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Garcia keeps Yanks armed; Victory puts N.Y. 22 games above .500

NEW YORK -- Freddy Garcia helped show why the Yankees didn't make a trade at the deadline.

The veteran right-hander pitched six strong innings and Brett Gardner hit a bases-loaded triple to help the New York Yankees beat the Baltimore Orioles, 4-2, Sunday.

Garcia (10-7) struck out six in six innings and allowed two runs on five hits to send the Yankees 22 games over .500, their highest point of the season.

He was signed by the Yankees as a free agent, and expectations were that he would fill in for a while, while youngsters Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova got their feet under them.

Instead, he and Bartolo Colon have become mainstays in the Yankees' rotation. Their strong seasons made it easy for General Manager Brian Cashman to stand pat at the trade deadline.

"I think the positions that were presented to me were easy to say no on," Cashman said. "It's not like I'm blowing smoke, trying to promote our guys. No, I believe in our guys."

Derek Jeter left after getting hit by a pitch, but X-rays only showed a bruised right middle finger. Girardi said he didn't expect to be without the Yankees captain for too long.

"I'm not expecting it to be a week," Girardi said. "Could it be a day, or two? I think it could be."

New York improved its major league best record in day games to 31-7 and finished a 10-game homestand with a 7-3 record.

Yankees reliever David Robertson struck out the side in the eighth and pitched 1 1/3 innings of perfect relief overall before Mariano Rivera pitched the ninth for his 27th save in 31 chances.

Garcia won his third straight start and is 8-3 in 12 starts since late May. Now that the Yankees won't be adding a big-name starter such as Ubaldo Jimenez or Wandy Rodriguez, Garcia will be a key to their rotation for the next two months as they try to win the AL East, as well as games in October.

"You got to be really happy. This division is really tough," Garcia said. "Hopefully I can pitch the way I've been pitching."

Baltimore's Jake Arrieta (10-8) walked six batters in five innings, giving up five hits along with four runs. Only two of the runs were earned.

"Six walks, hit by pitch, and the runs he gave up weren't usually enough to get you beat," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "Not a lot offensively, but if he could cut down on the walks, he could get a lot deeper in games and be a lot more valuable pitcher for us."

The Orioles have lost six of their last seven and 18 times in 24 games. They won the first game of the series on Friday night, then were outscored 29-8 in three games since.

Baltimore's Chris Davis, acquired the day before in a trade for Koji Uehara, arrived Sunday morning and played first base. He went 0 for 4, striking out in his first at-bat.

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