NEW YORK -- Francisco Cervelli and Brett Gardner blasted back-to-back seventh-inning homers, leading the Yankees past the Orioles, 5-3, and ensuring a soggy Tuesday turned into a successful Wednesday at Yankee Stadium.
Cervelli broke a tie off Baltimore starter Tommy Hunter with a video-reviewed home run, which was touched by a fan leaning over the left-field wall. But the original call was upheld by the umpires after the replay.
"When you come here, you've got to be ready for anything," Cervelli said. "I saw the replay, thought it was a homer and you've just got to cross your fingers. That's it."
Gardner then left no doubt with his blast, rocketing a laser off the right-field foul pole to give the Yankees a two-run lead in a contest that was played in inclement conditions.
New York won its sixth straight game and maintained a 2 1/2-game lead over Boston in the American League East.
"It was a long day, but our guys got it done," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "I'm proud of what they did. As many plays as the infielders made today, I was actually shocked. We found a way."
With the start of the game delayed by four hours and three minutes, most of the game was played between a mist and a downpour, with Yankees starter Phil Hughes' first pitch crossing home plate at 11:08 p.m. ET.
Girardi said that Major League Baseball encouraged the Yankees to wait, not wanting to further complicate the September schedule. Additional changes could threaten the setup for the postseason.
"I saw the window [to play]," Girardi said. "Baseball wanted us to wait. I know the weather's a little tricky again [Wednesday]. I thought we were going to play; it was just a matter of time."
After the conclusion of each inning, making the game official, the grounds crew emptied bags upon bags of diamond dry on the infield, hoping to keep it playable even as rain continued.
"It's a little hard [to play in those conditions]," Cervelli said. "The dirt was too wet, but we've got to play. You've got to do what you can."
Jorge Posada logged the first Yankees hit off Hunter, a line-drive homer into the right-field seats in the third inning.
The Yankees added an unearned run in the fifth, as first baseman Mark Reynolds couldn't grip a Posada bouncer and flipped late to first base for an error.
Continuing the sloppy theme, Cervelli then lifted a fly ball to left field that Matt Angle couldn't find through the heavy rain, dropping it as Posada slid home safely ahead of a throw.
Saying that he "desperately" wanted to get through five innings to make it an official game and trying to work faster than usual, Hughes finished holding the Orioles to two runs on five hits over six innings.
Matt Wieters accounted for the sole punch against Hughes, connecting for a long two-run homer in the sixth inning on a fat 0-2 fastball that hovered down the middle.
"[The start] could have been a lot better," Hughes said. "I made a dumb pitch there to Wieters, and that kind of puts a little sting in me there at the end. If you look at it, I guess it was all right, but I really didn't want to make that pitch."
The right-hander walked one and struck out five in a 106-pitch outing, saying he was happy with his curveball and a serviceable fastball. Hughes also hit a batter and threw two wild pitches, but said the weather wasn't a huge factor.
"The mist was fine," Hughes said. "When it started coming down the hardest, I think it was the [Nick] Markakis at-bat in the fifth. The ball was so slippery, I just threw a fastball and hoped it ended up somewhere."
Mark Teixeira pushed the Yankees ahead with a sixth-inning RBI single off Hunter, who finished allowing five runs (four earned) in 6 2/3 innings, walking two and striking out six.
Baltimore answered in the seventh as Markakis rapped a run-scoring double off Boone Logan to tie the game before crew chief Gary Darling upheld Cervelli's crushing blow.
"I know what our players thought," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "[Darling] said it was definitively a home run and it would have ended up in the bleachers."
There was one other controversy, as Posada was called out after reaching on a seventh-inning throwing error. In Darling's estimation, Posada made a turn to show intent of advancing to second base.
Posada was tagged and briefly but vehemently argued the call, firing his helmet toward the dugout as Girardi took up his case with Darling.
Mariano Rivera worked the ninth inning around a Teixeira error to put the finishing touches on his 39th save of the year, now standing just two shy of the 600 plateau with 598 career saves.
Girardi seemed pleased that the Yankees had avoided needing to play a day-night doubleheader on Wednesday.
"Both scenarios weren't great," Girardi said. "But now that it's over, I'm glad that it's done."