By DAVID GINSBURG
AP Sports Writer
BALTIMORE — A tense AL East duel between the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles revealed the strengths and weaknesses of each team.
After the Yankees beat the Orioles 6-4 in 10 innings Monday night to extend Baltimore’s losing streak to six games, it became apparent why New York leads the division and Baltimore is mired in its longest skid in nearly a year.
Both showed their hitting prowess. Both played solid defense. The difference was that the Orioles got another poor performance from the back end of their bullpen, and New York got a typically strong outing from closer Mariano Rivera.
New York trailed 4-3 in the ninth before Travis Hafner homered with one out on a 3-1 pitch from Jim Johnson, who has blown three straight save opportunities after converting a franchise-record 35 in a row. All three of those botched saves have come during Baltimore’s current slide.
Pedro Strop then gave up two runs in the 10th to complete the collapse. After that, Rivera breezed through a 1-2-3 inning for his 17th save in 17 tries.
“Believe me, I don’t take him for granted,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of Rivera. “It’s hard to do it year after year after year. You’re going to see guys go through some ups and downs, but Mo doesn’t go through a lot.”
Neither did Johnson until last week, when he blew ninth-inning leads against San Diego and Tampa Bay before collapsing against the Yankees.
“The ball’s up. That seems to be the common thing lately,” Johnson said. “Just not making the adjustment. I’m trying, you know, doing everything. I’m going to work through it.”
Rivera, on the other hand, has been darn near perfect. And that is why the Yankees are 28-16 and Baltimore is five games back, as close to last place as first.
The Yankees also improved to 19-0 when scoring first this season.
“All bullpens are going to go through their struggles,” Girardi said. “The bottom line is that we were able to get some runs off some pretty good pitchers tonight.”
Robinson Cano hit his team-high 13th home run in the first inning for New York, David Adams clubbed his first major-league homer in the second and Lyle Overbay connected in the seventh.
In the 10th, Ichiro Suzuki led off with a double off Strop (0-2) and Vernon Wells followed with an RBI double to left. Hafner added a two-out single to make it 6-4.
David Robertson (3-0) worked the ninth as part of a relief crew that allowed two hits and no runs in 3 2-3 innings. Their effort followed an uneven performance by starter CC Sabathia.
Asked to assess the bullpen’s performance, Sabathia said, “Unbelievable, but that’s just been all year. We knew that was a strong point of our team, but they’ve really carried us. They’ve been great.”
After Overbay put New York up 3-2 in the seventh with a homer off Troy Patton, Baltimore took the lead in the bottom half. Alexi Casilla singled and scored on a double by Nick Markakis, who came home on an opposite-field double to right by J.J. Hardy.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter elevated Hardy to the third spot in the lineup because the shortstop came in with a .321 career batting average against Sabathia. Hardy also doubled in the fifth against the big left-hander.
“We had the lead and it’s up to me to go out and shut the door,” Sabathia said. “It’s very frustrating, especially in a close game like this. Luckily, these guys were able to bail me out.”
Sabathia gave up four runs and 11 hits in 6 1-3 innings. He left with New York trailing 4-3, but Hafner’s shot in the ninth preserved Sabathia’s 17-4 lifetime record against Baltimore.
CLEVELAND — Yan Gomes hit a three-run homer in the 10th inning and the Indians, twice revived by Seattle’s fielding errors, beat the Mariners to complete a four-game sweep of the Mariners.
Gomes, who also homered in the second, drove a 3-2 pitch from Charlie Furbush (0-3) over the wall in left, giving the Indians their fifth straight win and third walk-off over the Mariners in four days. As Gomes reached the plate he was mobbed by his teammates following an improbable win that came after Cleveland’s bullpen gave up homers in three consecutive innings.
It was the Indians’ first four-game sweep of Seattle since 1981, and the comeback gave Cleveland its 18th win in 22 games.
Joe Smith (2-0) won despite giving up a go-ahead homer to Justin Smoak in the 10th.
BLUE JAYS 7
TORONTO — R.A. Dickey won his second straight start, Edwin Encarnacion hit a tiebreaking, bases-loaded double in the seventh inning, and the Blue Jays beat the Rays.
Dickey (4-5) allowed three runs — two earned — and four hits in a season-high eight innings as the Blue Jays won their fourth straight home game. The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner walked four and struck out five.
Casey Janssen gave up a two-run homer to former Toronto shortstop Yunel Escobar in the ninth. Booed by the crowd of 29,885, Escobar made a safe sign as he crossed the plate, prompting more jeers.
Desmond Jennings followed with a single and Matt Joyce walked, bringing the potential go-ahead run to the plate, but Janssen struck out Ben Zobrist on three pitches to end it.
Encarnacion doubled in the seventh after Josh Lueke (0-1) walked the bases loaded around a sacrifice and a flyout. Encarnacion’s hit off the left-field wall ricocheted past outfielder Sam Fuld.
WHITE SOX 6
RED SOX 4
CHICAGO — Adam Dunn hit a three-run homer in the first inning and the White Sox handed Jon Lester his first loss of the season with a victory over the Red Sox.
Alejandro De Aza and Alexei Ramirez added consecutive RBI doubles in the second as Chicago took advantage of an ineffective Lester (6-1) to earn its fifth win in seven games in the opener of an eight-game homestand. The White Sox scored each of their runs with two outs.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a two-run homer for the Red Sox, who had won five in a row. Saltalamacchia made a bid for a second two-run shot, but Dayan Viciedo brought in his drive on the warning track in left-center with the White Sox clinging to a 6-4 lead in the seventh.
While Lester struggled, Dylan Axelrod (2-3) pitched six effective innings to win his second straight start. The right-hander, who could lose his spot in the rotation when John Danks comes off the disabled list, gave up two runs and four hits.
HOUSTON — Matt Dominguez hit a three-run homer and Jason Castro added a solo shot to give the Astros a win over the Royals.
The Astros trailed by one in the fourth inning before Dominguez launched his fourth homer of the season into the Crawford Boxes in left field to give Houston a 6-4 lead.
Castro’s homer came in Houston’s two-run third inning before Kansas City took the lead on a three-run home run by Miguel Tejada in the fourth. It was his first homer since 2011.
Houston’s Dallas Keuchel (1-1) allowed nine hits and four runs while striking out six in 6 2-3 innings for the win. Closer Jose Veras struck out two in a perfect ninth for his seventh save.
Kansas City starter Jeremy Guthrie (5-2) allowed eight hits and a season-high six runs in five innings — his shortest start of the season.
MILWAUKEE — Clayton Kershaw scattered three singles in his second complete game of the year and Matt Kemp hit his first home run since April 24, lifting the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 3-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.
Ryan Braun managed a pair of singles and Yuniesky Betancourt also singled for the only hits off Kershaw (5-2). The lefty struck out five and walked one.
Andre Ethier homered and tripled for the last-place Dodgers before being ejected by plate umpire Dan Bellino for arguing a called third strike in the eighth inning.
The victory was a respite for Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. He addressed speculation before the game on whether he would be fired this week, insisting he didn’t feel as if he was about to be replaced.
Yovani Gallardo (3-4) gave up three runs, including two homers, in six innings. The right-hander lost his third consecutive start and the reeling Brewers have dropped 15 of 18 games.
NEW YORK — Jay Bruce hit a tiebreaking homer and an RBI double to back Johnny Cueto’s wild but effective return from the disabled list during Cincinnati’s victory over New York.
Brandon Phillips had a two-run single for his first career hit off Shaun Marcum (0-5) in 13 at-bats. Phillips also made two sparkling plays in the field to help the Reds bounce back from a stunning 3-2 loss to the Phillies in which closer Aroldis Chapman gave up two home runs.
Chapman, the Reds’ fifth reliever, struck out two in a perfect ninth for his ninth save. He had blown his two previous save chances.
Cueto (2-0) started for the first time since leaving his April 13 outing with a strained back muscle. Making his fourth start of the season, the Reds’ ace gave up three hits and three runs with eight strikeouts in five innings. But he walked four and served up a three-run homer to Marlon Byrd.
After the homer, Cueto struck out four in a row with a fastball that reached the mid-90s.
MIAMI — Alex Sanabia outpitched Cole Hamels in a matchup of struggling starters to lead Miami past Philadelphia.
Justin Ruggiano and Nick Green each drove in two runs for Miami in front of a season-low crowd of 13,231 at Marlins Park. Sanabia (3-6) allowed one run and seven hits over 6 1-3 innings.
Hamels (1-7) struck out 10 in six effective innings but has not won since April 28. Domonic Brown homered for the Phillies.
Miami had 11 hits and struck out 13 times on its way to scoring more than three runs for just the second time in 13 games. The Marlins have won two straight after dropping seven in a row and 10 of 11.
DENVER — Patrick Corbin tossed a three-hitter for his first complete game and struck out a career-high 10, lifting Arizona over Colorado.
Corbin (7-0) joined Randy Johnson as the only lefties in team history to begin the season 7-0. He also turned in his club-record ninth straight start in which he’s pitched at least six innings and allowed two runs or less.
Didi Gregorius drove in two runs for the NL West leaders. A.J. Pollock had three hits and scored twice. Paul Goldschmidt and Eric Chavez had RBI singles in the third.
Pinch-hitter Jordan Pacheco broke up Corbin’s shutout bid with an RBI double in the eighth. Jon Garland (3-5) went six innings, allowing five runs and a season-high 11 hits.
BRAVES 5, TWINS 1
ATLANTA — Julio Teheran pitched into the ninth inning, Dan Uggla hit a three-run homer in the first and Atlanta beat struggling Minnesota for its fourth straight victory.
Teheran (3-1) gave up five hits, including Josh Willingham’s homer in the ninth. He struck out four, walked one and threw 80 of 123 pitches for strikes during the longest outing of his career.
Cory Gearrin earned his first major league save. Minnesota has lost six straight.
After rallying late to win three in a row against the Dodgers last weekend, Atlanta jumped on Twins starter Kevin Correia (4-4) early.