Sergio Mitre earned his first win in two years, Robinson Cano hit a two-run homer and the surging Yankees beat the Baltimore Orioles 6-4 on Tuesday night for their fifth straight victory.
Alex Rodriguez had a key two-run single. The Yankees are a major league-best 43-22 since Rodriguez came off the disabled list May 8 following hip surgery.
The Yankees improved to a season-best 19 games over .500 and took a one-game lead in the AL East over Boston, which lost to Texas.
Mitre, who was called up from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre before the game, allowed four runs, three earned, and eight hits over 5 2/3 innings in his first major league start since Sept. 15, 2007. It was his first win since July 29, 2007.
After winning each of the last three games 2-1 for the first time in franchise history, the Yankees raced out to a 6-2 lead in the fourth. Rodriguez picked up two RBIs with a two-out single off Rich Hill in the third and Cano went deep after Nick Swisher led off the fourth with a walk.
Johnny Damon added an RBI single to finish the scoring in New York’s three-run fourth.
Alfredo Aceves then came in the 6th inning and got Matt Wieters to fly out to end the inning. Aceves also worked a perfect seventh, Phil Coke pitched the eighth and Mariano Rivera got three outs for his 27th save in 28 opportunities.
AJ Burnett will take the mound for the Bombers Wednesday at 1:05 p.m. as they go for their seventh straight win against the O’s. The Yanks last lost to the O’s on May 9.