Braves blanked by Nova, Yankees

ATLANTA (AP) — Randall Delgado’s 19th career start

was a little different.

This time the right-hander

was facing Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and the New York Yankees. This

was not a normal Monday night at Turner

Field.

Delgado struggled with his curveball, a high

pitch count and his nerves early in the game as the Braves fell 3-0 to

Ivan Nova and the Yankees, who moved into a first-place tie in the AL

East.

Delgado (4-6) set a career-high with six walks

as the rookie allowed three runs and five hits in five

innings.

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said the

22-year-old was pumped up for the big-game

atmosphere.

“He was excited,” Gonzalez said. “He was

coming out of his delivery, first time facing the New York Yankees and

(42,669) in the stands. I think he got himself a little amped up for

today’s game.”

Delgado agreed, saying “Yes. New York

Yankees. We respect them. They’ve got a lot of

tradition.”

The control problems pushed up Delgado’s

pitch count early. He threw 66 pitches while giving up a run in each of

the first three innings.

“It’s something he can learn

from,” Gonzalez said. “But in all honesty, he made some pitches. He had

the bases loaded (in the third) and he got out of just giving up one

run. That’s a good stepping stone. … He kept pitching. He kept

battling.”

The Braves fell three games behind

first-place Washington in the NL East.

Nova combined

with four relievers on a five-hitter as the Yankees claimed a share of

first place with Tampa Bay for the first time since April

24.

“Who would have thought it?” Yankees manager Joe

Girardi asked. “I think there’s a lot of parity in the American League

this year and I think there are a lot of good teams who are going to

beat up on each other.

“Our guys have done a good job

of enduring some things. We’ve had some key injuries and we’ve been

able to figure things out a little bit. Guys have stepped up and we just

have to keep going.”

Raul Ibanez led off the second

inning with a homer and Robinson Cano had two hits, including a

run-scoring single in the first.

Nova (8-2) gave up

five hits with one walk and six strikeouts in seven innings for his

fourth straight win.

“Our starting pitching has been

really good, and that’s how you put streaks together,” Girardi

said.

The Braves didn’t have a runner reach third

base, but Nova said his command was inconsistent.

“I

don’t have my best stuff today, but I made pitches when I needed it,”

Nova said.

Nova added a milestone with a

second-inning single for his first career hit.

The

Yankees (35-25) have won four straight games and nine of 11 to move a

season-best 10 games over .500. The Braves, held without an extra-base

hit, have lost two straight after their season-best six-game winning

streak.

Cody Eppley and Clay Rapada combined for

three straight outs in the eighth. Cory Wade struck out Martin Prado to

open the ninth and left-hander Boone Logan recorded the final two

outs.

Girardi said he held out closer Rafael Soriano,

who developed “a little blister” on his right index finger while

pitching on Sunday against the Mets.

Cano’s

first-inning single drove in Rodriguez, who doubled off the wall in

left. Rodriguez walked in the third, moved to third on Cano’s double and

scored on Delgado’s wild pitch.

Atlanta’s leadoff

hitters had singles in four of the first five innings. None advanced

past second base as Nova was helped by double plays in the first and

third innings.

Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher

took a possible homer away from Brian McCann in the fourth. Swisher

reached up to snap McCann’s fly ball in front of the yellow line at the

top of the wall. It was McCann’s second long out. His first-inning drive

was caught at the 400-foot mark in center field by Curtis

Granderson.

Braves centerfielder Michael Bourn,

running toward left field, made a diving catch to take a hit from Ibanez

in the seventh.

Right-hander Cory Gearrin threw two

scoreless innings for Atlanta after he was recalled from Triple-A

Gwinnett.

The Braves are 0-9 on Mondays this

season.

Atlanta’s Matt Diaz, who struck out as a

pinch-hitter in the eighth, was ejected by home plate umpire Alfonso

Marquez in the ninth when he continued to argue from the dugout about a

called strike in the

at-bat.

NOTES: Yankees LHP Andy

Pettitte said his left hand is fine. Pettitte snared a grounder from the

Mets’ Scott Hairston with the bare hand on Sunday. Pettitte no longer

wore the bandage he had on the hand after Sunday’s game. He is not

expected to miss a start. … RHP Tim Hudson, who had his start skipped

Sunday due to painful bone spurs in his right ankle, threw well in the

bullpen and was officially added to the Braves’ rotation for Wednesday’s

game against the Yankees. … Gearrin was recalled to replace RHP Julio

Teheran, who made a fill-in start for Hudson on Sunday. … Yankees LHP

CC Sabathia will make his third career start against the Braves, his

first with the Yankees, when he faces LHP Mike Minor in Game 2 of the

series on Tuesday night.