NEW YORK (AP) — Resting several stars in the opener of a day-night doubleheader, the New York Yankees enjoyed watching all those fill-ins bring home a win.
Nick Swisher had three hits, including a two-run homer, and New York backed Bartolo Colon with plenty of production from the bottom of the lineup to beat the Baltimore Orioles 8-3 on Saturday.
Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson and Mariano Rivera sat this one out. In their place, Eric Chavez, Chris Dickerson and Cory Wade came through.
“I think that we feel extremely confident regardless of who we put out there,” Swisher said. “For them to go out and play the way that they did, man, you couldn’t be more happy for those guys.”
Six players drove in at least one run for the Yankees. The final five hitters in the lineup combined to go 10 for 19 with six RBIs and six runs scored.
“We expect all our guys to hit, but the bottom of the order did a lot of damage today,” manager Joe Girardi said. “It’s always nice when everyone’s contributing.”
Swisher also doubled and singled to pace a Yankees offense missing Jeter, Granderson and Russell Martin. All three All-Stars were rested in a game that began about 13 hours after last-place Baltimore finished off a rain-delayed 4-2 win Friday night.
The nightcap was set for 7:05 p.m. to make up an April 12 rainout. Zach Britton was scheduled to face New York rookie Ivan Nova, with both starting pitchers returning from the minors.
Brett Gardner had a two-run single for the Yankees, who improved to 7-1 in the season series. They have outscored Baltimore 61-25, though three of the games went to extra innings.
Colon (8-6) has won consecutive outings following a three-start losing streak. The husky right-hander labored through five innings under a hot sun, throwing 105 pitches while wriggling out of three jams.
“All I’ve got to do is keep working hard and keep fighting to put up some good numbers in the second half,” Colon said through a translator.
Wade worked three strong innings in relief, allowing only a solo homer to Mark Reynolds. Boone Logan finished up with a scoreless ninth.
Baltimore recalled touted prospect Chris Tillman from Triple-A Norfolk to make the start and he looked sharp early before fading fast.
With the score tied at 2, Tillman (2-4) issued a leadoff walk to Robinson Cano in the fourth and fell behind Swisher 2-0. Swisher sent a drive to right for his 13th homer, giving New York the lead for good. No. 9 batter Francisco Cervelli added an RBI single.
After making 35 pitches through three innings, Tillman doubled that total in the fourth. It was his first big league start since May 27 at Oakland.
“It’s been a long two months,” said Tillman, expected to be optioned back to the minors after the game. “It’s a work in
progress. It won’t change overnight.”
In the fifth, a tough throwing error on rookie second baseman Blake Davis led to three unearned runs.
Swisher’s one-out double chased Tillman, and Chavez greeted lefty reliever Troy Patton with an RBI single. Jorge Posada drove in a run with a groundout, and Dickerson’s single made it 8-2.
“When they get their opportunity to shine, you’re excited for ’em,” Swisher said about Dickerson and Cervelli.
Tillman got off to an impressive start. He retired his first six batters, striking out four, before the bottom of the lineup got New York going in the third.
“Those first couple of innings, that’s as good as I’ve seen him come out with his fastball, attacking hitters. It was encouraging, but it kind of got away from him. It was frustrating. There was a better outing for him to be had,” Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. “It’s frustrating for us because he’s close to putting together a real deep outing, and I thought he was going to those first two innings.”
Cervelli’s ground-rule double put runners on second and third.
With Reynolds playing in at third to guard against a bunt, Gardner slapped a sharp grounder toward the line that deflected off Reynolds’ glove for a two-run single.
Reynolds singled to start a two-run fourth, when Baltimore got RBI groundouts from Craig Tatum and J.J. Hardy.
Later in the inning, Adam Jones’ foul ball hit plate umpire Tim Welke flush in the mask. Welke staggered backward but regained his balance — with help from Cervelli — and remained in the game.
Colon struck out Jones on a full-count slider with runners at second and third to end a 35-pitch fourth. The 2005 AL Cy Young Award winner also fanned Reynolds with the bases loaded to escape unscathed in the first.
Reynolds hit his 23rd homer in the eighth.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)