Series: Game 1 of 3

NY Yankees leads 1-0 (as of 9/5)

Game 1: Monday, September 5
NY Yankees11
Game 2: Tuesday, September 6
NY Yankees5
Game 3: Wednesday, September 7
in 11
NY Yankees4

Orioles 10

(55-84, 23-45 away)

Yankees 11

(86-53, 45-26 home)

    1:05 PM ET, September 5, 2011

    Yankee Stadium, New York, New York 

    123456789 R H E
    BAL 142010011 10 17 0
    NYY 26001020 - 11 12 1

    W: A. Laffey (2-1)

    L: J. Johnson (5-5)

    S: M. Rivera (38)

    Jesus Montero blasts first 2 career HRs as Yanks edge O's

    Associated Press

    NEW YORK -- Jesus Montero reached across the plate and sent a 93-mph pitch about a dozen rows deep into the right-field seats for his first major league home run, a tiebreaking solo shot in the fifth. A Labor Day crowd of 45,069 at Yankee Stadium coaxed him out for a curtain call.

    Two innings later, he leaned for a 94-mph pitch on the outside corner and drove it 10 rows into those same right-field seats, a little bit more toward the foul line. He had another opposite-field homer, a two-run shot. Curtain call No. 2 followed.

    "I was dreaming of that before," Montero said Monday after boosting the Yankees over the Baltimore Orioles 11-10. "I was always telling myself before, 'One day, I'm going to be that guy.' "

    Four games into his big league career, the 21-year-old catching prospect has made quite an impression. Since his debut at Boston last Thursday, he's batting .385 (5-for-13) with five runs and the three RBIs.

    "You don't get too giddy on one game and you don't get too down on another game," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "You're going to watch him over a period of time."

    With Jorge Posada hitting .100 against lefties, Montero could play himself into a part-time designated hitter role during the playoffs, at the very least. While Montero projects as the Yankees' backstop of the future, Girardi is reluctant to put him behind the plate this year because he hasn't caught the New York pitching staff since spring training.

    After this, pitchers will be on the lookout for Montero.

    "He might have to have a little quick adjustment after this game today," said the Yankees' Andruw Jones, who boosted his own prominence at old Yankee Stadium with a pair of homers in the 1996 World Series opener.

    New York increased its AL East lead to 2½ games over second-place Boston, the Yankees' largest margin since before play on July 3. New York has finished first in 38 of 42 seasons when it led on Labor Day, according to STATS LLC.

    Girardi said it was too early to discuss Montero's potential postseason role. With mother Cristina and girlfriend Taneth on hand, Montero just wanted to savor the moment. The Yankees even arranged for him to get both balls back.

    "I showed a little bit to the fans, to the people. Now there's more to come," said Montero, who had 18 homers this year at Triple-A. "I hope everything keeps going good. I'm not going to say tomorrow I'm going to hit two home runs again, but I'm going to try to."

    Yankees captain Derek Jeter was the first to congratulate him after the initial homer. Posada persuaded Montero to take the helmet-waving curtain calls.

    "Go out there and say `Hi' to them," Montero recalled Posada telling him.

    On an afternoon that featured both starting pitchers making early exits after wretched outings, Robinson Cano sparked the comeback from a 5-2 second-inning deficit with his third grand slam in less than a month.

    Both of Montero's homers came off Jim Johnson (5-5), who had allowed only three coming in.

    Aaron Laffey (2-1) got two outs for his first win since the Yankees claimed him off waivers from Seattle on Aug. 19. Mariano Rivera gave up Ryan Adams' two-out RBI single in the ninth, then hit Nolan Reimold with a pitch and allowed a double steal before striking out J.J. Hardy for his 38th save in 43 chances. Rivera boosted his career saves total to 597, four shy of Trevor Hoffman's record.

    "He threw a cutter away," Hardy said. "I think it was off the plate a little bit but still got me chasing."

    New York's Freddy Garcia (seven runs and nine hits in 2 2/3 innings) fell behind 1-0 in the first and 5-2 in the second, but Baltimore's Brian Matusz was chased in the bottom half. Cano connected against Chris Jakubauskas for his third slam in 24 games and seventh of his career, giving New York an 8-5 lead.

    Mark Reynolds' two-run homer against Garcia in the third and Robert Andino's solo shot off Scott Proctor in the fifth tied it.

    Matusz had his best start in half a season, even though he lasted just 1 1/3 innings and 46 pitches while allowing five runs, five hits and two walks, Matusz, whose ERA swelled to 9.84, had lost seven straight starts since beating Oakland on June 6.

    This one may have been his last start of the season.

    "We'll talk tomorrow, when emotions settle a little bit," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.

    Game notes

    New York boosted its record in day games to 38-9 (.809). That is the best in the majors since at least 1946, according to STATS LLC. The Yankees have won eight of nine overall. ... Proctor made his first appearance for New York since July 27, 2007, also against the Orioles. ... Phil Hughes (4-5) starts for New York on Tuesday against Tommy Hunter (2-1).

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Game Information

    StadiumYankee Stadium, New York, NY
    Attendance45,069 (91.6% full) - % is based on regular season capacity
    Game Time3:16
    Weather79 degrees, cloudy
    Wind7 mph
    UmpiresHome Plate - Paul Emmel, First Base - Rob Drake, Second Base - Gary Darling, Third Base - Bruce Dreckman

    Research Notes

    From Elias: Jesus Montero, 21 years old, hit two home runs in the Yankees' win over the Orioles on Monday. He's only the fourth Yankees player to have a multiple-homer game before turning 22 years old, joining Joe DiMaggio (three times in 1936 at age 21), Mickey Mantle (at 20 years old in 1952) and Joe Pepitone (at 21 in 1962).
    From Elias: Mariano Rivera recorded his 69th save against the Orioles on Monday, setting a record for the most saves by any pitcher against any team. Rivera had been tied with Trevor Hoffman, who had 68 saves against the Dodgers.
    From Elias: Robinson Cano's 7 grand slams tie him for 4th-most all-time by any second baseman
    From Elias: Jesus Montero becomes the 4th player in the divisional era to hit his 1st two career homers in the same game at Yankee Stadium:
    From Elias: Robinson Cano has 3 grand slams this season. That's tied for second-most by a second baseman in MLB history. Only Alexei Ramirez (2008 White Sox) had more, with 4. Jeff Kent, 1997 Giants, also had 3.
    Robinson Cano: leads MLB with 3 grand slams this season. Last player with 3 in a season was Yuniesky Betancourt for the 2010 Royals. Cano's 7 grand slams are tied with Roberto Alomar for the 2nd-most by any second baseman in the last 60 years. Jeff Kent leads with 13.
    Jesus Montero: 2nd Yankees player in the Live Ball Era (since 1920) to have a multi-homer game within the first 4 games of his major-league career (had 2 in his 4th career game, Monday). The other was Shelley Duncan, who had 2 against the Rays on July 22, 2007 (4th career game).

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