NEW YORK -- Michael Pineda's electric slider produced eight strikeouts, Mark Teixeira homered in his return to the lineup and the Yankees posted their fourth consecutive victory on Wednesday, a 5-0 decision over the Orioles at Yankee Stadium. Pineda blanked Baltimore in a 113-pitch effort, limiting their depleted batting order to
NEW YORK -- Michael Pineda's electric slider produced eight strikeouts, Mark Teixeira homered in his return to the lineup and the Yankees posted their fourth consecutive victory on Wednesday, a 5-0 decision over the Orioles at Yankee Stadium.
Pineda blanked Baltimore in a 113-pitch effort, limiting their depleted batting order to five hits and two walks as he picked up his first victory since June 7. Teixeira provided support against O's starter Yovani Gallardo, slugging his eighth homer in the fourth inning and working a bases-loaded walk in the sixth.
"Pitching is the name of the game, especially starting pitching," Teixeira said. "When your starter goes out there and gives you a chance to win every night, you feel good about your chances. Mike was great tonight. He's got No. 1 stuff; this guy throws 96 [mph] with a great slider. When he puts it all together, he can have nights like he did tonight."
Brett Gardner and Ronald Torreyes each tripled and scored on sacrifice flies for the Yankees, who improved to 48-46, two games over .500 for the first time since April 12. Carlos Beltrán launched his 20th home run in the eighth inning off former Yankee Chaz Roe.
With the loss and Boston's win, the Orioles fell out of first place in the American League East for the first time since June 4.
• Call to action: Beltran's crafty bunt a message
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Big Mike battles back: Pineda's six-inning performance included a pair of key escapes, most notably in the fourth inning, as he fanned Nolan Reimold and Ryan Flaherty to leave the bases loaded. Pineda was in trouble again in the sixth, when Mark Trumbo doubled and moved to third on a flyout, but Pineda used his effective slider to power past J.J. Hardy and Reimold and pin him there.
"Especially when I got into the situation with the bases loaded and one out, I made a good pitch and struck him out," Pineda said. "That was a big motivation for me."
"We get a pop right there, it could've been a different story," said Orioles bench coach John Russell, who filled in for an ailing Buck Showalter.
Dellin Betances, Nick Goody and Chasen Shreve, throwing an inning apiece, completed the shutout.
• Electric slider favors Pineda in big moments
Stopping the bleeding: Gallardo might've been outpitched by Pineda, but he worked out of a sticky situation in the sixth to keep the Orioles' deficit manageable. After walking Teixeira with the bases loaded and no outs, he stuck out Didi Gregorius on five pitches before inducing a double play off the bat of Starlin Castro.
Tex messaging: Teixeira celebrated his return to the lineup after missing three games with a sore left foot, connecting on a line drive into the right-field seats. The switch-hitting slugger has expressed optimism that he will be able to catch a hot streak if he can remain healthy enough to stay in the lineup.
"It was a good game. The walks are good, too; I'm seeing the ball well," Teixeira said. "Obviously home runs are always fun, but the win is the most important thing. Mike pitched great. It was kind of a team effort tonight." More >
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• Beltran's home run was the 412th of his career, tying former Yankee Alfonso Soriano for 52nd place on the all-time list.
• The Yankees have allowed one run or fewer in four consecutive games for the first time since Sept. 18-21, 2003, posting a 0.75 ERA (36 IP, 3 ER) over that span.
• Yankees grant Headley an 'excused absence'
Orioles: Ace Chris Tillman (13-2, 3.29 ERA) takes the hill for the Orioles, who look to avoid a sweep in the finale of the four-game set at 1:05 p.m. ET on Thursday. In each of his past three starts, Tillman has allowed one earned run over seven innings.
Yankees: Left-hander CC Sabathia (5-7, 3.94) will try to snap a five-start skid that has seen him go 0-3 with a 7.94 ERA, permitting a .320 opponents' batting average. Prior to June 22, Sabathia had enjoyed a seven-outing run as the best pitcher in the Major Leagues, holding opponents to a 0.71 ERA over that span -- including two starts vs. Baltimore.
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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.
Joshua Needelman is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Orioles on Wednesday.