NEW YORK (AP) — Ivan Nova was so dominant that Ichiro Suzuki decided he was going to make the game interesting in the ninth inning.
Nova threw a three-hitter for his first career shutout and Robinson Cano supplied the offense as the New York Yankees edged Baltimore 2-0 Saturday for their second straight win over the Orioles.
The only scare for Nova came with one out and a runner on in the ninth, when baseball's home run leader Chris Davis sent a soaring high fly to right field. Suzuki knew he had it — "absolutely," he said in English, laughing — so he gave a little deke as he drifted back onto the warning track to make it look as if the ball might be trouble.
"I was just having fun. I'm a professional so it was good to get things excited," Suzuki said through a translator. "If the fans thought 'Oh, no,' then you make the play — I think humans want to come from a bad place to a good place."
Did Suzuki think he made Nova worry?
"I kind of feel bad about that, but obviously, once again, he feels really good afterwards," Suzuki said to laughter. "There's always ways of enjoying the game and showing the fans a good time."
Nova sure made it easy for the Yankees to have a good time.
New York's most reliable starter for more than a month, Nova (8-4) outworked Scott Feldman in an efficient 104-pitch outing for his second complete game. His effort helped the Yankees move past their AL East rival by a half-game in the wild-card chase. New York entered the final day of August trailing Tampa Bay by 4½ games. Baltimore trailed by four.
"Everything I kept seeing was positive, positive, positive," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
The Yankees were looking for another big offensive day after beating Baltimore 8-5 on Friday night. But Alex Rodriguez was scratched due to flu-like symptoms and Feldman (4-4) shut them down for seven innings after allowing a leadoff double to Brett Gardner and Cano's RBI double in the first.
Cano later drilled a line drive to right field off Troy Patton leading off the eighth for his 25th home run.
The Orioles have lost five of seven, scoring only 11 runs in the losses. But manager Buck Showalter doesn't think his team is slumping.
"When pitchers are on top of their game and hitters are on top of their game, the pitchers win," he said.
Acquired from the Chicago Cubs on July 2, Feldman had won his previous three starts, giving up just four runs. After Cano's run-scoring double, Feldman did not allow a hit until Ly Overbay led off the fifth with a single.