- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 26, 2003

NEW YORK — Alfonso Soriano got a big hit early and delivered another one late, and that kept Andy Pettitte on top.

Still, the hit that really shook up the New York Yankees — and sent a scare through the crowd of 50,595 — came when Jason Giambi was nailed in the right hand by a fastball in the seventh inning.

X-rays were negative, and Giambi left the ballpark with his hand wrapped up in a bandage after the Yankees beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-2 last night.

“It was a sharp pain at first, but I’m fine,” the slugger said. “This is just to keep the swelling down. We’ll see how it is when I come in tomorrow. We’ll see if I’m able to hold the bat.”

Yankees manager Joe Torre seemed relieved that the injury wasn’t worse. Giambi shook his hand hard after being hit by John Parrish and his hand turned a gruesome shade of purple, but he stayed in the game.

New York third baseman Aaron Boone had to leave late, however, after an odd mishap. He slipped on a dugout step and turned an ankle as he ran out for the ninth inning.

“Hopefully, he’ll be all right,” Torre said.

Soriano hit his team-record 10th leadoff homer and drove in three runs and Pettitte picked on a familiar opponent as the Yankees won for the ninth time in 11 games. They held their five-game edge over Boston in the AL East.

Soriano had four hits, including a two-run single in the eighth. He finished a triple shy of the cycle.

Larry Bigbie homered, singled twice and drove in both of Baltimore’s runs. But the Orioles made three errors that led to three unearned runs and had a pair of passed balls.

“After we won the first two here at Yankee Stadium, you always want more and you get a little greedy,” Bigbie said. “We lost the last two, but it was a good series.”

Pettitte improved his career record over the Orioles to 18-4 — his .818 winning percentage is the highest by any pitcher with at least 15 decisions against Baltimore. Don Larsen had been the leader at 13-3 (.813).

Pettitte is 4-0 against the Orioles this season, with all of the wins coming in the last two months.

“I’ve pitched pretty well against everybody in our division,” Pettitte said. “This year, I haven’t pitched great against them, but I’ve been fortunate to get the wins.”

Pettitte (16-7) allowed just one run despite giving up 10 hits in 6⅔ innings. Boone saved him with a diving stop and Pettitte helped himself, making a leaping stop near the backstop on a throw from the outfield that nearly skipped away.

Pettitte is 11-1 in his last 14 starts. Mariano Rivera, New York’s fifth pitcher, got four outs for his 28th save in 34 chances.

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