- Associated Press - Saturday, June 21, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) - Nelson Cruz has been hitting homers all season. J.J. Hardy finally got in on the fun Saturday, against a likely opponent.

Cruz hit his 23rd home run, Hardy connected for his first of the year and the Baltimore Orioles beat the New York Yankees 6-1 after starter Bud Norris left with tightness in his right groin.

Adam Jones and Steve Pearce also went deep off struggling soft-tosser Vidal Nuno, helping the Orioles rebound after blowing a two-run lead in the ninth inning of a 5-3 loss Friday night.

“Big win for us,” Hardy said.

Cruz and Pearce each had a two-run shot. Hardy ended a drought of 339 at-bats that dated to last September.

“It definitely felt nice,” he said. “I felt like I forgot how to do it.”

“I think it probably is a little bit of a relief. I started to question myself if I ever was going to hit one again,” Hardy added.

Mark Teixeira hit his 12th home run for the Yankees, who had won four straight and eight of 10, but that was all they managed against Norris and three relievers.

During a pregame ceremony on the field, former New York first baseman Tino Martinez was honored with a plaque to be placed in Monument Park.

Making his first start against the Yankees, Norris (7-5) allowed three hits in five innings and matched a career high by winning his fourth straight start. He warmed up on the mound for the sixth but was pulled for Ryan Webb, who pitched two scoreless innings.

Tommy Hunter got the final five outs.

Norris said he felt something “kind of funny” while throwing a fastball in the fifth.

“It kind of grabbed on me,” he said. “I’ve had groin stuff before, especially my left one but not necessarily my right one. You’ve got to be real careful with those.”

“I could see it getting a little worse and I wanted to be smart, but really, hats off to the offense for scoring and to the bullpen for picking me up,” Norris added. “Pretty sore right now.”

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Norris probably will pitch the night game of a split doubleheader Friday against Tampa Bay, but the right-hander said it was too soon to tell.

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