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Long ball helps Yanks earn split

BALTIMORE -- Even without Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez in the lineup, the New York Yankees still pack a wallop.

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 RBIs (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 tonight for the finale of the four-game series. Rodriguez also watched Game 2 from the dugout with a sore left thumb.

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.

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.

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