August 17, 2006

Yankees routed at home

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Nick Markakis homered and drove in
four runs as the Baltimore Orioles routed the New York Yankees
12-2 in American League play Thursday at Yankee Stadium.

Brian Roberts led off the game with a home run and Fernando
Tatis also homered for the Orioles, who handed the Yankees
their second straight loss on the eve of New York's five-game
weekend series with the Boston Red Sox.

The NL East leaders will now carry just a 1- game lead
into the big series, which opens Friday with a day/night
doubleheader at Fenway Park.

"The spoiler role doesn't matter," Roberts told reporters.

"It just feels good to play well, to win. It's not like we
have a preference of who wins the East.

"Whatever. I think it's more about us, trying to play
better trying to finish well. I think that's the most important

The Orioles scored three runs in both the third and fourth
innings and added five runs in the sixth to turn the game into
a rout, giving them two of three games in the series and seven
wins in their last 12 games against the Yankees.

Baltimore only had nine hits, with Miguel Tejada, Tatis,
Roberts and Markaris all contributing a pair of hits to the
attack. Roberts and Markaris also both scored three times.

Jay Gibbins two-run single in the third inning drove in the
go-ahead runs as the Orioles got to a wild Yankees starter
Jaret Wright early.

Wright (9-7) allowed five runs on just two hits in
three-plus innings, but he walked four and all four of them
scored, while striking out two, to take the loss.

Rodrigo Lopez pitched seven strong innings for the Orioles,
as the Yankees managed just seven hits after a pair of early
home runs put them in front 2-1 after two innings.

Lopez (9-12) allowed two runs on six hits with eight
strikeouts and one walk. Russ Ortiz and Bruce Chen finished up
with a scoreless inning of relief each.

Johnny Damon hit a solo homer in the first inning to tie
the game and another solo shot by Robinson Cano in the second
put New York ahead. But that was it for the Yankee production
the rest of the afternoon, much to the chagrin of the sell-out
crowd of 54,333 fans.

Damon had three hits for the Yankees.

In Chicago, Paul Konerko's RBI double in the eighth inning
gave the White Sox a 5-4 win over the Kansas City Royals,
allowing the defending World Series champions to salvage a
split of their four-game series.

The AL wild card leaders struggled with the Royals, who
have the worst record in the major leagues, before finally
hanging on to snap a two-game skid.

Mark Buehrle (10-10) allowed two runs on six hits over six
innings for the win, striking out three and walking three.
Bobby Jenks allowed a run on two hits but managed to get the
last four outs for his 34th save.

Pablo Ozuna and Jermaine Dye homered for the White Sox, who
had just six hits, including two each by Ozuna and Konerko.

Odalis Perez (0-1) took the loss for the Royals, allowing
four runs on five hits in seven innings. He struck out six and
walked one.

Emil Brown, Mark Teahen and David DeJesus all homered for
the Royals.

Chicago now leads the AL wild card race by two games over
the Minnesota Twins, who lost 3-2 to the Cleveland Indians.

(Writing by Roger Lajoie in Montreal)