Ivan Nova pitched a six-hitter for his second career shutout, Eduardo Nunez hit a two-run homer and the New York Yankees kept pace in the AL wild-card chase Saturday with an 6-0 victory over the San Francisco Giants.
Alfonso Soriano connected for the second straight day and Robinson Cano had an RBI single in a three-run third against Ryan Vogelsong (3-6), helping New York win for just the third time in eight games.
New York entered three games behind Cleveland for the second AL wild card, with three teams ahead. The Yankees have seven games remaining, including three against the wild-card leading Tampa Bay Rays.
A day before New York honors retiring closer Mariano Rivera in a pregame ceremony, Nova (9-5) gave the Yankees' bullpen a rest with a 108-pitch effort for his third complete game, all this year. He struck out seven and walked one in winning for the first time in four start following poor efforts against AL East rivals Boston and Baltimore.
Soriano connected on the first pitch thrown by reliever Guillermo Moscoso leading off the sixth, giving him 17 homers and 50 RBIs with the Yankees in 52 games. He had 17 homers and 51 RBIs in 96 games for the Chicago Cubs.
The Giants gave the many orange and black-clad fans in attendance little to cheer. They only had two baserunners reach second — one the result of Soriano losing Brandon Belt's flyball to left field in the sun for a double. Pablo Sandoval and Brandon Belt each had two hits for the Giants, who never put two runners on in the same inning.
San Francisco lost for the eighth time in nine interleague games this season. With a .458 winning percentage (71-84), the Giants are on track for the third-worst winning percentage for a World Series champion, trailing only the 1998 Florida Marlins (.333) and the 1991 Cincinnati Reds (.457), according to STATS.
After Vogelsong retired six straight to start the game, the bottom three in the Yankees' lineup reached opening the third.
Mark Reynolds blooped a single over third base and went to third on a hit-and-run single by Brendan Ryan, who entered with a 1.97 average. Chris Stewart walked on four pitches to load the bases for Ichiro Suzuki
Suzuki's sacrifice fly put the Yankees ahead, Alex Rodriguez drove in another run with a spinning grounder to the left of second base that shortstop Brandon Crawford glove with a nifty grab, and Cano tacked on a run when he sliced a single the opposite way through a huge hole between shortstop and third base.
Nunez connected in the fourth on the first pitch he saw from Vogelsong for his second homer this season.
Vogelsong was lifted after five innings. He allowed five runs and five hits in losing for the fourth time in five starts.