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As rumors swirl, Birds beat Yanks

NEW YORK - The non-waiver trade deadline is 4 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, and the Baltimore Orioles are reportedly involved in trying to get Philadelphia Phillies' starter Joe Blanton.

While the fans were focused on the rumor mill, the Orioles attention was on the New York Yankees.

In one of the toughest of all places to play, Miguel Gonzalez managed to beat the Yankees 5-4 before 43,052 at Yankee Stadium.

Gonzalez (3-2), who gave up seven runs in 2 2-3 innings against Tampa Bay in his last start, was much stronger against New York (60-42).

He pitched 6 2-3 innings, allowing four runs and six hits, striking out eight and walking none.

"I thought he was outstanding," manager Buck Showalter said. "We talked a little bit [Sunday] about attacking them and just being aggressive. You fiddle around with the strike zone, you're going to have some problems."

Gonzalez was helped by Nick Markakis, who had three hits and two RBIs. Markakis is batting .364 since being shifted to the leadoff spot on July 13.

"I like it, especially on the road because I get a few more at-bats," Markakis said. "It's just a thing of getting in a rhythm, knowing what you have to do in certain situations."

Baltimore (54-49) ended the game tied with Detroit, two games behind in the wild-card competition.

"We know where we stand and we know who we're up against," Markakis said.

The Yankees scored a run in the second off Gonzalez. With two outs, Raul Ibanez singled and moved to second on Gonzalez's balk. He scored on Eric Chavez's single.

Wilson Betemit's 12th home run of the year off Freddy Garcia (4-5) to right field, tied the score in the third.

In the fifth, Betemit led off with a single. Mark Reynolds doubled Betemit to third. Omar Quintanilla's fly ball to center scored Betemit, and Markakis' fly to right scored Reynolds.

Ibanez led off the fifth with his 14th home run of the year to cut the Orioles' lead to 3-2.

In the seventh, Quintanilla walked with two outs off Boone Logan and scored on Markakis' double. J. J. Hardy singled off David Phelps to make it 5-2.

Gonzalez got the first two batters out in the seventh, but allowed consecutive home runs to Chavez, his ninth and Ichiro Suzuki. It was Suzuki's fifth of the season, his first with the Yankees and the 100th of his career.

Gonzalez (3-2) allowed four runs on six hits, three of them home runs. He struck out eight and walked none.

"I got tired toward the end. My fastballs, instead of running away, they were cutting at the end, and these guys hit mistakes," Gonzalez said.

Darren O'Day retired the only batter he faced in the seventh.

Pedro Strop allowed one hit in the eighth, and Jim Johnson, who had a horrid outing against Oakland on Friday, rebounded and got his 31st save.

It wasn't easy.

Johnson allowed a leadoff double to Nick Swisher, a walk to Eric Chavez, but struck out Russell Martin with two runners on to end the game.

"It's good to get back out there. Being a reliever you have to have a short memory," Johnson said.

"I kind of wanted to get out there the next day, but it didn't work out."

Showalter badly wanted him back out there.

"Jimmy's got a lot going on in his gut and his heart," Showalter said. "The last pitch that he threw to Martin was probably as tough a sinker to get on as anybody."

NOTES: Jim Thome returned to Baltimore Monday night and will have an MRI on his neck Tuesday morning. Thome hasn't played since Friday because of neck spasms. ... Robert Andino is expected to rejoin the Orioles on Tuesday. He played two rehab games at Triple-A Norfolk. He's been on the disabled list with a sprained left shoulder. ... Brian Matusz allowed six runs, five of them earned on 10 hits in six-plus innings for Norfolk on Monday night. ... The Orioles broke a 10-game losing streak on Mondays.

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