Yankees survive late push by Orioles

Man, did Carlos Beltran ever need that. The slumping slugger with the .187 batting average entering Friday night’s Yankees-Orioles game came through big-time in the third inning with a bases-loaded double to pad the Bombers’ lead to 5-0.

It was a good hitting situation for Beltran. The Yanks had the bases loaded with two out. When the count went to 3-2, there was a chance for a merry-go-round dash if Beltran could find a gap, which he did with a hard line drive to right-center field. Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner scored easily on the hit. Brian McCann, who is nowhere near their league as a base burner, gave it the old college try in attempting to score from first base but was thrown out at the plate with catcher counterpart Chad Joseph making a nice swipe tag.

Ellsbury, Gardner and McCann had combined to give the Yankees a 3-0 lead in the first inning off Miguel Gonzalez. The jack rabbits at the top of the order got things started again as they seem to do almost every night. Ellsbury beat out an infield single (11-game hitting streak), and Gardner doubled to left.

Alex Rodriguez scored Ellsbury with a fly ball to center. After Mark Teixeira lined out for the second out, Gonzalez fell behind 3-0 in the count and served up a meatball to McCann, who drove it into the right field seats for his third home run of the season. Mac has hit 25 homers since joining the Yankees last year, and 21 of them have come at Yankee Stadium.

Adam Warren was coasting along until the fifth inning when the Orioles made their first move thanks to a pair of walks to start the inning. Both runners subsequently scored on a single by Manny Machado and a fielder’s choice. Justin Wilson came in to get the last out of the inning, which removed Warren from consideration for a winning decision.

That left it up to official scorer Jordan Sprechman to decide which reliever was deserving of the victory if the Yankees maintained the lead, which got dicey in the sixth when Jimmy Paredes drove in two runs with a two-out single off Chris Martin.

Sprechman’s choice correctly was Dellin Betances, who got the last out of the seventh and followed that with a 1-2-3 eighth. His record went to 4-0 after Andrew Miller earned his 13th save with a perfect ninth.

The Yankees maintained their three-game lead in the American League East while the Orioles, last year’s division winners, lost their fourth straight game in New York this week to stay in last place.

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