Burres dominates Yankees in win
Allows one run on four hits, strikes out seven over six
BALTIMORE -- Every time you count him out, Brian Burres gives you a reason to reconsider. The southpaw swingman had 11 days between outings but still buoyed the Orioles through the early innings with a dominant performance on Saturday night, holding them high enough to withstand a late charge from the Yankees in a 7-5 victory.
New York scored four times in the ninth inning and pushed another runner to second base, but the Orioles (49-54) held on to tie their longest win streak (six games) and win their third straight series for the first time all year.
They also won their eighth straight home game for the first time since 2003 and moved to five games under .500 for the first time since June 10.
"The good thing about this team right now is it's not only one guy trying to do everything," said shortstop Miguel Tejada, who drove in four runs. "It's everybody. Everybody is trying to do something for the team. You see the bullpen do a great job.
"The lineup did a good job. That's what we need. I think if we keep it like this, we're going to win a lot of games."
Despite the team theme, Burres (5-4) made it all possible by handcuffing the Yankees for most of the night. The rookie struck out seven and allowed seven baserunners, but only three of them reached scoring position.
Burres threw shutout ball for six innings and didn't allow a run until the seventh, when Hideki Matsui hit a solo home run. Baltimore had a 3-1 lead at that point and went on to score twice more in the bottom half of the frame.
Burres has now racked up a 4.88 ERA in his first 12 starts this season. He has been pushed into and out of the rotation several times this season, and has allowed more than four earned runs on just two occasions.
"It's just fun coming in and winning," Burres said, dismissing the perils of pitching once every two weeks. "Everybody's having a good time and playing real well, and we just want to keep the ball rolling as long as we can."
"Burres has had some good games for us this year," added interim manager Dave Trembley, who improved to 20-14 as field boss. "He gets better as the game goes on. I thought the big play in the game was the strike-him-out, throw-him-out [double play] to end the [sixth] inning. His breaking ball was real good."
Burres held the Yankees to two hits in the first six innings, handily outdueling Roger Clemens (3-5). The seven-time Cy Young Award winner fell behind in the first inning on a two-run double by Tejada and allowed a run-scoring single by Nick Markakis in the fifth. He was also charged with two runs in the seventh.
"We need as many [runs] as you can get," said Tejada. "In this game, you never feel like you have enough. We played one of the best teams in baseball. You never feel comfortable, no matter how many runs you have."
New York (55-49) allowed two more runs in the eighth inning, but there was still plenty of game left to play. The Yankees hit rookie reliever Cory Doyne all over the park, reaching him for five hits before he could record an out. The big shot was a two-run homer by Jorge Posada, and Doyne allowed three more hits before he left the game.
Baltimore then turned to Jamie Walker, who got a double play from the first batter he faced. One single later, Walker got Bobby Abreu to strike out, ending the game with premier slugger Alex Rodriguez standing in the on-deck circle. Rodriguez, who stands one home run shy of 500 for his career, went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in the loss.
"At that point I didn't want to get A-Rod up there with all the hoopla," said Walker, who earned his third save in as many chances since closer Chris Ray was hurt. "We got him out. The way they were hitting, who knows, he may have hit one in the bay. I definitely didn't want to get him up there."
The Orioles improved to 6-2 against New York, which is notable when you consider that Baltimore has won this season series just once in the last 17 years.
Yankees manager Joe Torre can sense a different swagger from the O's.
"He's got them playing an upbeat game," Torre said of Trembley's stewardship. "You can see they enjoy doing it. Unfortunately, it's against us. They're certainly playing a better brand of baseball."
But the last word belonged to Walker, the man who got the last out. Even though the Yankees got the tying run to the plate twice against him, he was determined not to give in and throw a pitch he'd regret later. The southpaw specialist said that Abreu made the final out on what was a hittable pitch, but it was one that Walker termed aggressive.
"My thought process is to throw strikes, and if you're going to get beat, get beat," he said. "But I definitely didn't want to give in to him. You can't make any mistakes with that lineup over there. One through nine, they can go big fly at any time. They kind of woke up there at the end. Hopefully, it [doesn't] carry over tomorrow. Hopefully, we'll silence them."
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.