CC Sabathia has not lived up to his billing as a rotation ace for the majority of this season and Hiroki Kuroda has slumped badly in August when the Yankees desperately have needed him to hold onto that mantel.
But Ivan Nova continued to emerge as an unlikely top-of-the-rotation starter on Saturday hurling a three-hit 104-pitch shutout – the first of his career -- to front the Yanks to a tight 2-0 win over the Orioles at the Stadium.
With their second straight victory over Baltimore the Yanks (72-63) leapfrogged a half-game ahead of the O’s in the wild-card hunt -- four games behind Tampa pending the Rays’ game Saturday night in Oakland.
Nova (8-4) allowed just three singles walking one and striking out five to finish August with a 4-0 record over six starts.
Since returning from a stint at Triple-A Scranton on June 23 Nova is 6-3 with a 2.28 ERA in 12 games (11 starts) including 10 consecutive outings in which he’s worked no fewer than 6.1 innings.