BALTIMORE -- Johnny Damon had an outstanding day at the plate, scoring four runs and collecting three hits and two RBIs to help the New York Yankees end a three-game skid.
Yet, it was a defensive gem by the left fielder in yesterday's 10-6 victory over the Baltimore Orioles that drew the most praise.
Baltimore had cut a 4-0 lead in half and had runners at the corners with two outs in the fourth inning when Damon sprinted far to his left to snare a rising liner by Brian Roberts and end the threat.
Had the ball dropped in, Baltimore would have pulled even and had the potential go-ahead run at second. Instead, the Orioles, who won three straight before losing the continuation of a suspended game Friday, never led.
Damon, who usually plays center field, said: "I just had to get used to the angles out there. I've been working hard, trying to figure out how the ball is going to spin off the hitter's bat. Fortunately, today I was able to run down a ball at a critical time in the game."
New York's Alex Rodriguez, seeking his 500th home run, went 0 for 2 with a run-scoring grounder and three walks. Since hitting No. 499 Wednesday in Kansas City, Rodriguez is 0 for 12.
Derek Jeter went 2 for 3 with two walks. He now has 7,218 at-bats, passing Babe Ruth for fifth on the Yankees' career list, but left the game in the eighth inning with a sore shoulder -- the result of a play at the plate six innings earlier.
Chien-Ming Wang (12-5) gave up three runs and nine hits in six innings to help New York pull within four of the wild-card lead and eight games of Boston in the American League East. He is 5-1 in his last six starts.