Granderson hits 2 of Yanks' 5 HRs
Curtis Granderson hit two of New York's five home runs, rookie Ivan Nova won his 10th straight decision, and the Yankees beat the Baltimore Orioles 8-3 Sunday night for a split of a day-night doubleheader.
Granderson hit a three-run drive in the third inning and a solo shot in the seventh to take over the major league lead in homers (38) and RBI (107).
''It's incredible what he's done this year,'' Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. ''There's a lot of talk about MVP, and that will all be settled later. He's been unbelievable for us.''
In the first game, rookie Zach Britton allowed four hits over seven innings to lead the Orioles to a 2-0 victory. It was Jeter's 2,402nd game with New York, breaking a tie with Mickey Mantle for most in a Yankees uniform.
But Jeter fouled a ball off his right knee in the third inning, and although he shook off the pain to finish the game, the Yankees captain was a late scratch in the nightcap with a bruised knee.
''We iced it between games and afterward, and it swelled up and became a challenge,'' Jeter said after the second game.
X-rays were negative, but Girardi expressed doubt about Jeter's availability Monday night for the finale of the four-game series. Rodriguez also watched Game 2 from the dugout with a sore left thumb.
Latest baseball news
Ringolsby: Can Alice Cooper make fans care about the D-backs?
Whitlock: How the stats nerds are ruining sports for the rest of us.
Couch: Mariano's record is just a number, and a deceptive one.
''We just felt it wasn't in our best interest in playing him, either,'' Girardi said.
The second game was tied at 3 before New York hit three straight homers in a four-run sixth. After Robinson Cano connected with a man on, Nick Swisher and Andruw Jones also went deep. It was the first time the Yankees hit three successive homers since May 20, 2009, against Baltimore.
Despite the power surge, Girardi hates the idea of being without Jeter and Rodriguez.
''We need to get them healthy,'' he said. ''It is somewhat of a concern.''
Nova (14-4) gave up three runs and seven hits in seven-plus innings, striking out seven and walking two. The right-hander has won seven straight starts and is 10-0 in 11 outings since June 3.
Baltimore led 2-0 before Granderson hit his first homer. He has 11 career two-homer games, including four this season.
Granderson still doesn't consider himself to be a slugger.
''It's one of those freak things,'' he said. ''I was thinking about the home run guys, those that can do it, they hit mammoth shots. Mine, as long as they get over the fence, that's great.''
In the first game, Britton allowed four singles, struck out five and walked one before being pulled after throwing a career-high 120 pitches. It was a vivid contrast from his previous start against the Yankees, when he yielded nine runs and got only one out in a 17-3 loss July 30.
''I wasn't thinking about getting revenge or anything,'' Britton said. ''You have to have a short memory.''
Britton (8-9) has given up only one run over 12 innings since coming off the disabled list (strained left shoulder) on Aug. 22. Before going on the DL, he surrendered 23 runs in three starts.
''Not only was it like a break for me physically, but mentally, too,'' Britton said of his time off.
The game was scoreless until the seventh, when Nick Markakis doubled and Vladimir Guerrero singled. Baltimore added a run in the eighth when Mark Reynolds led off with his third hit and scored on a two-out single by J.J. Hardy.
Jim Johnson pitched a perfect eighth and Kevin Gregg worked the ninth for his 19th save, getting Rodriguez to hit into a double play after giving up a one-out single to Mark Teixeira, who had three hits.
Cano went 0 for 3, ending his 17-game hitting streak. He had also hit in 18 consecutive games at Camden Yards.
The Yankees failed to get a runner past first base in their first shutout loss since June 13.
Bartolo Colon (8-9) gave up two runs and seven hits in 7 2/3 innings. He had a two-hitter through six innings before faltering. He has lost his last three starts and is 2-6 in his last eight decisions.
But he considered this effort to be a breakthrough.
''I feel very happy. Thank God that everything is back together,'' he said through a translator. ''We'll see how far we're going to go.''
NOTES: The nightcap was rescheduled from Saturday's doubleheader rainout. The other game will be made up on Sept. 8 at 1:05 p.m. ... Britton's 120 pitches were most by an Oriole this season. ... New York intends to activate RHP Freddy Garcia (cut index finger) from the DL to start in Monday's series finale. Alfredo Simon (4-6) will pitch for the Orioles.