Nate McLouth follows through on the winning home run for the Orioles against the Yankees in Baltimore. (Gail Burton/AP)

Nate McLouth opened this season rarely in the lineup against left-handers. Recently, the Baltimore Orioles left fielder has been rewarded with more of a regular role.

Such was the case on in Friday night’s series opener against the New York Yankees, when the left-handed hitting McLouth was in the starting lineup against ace CC Sabathia.

The Orioles managed just five hits in seven innings against Sabathia — and were held without a hit for the first five innings. But McLouth’s go-ahead solo homer off Sabathia in the bottom of the seventh was the difference in a 4-3 comeback victory in front of 40,041 at Camden Yards.

With the win, the Orioles (45-36) took a two-game lead over the Yankees for second place in the American League East.

Heralded Orioles pitching prospect Kevin Gausman, making his first major league appearance in relief, earned his first big league win with 41 / 3 scoreless innings. Meantime, the bullpen tossed 62 / 3 scoreless innings after Baltimore had fallen behind 3-0.

Of McLouth’s five homers this season, three have given the Orioles the lead. His last home run also sealed a win over the Yankees at Camden Yards a month ago.

Sabathia, who was going for his 200th career win in his 400th career start, carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning, but by the end of the frame the Orioles had rallied for three runs to tie the game.

Sabathia entered the inning having retired 12 of his first 13 batters.

— Baltimore Sun