NEW YORK -- The ball landed over the wall in right field and, with it, fell some of the concern caused by the New York Yankees' recent rough patch.
Robinson Cano's grand slam capped the Yankees' seven-run third inning to fuel their 12-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday, which salvaged the final game of the three-game series. The Yankees halted a four-game losing streak and pushed their American League East division lead over the Orioles to 6 1/2 games.
A day after Baltimore used its own seven-run inning to stun the Yankees and add heat to the series finale, New York exploded for 11 runs in the first three innings and coasted to its 61st win of the season.
Curtis Granderson also homered for the Yankees, who pounded out 15 hits and received multiple-hit games from five players. Derek Jeter and Jayson Nix had three hits apiece. The Yankees again tormented Orioles starter Zach Britton (1-1), who gave up seven runs on seven hits in 2 2/3 innings. For his career, Britton has allowed 20 runs (17 earned) in just eight innings in the Bronx.
J.J. Hardy had three hits, including a homer, for the Orioles. But Baltimore went 0-for-15 with runners in scoring position -- the Yankees were 7-for-13 -- to end its three-game winning streak.
Phil Hughes (11-8) gave the Orioles plenty of chances, but routinely pitched out of trouble. He also didn't have much time to feel a threat, as the Yankees, playing without injured sluggers Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira, built an 11-1 lead after three.
Hughes allowed nine hits, but just one run in six innings, as Baltimore stranded 11 base runners in the game.
Joba Chamberlain made his season debut for the Yankees, giving up two runs on four hits in 1 2/3 innings, and receiving a standing ovation following his exit. Ichiro Suzuki also earned loud cheers, making a leaping catch against the wall in the sixth inning, who appeared more than comfortable in unfamiliar territory in left field.
After putting up five in the first Tuesday only to go scoreless the rest of the way, the Yankees again attacked early Wednesday.
Granderson smacked his 29th homer of the season to right in the first and the Yankees made it 2-0 on a sacrifice fly.
Baltimore answered with a run in the second, but the Yankees made it 4-1 in the bottom of the inning on RBI hits by Jeter and Nick Swisher. New York then erupted in the third, chasing Britton after four batters and pouring it on with three hits against reliever Kevin Gregg, including Cano's ninth career grand slam.
Chamberlain, who had not pitched since June 5 of last season after rehabbing from Tommy John surgery and a dislocated ankle, started the seventh inning with the Yankees up 11-1. He was greeted by Hardy's 15tth homer of the season, and gave up another pair of hits, but got Wilson Betemit on a double play to end the inning.
He allowed a double, but recorded two outs in the eighth before walking off to cheers.
NOTES: Ichiro has hit safely in all nine games he's played for the Yankees. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he put him in left field even with regular right fielder Nick Swisher serving as the DH, because the Yankees want to take advantage of Ichiro's speed in the more spacious left field area at Yankee Stadium. ... Casey McGehee, acquired from the Pittsburg Pirates on Monday, started at first base, sans the facial hair he sported in Pittsburgh, but is banned by the Yankees. He went 0-for-2 with a sacrifice fly and two walks. He will play third base when Teixeira returns, possibly Friday. ... Orioles' right-hander Jason Hammel (right knee arthroscopic surgery) will begin baseball activities, manager Buck Showalter said. Hammel will need two to four rehab appearances before he can come back, Showalter said. ... Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor attended the game and sat in the bleachers with the Yankees' famed Bleacher Creatures.