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BAL@NYY: Nova retires Jones to complete his shutout

Baltimore looks to take another step in its quest to return to the postseason Tuesday as the Orioles and Yankees continue a four-game series at Camden Yards.

The Orioles climbed to within a 1 1/2 games of idle Tampa Bay for the American League's second Wild Card with Monday's 4-2 win, while the Yankees now sit three games back of the Rays -- with the O's and Indians also ahead of New York.

Monday's series opener was the beginning of a tough season-ending schedule for the Orioles, who face only AL East opponents the rest of the way -- including six against the first-place Red Sox and three against the Rays. Basically, manager Buck Showalter said, the O's control their destiny.

"If we were going to be in the playoffs by one game and you could let me in on it right now, I'd have a [heck] of a time the rest of the way, but I'm going to have a [heck] of a time anyway," Showalter said.

The Orioles hold a 9-7 advantage over the Yankees in the season series, and have been especially dominant in Baltimore -- where the Yanks have dropped six straight for the first time since losing 10 in a row from October 1981-June 1983.

The Yankees will try to snap that streak, and continue their late postseason push, Tuesday.

"This is obviously an important four-game series, because they're trying to do what we're trying to do. They're trying to get back in the mix of things," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "They played well the past four days, and it's an important series, but every series is important for us the rest of the way out."

Yankees: Nova gets start
Right-hander Ivan Nova gets the ball for the Yankees, looking to rebound from his last outing, when he failed to go six innings for the first time since April 26. The righty is 2-0 with a 1.52 ERA in three appearances (two starts) against Baltimore this season, including his first career shutout on Aug. 31 at Yankee Stadium.

"I remember in the past we had tough games, and I really enjoy those games. Those are the days that I put everything I got on. Those days, you've got to go out and get a win for your team," Nova said. "After you get a win for your team in a situation like that, you feel special. I'm looking forward to tomorrow, and like I said, get a win for the team."

• Robinson Cano needs three RBIs to reach the century mark for the third time in his career. Once he does, Cano will become only the ninth second baseman in Major League history to have at least three 100-RBI seasons, and the fourth since 1951 (Jeff Kent, Chase Utley and Brett Boone).

Orioles: Gonzalez on the hill
Right-hander Miguel Gonzalez takes the mound opposite Nova on Tuesday after snapping a personal four-game losing streak in his last outing by tossing seven innings of one-run ball against the White Sox.

Gonzalez is 6-2 with a 3.80 ERA in 11 home starts, seven which have been quality.

• Chris Davis' next home run will tie him with Frank Robinson for second on the club's all-time single-season home run list at 49, one shy of Brady Anderson's 50 in 1996.

Worth noting
• The O's are 18-12 in their last 30 games against the Yankees after going 12-41 in their previous 53.

• There is no timetable for the return of Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter (left ankle).

• Yankees center fielder Brett Gardner is batting .378 with six doubles and nine RBIs in his last 10 games. Comments