CC gets 16th win, A-Rod notches 2,500th hit as Yankees roll Orioles

BALTIMORE -- The New York Yankees haven't played this well against the Baltimore Orioles since the days of Whitey Ford, Phil Rizzuto and Yogi Berra.

CC Sabathia allowed one run in seven innings to earn his AL-leading 16th victory, Alex Rodriguez got his 2,500th hit and drove in four runs, and the Yankees beat Baltimore 10-2 Wednesday night for a three-game sweep.

Eric Hinske homered and Johnny Damon had four hits for the Yankees, who used a seven-run ninth inning to turn a tight game into a rout. New York has won six straight and is 34-11 since the All-Star break.

Sabathia (16-7) improved to 8-1 lifetime against Baltimore, 3-1 this year. The Yankees lead the season series 12-3 and have won 10 straight over the Orioles. The only other time New York won 10 in a row against Baltimore was in 1955.

The Yankees outpitched the Orioles in a 5-1 win Monday, then totaled 19 runs in the final two games of the series. Every starter had at least one hit in the series finale, and New York totaled 17 in all -- without Mark Teixeira and Jorge Posada, who were rested by manager Joe Girardi.

"This is how a team is made. Top to bottom and on our bench we have a solid team," Damon said. "We have depth that not too many other teams have."

Certainly not the Orioles.

"They've got the total package, plain and simple. Look at their lineup, look at the arms they run out there. They have major league quality players that get it done night after night after night," Baltimore manager Dave Trembley said. "We try to do everything we possibly can and our guys give everything they can, and it just has not measured up."

Rodriguez got his milestone hit in the fifth inning, a single off Jason Berken, and lined a two-run single up the middle in the seventh against Kim Mickolio (0-2) to break a 1-1 tie.

After Nolan Reimold hit a solo homer in the eighth to get Baltimore to 3-2, Rodriguez singled in two runs on an 0-2 pitch from Jim Johnson to spark a ninth-inning uprising in which Damon had two of New York's seven hits.

"He didn't get greedy. His approach was to try and drive it up the middle and both times he did," Girardi said of A-Rod. "For him to get his 2,500th hit and four big RBIs, it was a great night for him."

And a horrid one for the Orioles, who needed three pitchers to get the final three outs.

"It was a game until the ninth, then it got away," Trembley said.

Sabathia struck out nine, gave up seven hits and walked one. The left-hander is 6-0 in his last seven starts and has an AL-best eight wins since the All-Star break.

Phil Hughes got the last four outs for his second save. Mariano Rivera, who got the save in each of the first two games of the series, was not available because of soreness in his groin, an injury that could keep the right-hander sidelined into the weekend.

After a sacrifice fly by Nick Markakis gave the Orioles a 1-0 first-inning lead, Sabathia worked out of a jam in the second by striking out Brian Roberts and Cesar Izturis with the bases loaded. That began a streak in which Sabathia retired eight straight, five by strikeout.

"Sabathia got stronger as the game went on. We had a big scoring opportunity and a big chance early," Trembley said.

Hinske tied it in the third with his seventh homer, the second in two games.

Game notes
New York hit 20 homers at Camden Yards this season, the most by any visiting team in one year since the ballpark opened in 1992. ... It was the 12th series sweep of the season for New York, including three against the Orioles. ... Baltimore used a season-high eight pitchers. ... Yankees RHP Sergio Mitre, who hasn't pitched since being hit by a line drive last Sunday, will start Sunday in Toronto, Girardi said. ... Orioles All-Star CF Adam Jones was on crutches with a severe left ankle sprain that could end his season. The injury occurred Tuesday night.