Series: Game 2 of 3

Series tied 1-1 (as of 4/3)

Game 1: Monday, April 1
New York 3Final
Baltimore 10
Game 2: Wednesday, April 3
New York 1Final
Baltimore 0
Game 3: Thursday, April 4
New York 4Final
Baltimore 1

Yankees 1

(1-1, 1-1 away)

Orioles 0

(1-1, 1-1 home)

    7:05 PM ET, April 3, 2002

    Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland 

    123456789 R H E
    NYY 000000100 1 - -
    BAL 000000000 0 - -

    W: D. Wells (1-0)

    L: J. Johnson (0-1)

    S: M. Rivera (1)

    Wells, three relievers throw zeroes at O's

    BALTIMORE (AP) -- The schedule said it was the second game of a long, 162-game season. To David Wells, however, it was much more.

    David Wells

    David Wells looked right at home dressed in his Yankees best again.

    For Wells, it was the first game of his reborn baseball career.

    "I was nervous all day," he said. "This was my first start since July, and it was a big night for me -- being back with the team I've always loved."

    Wells ultimately fought off the uncharacteristic case of jitters, pitching marvelously into the eighth inning as the New York Yankees beat the Baltimore Orioles 1-0 Wednesday night.

    Newcomer Robin Ventura homered over the right-field wall in the seventh against Jason Johnson to break up an outstanding pitching duel.

    Signed by New York as a free agent in January, Wells (1-0) looked every bit as good as he did during his first stint with the Yankees, when he went 34-14 in 1997-98 and pitched a perfect game.

    The left-hander allowed four hits, walked one and struck out one in 7 1/3 innings.

    It was Wells' first start since last June, when he cut short a disappointing 5-7 season with the Chicago White Sox to undergo back surgery.

    "Since 8 this morning, when I woke up, I've been climbing the walls. I was really antsy today," he said.

    Despite his concern, everything turned out just fine in a game that was played in 53-degree temperatures and a swirling wind that made it seem much colder.

    "I had it all working, but it was a little tough tonight with the wind coming in. I prefer cold weather," Wells said. "I've pitched well in the cold my whole career. It's great. I'm on Cloud 9 right now. I did my job. I kept us in the ballgame."

    After being held hitless in a 10-3 loss to Baltimore on opening day, Ventura walked and singled before driving an 0-1 pitch over the right-field scoreboard in the seventh.

    "It was an off-speed pitch that he left up a little bit," Ventura said. "I think the wind kind of helped it a bit. The ball was hooking, and it brought it back to the line."

    Obtained in a trade with the New York Mets for David Justice, Ventura has 16 career homers against the Orioles, most against any major league team except Detroit.

    Wells was lifted after Mike Bordick doubled in the eighth. Steve Karsay then retired Jerry Hairston on a fly ball before Mike Stanton got Chris Singleton to hit a routine fly to center.

    Mariano Rivera, who blew a save opportunity against Arizona in Game 7 of the World Series last year, got three outs to earn his first save of the season.

    Baltimore failed to put a runner in scoring position through the first six innings, wasting leadoff singles by Jay Gibbons, Singleton and Melvin Mora in the third, fourth and fifth innings.

    "David Wells is a very good pitcher. He pitches in probably as good as anyone in the league," Orioles manager Mike Hargrove said. "He changed speeds well tonight, too, and really kept us off balance."

    Johnson (0-1) allowed six hits in 7 2/3 innings, walking one and striking out six. He's lost seven straight decisions since July 7.

    "We pitched well enough, we played defense well enough, we hit the ball hard enough," Hargrove said. "If we continue to play like that, we'll be all right."

    Game notes

    Gary Williams, coach of Maryland's national championship basketball team, sat on the first base side and was given a standing ovation when shown on the scoreboard in the middle of the fifth inning. He will throw out the first pitch before Friday's game against Boston. ... Singleton's single, his first in a Baltimore uniform, snapped an 0-for-6 skid. ... The Yankees avoided going 0-2 at Camden Yards, where they won their first seven games last year and finished 8-2.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press