led off the bottom of the 10th with a home run off Vidal Nuno, and the Baltimore Orioles snapped a six-game skid with a 3-2 victory Tuesday night.
Former Yankee Chris Dickerson hit two solo homers and Baltimore pitchers retired 21 of the final 22 New York batters.
``I think our guys swung the bats well,' said Vernon Wells, who doubled in a run. ``The numbers just didn't show up for us.'
New York led 1-0 in the first inning but lost for the first time when scoring first. The Yankees came in with a 19-0 record in that situation.
``We have to do a better job of adding on when we do score runs early,' Wells said.
McLouth hit a 1-1 pitch from Nuno (1-1) into the bleachers in right-center to give the Orioles their first win since May 12.
``It was supposed to be a cutter away,' the left-hander said. ``It felt a little bit off and he took advantage of it. One pitch and it cost us the game. Got to forget about it and get ready to pitch tomorrow.'
Wells said of Nuno: ``I think if you ask him he'd love to be in that situation. I think everybody does. You make a mistake and that's what hitters are supposed to do, make you pay for those mistakes. And he did.'
Jim Johnson (2-4), who blew three save opportunities during the six-game skid, got three straight outs in the 10th. He wasn't as much interested in personal gratification as helping his team get a victory.
``It was good to get out there,' he said, ``but nothing that happened today was about me.'
It was more about Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez, who pitched seven solid innings, and Dickerson, who connected off Hughes in the third and fifth innings - the first two-homer game of his career.
Hughes allowed two runs and five hits in six innings. Coming off a horrid start against Seattle in which the right-hander yielded seven runs and got only two outs, Hughes kept the Orioles in check - except for Dickerson.
``He's a good fastball hitter. I got into situations where I had to throw him a fastball,' Hughes said. ``Two pitches right over the plate a little bit, and he did what he's trying to do. Overall, though, I felt like it was pretty good.'
Gonzalez gave up two runs and five hits over seven innings, striking out five and walking none. The right-hander came off the disabled list before the game following an 18-day absence with a blister on his right thumb.
``Gonzalez threw a great game,' Wells said. ``He was effective.'
New York got a first-inning run when Brett Gardner doubled and scored on a two-out single by Hafner. Dickerson tied it with a drive to right-center on a 3-2 pitch.
The Yankees quickly moved back in front. Wells led off the fourth with a double and Hafner followed with an RBI single.
Dickerson's second homer of the game, leading off the fifth, made it 2-all.
Gonzalez retired 11 straight batters before David Adams singled with two outs in the seventh. Lance Nix followed with a liner that right fielder Nick Markakis snagged with a dive.
NOTES: RHP Hiroki Kuroda will start for New York on Wednesday night in the finale of the three-game series. The Orioles will start Jason Hammel, who is 0-2 with a 7.79 ERA in three home starts. ... Yankees manager Joe Girardi said SS Derek Jeter (left ankle) ``is not really doing anything yet' and LHP Andy Pettitte (strained trapezius muscle) has not starting throwing. ... Orioles C Matt Wieters turned 27 on Tuesday. ... To clear a roster spot for Gonzalez, the Orioles optioned RHP Jair Jurrjens to Triple-A Norfolk. Jurrjens started one game for Baltimore, receiving a no-decision Saturday against Tampa Bay.
The Associated Press News Service
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