David Newhan set career highs with four hits and three RBIs, and Baltimore emphatically ended its lengthy skid against the Yankees with a 13-2 victory Wednesday night.
Miguel Tejada homered and drove in four runs for the Orioles, who had lost nine straight against New York, including seven games this year by a combined 70-35 score.
It marked the first time Mazzilli, a former coach with the Yankees, got the best of his mentor, New York manager Joe Torre.
“It’s good to break the ice,” Mazzilli said. “To be honest, you don’t want to keep losing. After last week, getting a win right now no matter we play is crucial.”
It was only the second win in 10 games for the last-place Orioles, who cranked up the music in the clubhouse after getting a season-high 17 hits. Two newcomers played key roles in the win. Newhan, signed as a free agent Friday after being released by Texas, went 4-for-5 and is 9-for-16 in his five games with the Orioles.
He’s been subbing for third baseman Melvin Mora, who is on the brink of returning from a foot injury. But Mazzilli intends to find a place for Newhan and his torrid bat.
“Oh yeah, when a guy’s hitting .600, you’re going to find a way,” Mazzilli said.
Baltimore lost the lead in five of its seven previous games against New York, and this one appeared headed in the same direction when the Yankees loaded the bases with no outs in the sixth against rookie Erik Bedard with the score 7-2.
Making his first appearance since being obtained Monday night in a trade with the Kansas City Royals, right-hander Jason Grimsley struck out Ruben Sierra and Tony Clark before Miguel Cairo bounced out to second.
After leaving to a standing ovation, the sinkerball specialist pulled off a sufficient encore by working a perfect seventh.
“It’s always nice when you do your job, but to do it in this ballpark against that team in front of these fans, it makes it that much better,” said Grimsley, who pitched for New York in 1999 and 2000.
Baltimore pulled away by scoring four runs in the bottom of the inning. Tejada hit his 12th homer, a two-run shot, in the eighth.
“A loss like this is easier to deal with because you can’t find one particular thing to blame it on,” Torre said. “We came away empty with the bases loaded. Hopefully we got everything out of the way in one game and we’ll get something started tomorrow.”
Bedard (2-2) allowed seven hits and one earned run in five-plus innings. He was 0-1 in five starts since earning his first major league win on May 19 in Seattle.
The Yankees had won nine in a row and were 19-3 this season against left-handed starters.
New York starter Jon Lieber (5-5) gave up a season-high seven runs, five earned, in 3 2-3 innings. He allowed 11 hits in his shortest outing of the year.
“The bottom line is I know I’m much better than this,” the right-hander said. “It’s definitely embarrassing. I’m embarrassed for this ballclub, to go out there and just get beat around.”
New York got a run in the third on an RBI single by Bernie Williams.
Baltimore took advantage of two New York errors in a four-run fourth that made it 7-1. Javy Lopez hit a leadoff single, but was cut down at the plate after Sierra overran a single to right by Gibbons.
It was only a temporary setback. After Luis Matos beat out an infield hit, Lieber muffed a comebacker by Larry Bigbie, allowing Gibbons to score. Jerry Hairston then doubled in two runs and scored on a two-out single by Newhan.
A two-out error by Tejada at shortstop enabled New York to score an unearnedrun in the fifth.
Bedard has allowed no more than two earned runs in nine of his 12 starts. … Yankees OF Gary Sheffield missed his second successive game withbursitis in his left shoulder.