Series: Game 1 of 3

New York leads 1-0 (as of 9/27)

Game 1: Friday, September 27
New York 6Final
Baltimore 2
Game 2: Saturday, September 28
New York 4Final
Baltimore 2
Game 3: Sunday, September 29
New York 6Final
Baltimore 1

Yankees 6

(101-58, 49-30 away)

Orioles 2

(67-93, 34-45 home)

    7:05 PM ET, September 27, 2002

    Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland 

    123456789 R H E
    NYY 000001032 6 - -
    BAL 000000002 2 - -

    W: A. Pettitte (13-5)

    L: S. Ponson (7-9)

    Yankees hand Orioles 10th straight loss

    BALTIMORE (AP) -- Their spot in the playoffs is assured, yet home-field advantage is still up for grabs.

    Andy Pettitte

    So the New York Yankees aren't letting up. Not even a little bit.

    Bernie Williams got his 100th RBI, Derek Jeter homered and Andy Pettitte won his fifth straight start as New York beat the Baltimore Orioles 6-2 Friday night.

    Jason Giambi had three hits and collected his 119th RBI to help the Yankees maintain their slim lead over Oakland for best record in the AL and home-field advantage in the playoffs. New York is 101-58; Oakland improved to 101-59 with a 3-2 victory over Texas.

    "We're still going hard,'' said Pettitte, who threw five shutout innings. "There is a lot to play for; we haven't clinched anything yet. We're trying to win out the season.''

    It was the 10th straight loss for the Orioles, who are 4-30 since Aug. 23. Baltimore avoided its 16th shutout of the season when Jay Gibbons hit an RBI double in a two-run ninth off Steve Karsay.

    Sidney Ponson (7-9) allowed two runs in seven-plus innings, but absorbed his fourth straight loss. Baltimore scored three runs in his final four starts.

    "I'm about to explode. I'm not going to lie,'' the right-hander said.

    In his final start before the playoffs, Pettitte (13-5) allowed three hits and two walks. He struck out five.

    Yankees manager Joe Torre said before the game that Pettitte would go five innings. The left-hander threw only 70 pitches, but improved to 9-1 in his last 11 starts.

    "He gave us what we needed,'' Torre said. "That was a nice little tuneup.''

    Orlando Hernandez pitched two innings, and Mariano Rivera and Karsay threw an inning apiece.

    With two outs in the sixth inning of a scoreless game, Giambi singled on an 0-2 pitch from Ponson. He then advanced on a wild pitch and scored when Williams bounced a single up the middle.

    Williams, Giambi and Alfonso Soriano all have at least 100 RBI and 100 runs scored. It's the fifth time in franchise history, and the first since 1932, that three players have done it in the same season.

    New York is intent upon winning, but individual numbers are also important to the Yankees in the final days of the regular season.

    "It's the reward for working hard all year,'' Torre said.

    The Yankees pulled away with a three-run eighth. After Jeter chased Ponson with leadoff homer, Enrique Wilson added an RBI double and Rondell White hit a run-scoring grounder.

    Giambi and Jorge Posada hit RBI singles in the ninth.

    Pettitte cruised through four innings before running into trouble in the fifth. Jose Leon hit a leadoff single and took third on a double by Melvin Mora. But the next three batters failed to hit the ball out of the infield.

    "That was a big point in the game, a real momentum builder if we get a run in,'' Orioles manager Mike Hargrove said. "We just couldn't get it done.''

    Game notes

    Williams went 1-for-4, leaving himself one hit short of tying his own team single-season record for switch-hitters (202). ... Former Oriole Cal Ripken was on hand at a brief pregame ceremony honoring Mike Bordick, who extended his major league record of consecutive errorless games at shortstop to 108. ... Pettitte improved to 14-4 lifetime against Baltimore. ... Ponson is 0-7 in his last 13 starts against the Yankees.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press