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BAL@NYY: Yanks set franchise record with 12-run first

NEW YORK -- In the first inning of the second game of Saturday's split doubleheader, the Yankees scored more runs than they did in Game 1. Each starter recorded at least one hit and scored at least one run, with Robinson Cano getting two of each.

And from the home dugout, with a front-row view of the most productive opening frame in his club's 110-year history, starter Ivan Nova witnessed more fireworks in 40 minutes than he had in a nearly month-long stint in the Minors.

The Yankees scored a franchise-record 12 runs in the first inning, setting the tone for their 17-3 win over the Orioles, their second win of the day following an 8-3 victory hours earlier that featured the Yankees' last five batters recording 10 hits, the same number the New York lineup recorded in Game 2's first inning.

Chris Dickerson, who had two of those hits, was not a part of Saturday night's display, having been optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre before the game to make room for Nova.

Entering the game with a 8-4 record and 4.12 ERA, Nova got off to a rocky start, laboring through a 30-pitch first inning that saw him load the bases with two outs before Brett Gardner made a diving catch on a Matt Wieters fly ball to left, saving multiple runs.

The man who took the hill after Nova, Zach Britton, was not as fortunate.

In a 70-pitch, 40-minute, 16-batter frame, the southpaw retired just one of the first 10 batters he faced, giving up nine runs (six earned) on seven hits, walking one while throwing 43 pitches. He did not get much help from his defense, which recorded a pair of errors.

"It's tough," Britton said. "It's tough to swallow. I mean, the game is over in the first inning, so as a position player, I can only imagine what they are thinking. They know there is no way that we are going to win this game, most likely."

Reliever Jason Berken did not fare much better, giving up three runs on three hits, the biggest coming on a two-run homer from Nick Swisher that made it 12-0.

Swisher's blast, his 14th of the season, was his second of the day. It gave the Yankees their most runs in any inning since a 13-run eighth against the Rays on June 21, 2005. The Yankees finished two shy of their franchise record of 14 runs in one inning, set on July 6, 1920, in the fifth inning at Washington.

"I think it was a great day for the Bombers, no doubt," said Swisher. "It's just one of those things, especially [since we lost the series opener on Friday night], you definitely want to come out and make a statement, and I think that we did that today. I thought that we played great from everyone, from one to nine hitters all day long, starting pitching, [the] bullpen guys did such a tremendous job. So when we got our pitchers doing their thing, it makes it a little easier on our offense."

"It's good when you have run support," said Nova, who did some running to stay loose during the long opening frame. "At the beginning I was like, 'C'mon, let's get 'em on, let's get more runs.' But once the inning started getting long, I said, 'OK, that's enough already,' because I don't want to get cold. But it was good."

Eduardo Nunez led off the second with a triple and scored on a groundout before Cano's third hit through two innings -- a two-run double -- made it 15-0. Cano finished the game a career-high 5-for-5 and was replaced by Francisco Cervelli after his RBI double in the sixth made it 17-2.

Curtis Granderson added four hits, Mark Teixeira and Swisher each had three, and every Yankees starter other than Gardner recorded at least two, though none with as much authority as Andruw Jones.

Jones' first-inning RBI double hit the top of the wall in left-center, and he left no doubt his third time up, crushing a homer to left to lead off the third and make it 16-1.

Nova, making his first start with the Yankees since July 1, against the Mets, struck out six over seven innings, needing just 68 pitches to get through innings two through seven.

Luis Ayala and Rafael Soriano pitched the eighth and ninth, respectively, with Soriano retiring all three batters he faced while striking out two in his first outing since a two-month stint on the disabled list with inflammation in his right shoulder.

Nova's only troubles came whenever Vladimir Guerrero stepped to the plate. The 36-year-old veteran hit an RBI double and a solo home run off Nova, two of his three hits off the right-hander on a night he recorded four hits.

Nova was very pleased with his outing, as it came on the heels of a shaky rebound from Phil Hughes off the disabled list. With Hughes' struggles and Nova's surprising consistency, the race for the No. 5 spot in the rotation could be heating up.

Manager Joe Girardi, for his part, will hold off on making a decision until it is necessary.

"I'm going to go home and sleep," Girardi said after his team's 25-run, 35-hit, two-win day. "That's what I'm prepared to do." Comments