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Originally published Monday, April 30, 2012 at 6:41 PM

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Kuroda, Yankees block off Markakis, Orioles 2-1

Hiroki Kuroda pitched seven neat innings and teamed with catcher Russell Martin to nab Nick Markakis at the plate in the key play of the game, lifting the New York Yankees over the Baltimore Orioles 2-1 Monday night.

AP Baseball Writer

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NEW YORK —

Hiroki Kuroda pitched seven neat innings and teamed with catcher Russell Martin to nab Nick Markakis at the plate in the key play of the game, lifting the New York Yankees over the Baltimore Orioles 2-1 Monday night.

Eric Chavez hit an early two-run homer as the Yankees beat Baltimore once again. They are 4-0 against the Orioles this year, 43-15 over the O's since 2009 and have not lost any of the last 14 season series to them.

The loss denied Buck Showalter his 1,000th win as a big league manager - his first victory came in 1992 next door at the old Yankee Stadium. Baltimore lost for the second time in eight games.

New York made several sparkling plays in the field, including two by novice left fielder Eduardo Nunez. But the top gem came on Kuroda's final pitch.

Down 2-1 in the seventh, the Orioles had runners on second and third with two outs. Kuroda bounced a splitter in the dirt and Martin blocked it, with the ball skittering toward Baltimore's dugout on the third base side.

Markakis broke home while Martin quickly recovered and made a backhand flip to Kuroda, who planted his right foot directly in the runner's path. Markakis had to reach around Kuroda's leg, and the pitcher's perfect fundamentals gave him time to make the tag just in time.

Kuroda (2-3) allowed one run and four hits while outpitching steady Jason Hammel (3-1).

David Robertson struck out the side in the eighth for the Yankees and Mariano Rivera closed for his fifth save in six chances. A day after Baltimore rallied for five runs in the bottom of the ninth to beat Oakland, there was no comeback against the New York bullpen.

Chavez put New York ahead with his third homer, a drive into the Yankees' bullpen in right-center field in the second.

With Nick Swisher hobbling and fellow outfielder Brett Gardner injured, Nunez got his first big league start in left field. He wound up catching five flyballs, matching the most by any Yankees outfielder this season.

Nunez caught Nolan Reimold's leadoff liner, slid on his knees to pluck Markakis' liner to end the first and grabbed Chris Davis' sacrifice fly at the wall in the second. Before the game, Yankees manager Joe Girardi joked that even when he tried Nunez in the outfield during spring training, no balls were hit his way.

NOTES: Swisher is expected to miss a week with a strained left hamstring. ... Orioles slugger Mark Reynolds went 0 for 3. He has not homered in 63 at-bats this year - this is his first April without a home run. ... Reimold's 14-game hitting streak ended. ... Yankees LHP Andy Pettitte gave up six runs and 10 hits in 5 2-3 innings vs. the Phillies in an extended spring training game. He struck out eight, walked none and threw 96 pitches. ... Six current MLB managers already have at least 1,000 wins: Dusty Baker, Bruce Bochy, Davey Johnson, Jim Leyland, Mike Scioscia and Bobby Valentine.

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