NEW YORK -- No warm fuzzies for Zach Britton when he thinks about Yankee Stadium. He just gets smoked.
A year and two days after he retired just one batter during a 12-run first inning, Britton returned to the scene of his nadir. This one wasn't much better.
Robinson Cano hit a grand slam in a seven-run third inning, and New York gave Britton another shellacking in a 12-3 rout of the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday that stopped a four-game losing streak.
"We're in the hunt, and I understand what I have to do to be at this level," Britton said. "I'm not getting it done right now. So I got to either do something, or somebody else is going to come up and find a way to do the job. And that's the way it should be."
Derek Jeter had three hits and three RBIs on a rainy afternoon, and Joba Chamberlain returned from elbow and ankle injuries that had sidelined him since June 5 last season. Phil Hughes (11-8) pitched homerless ball for only the fifth time this year.
A night after wasting a five-run, first-inning lead in an 11-5 defeat, New York outhit Baltimore 15-13 and went 7 for 13 with runners in scoring position. The Orioles were 0 for 15 RISP -- matching the franchise's worst since moving to Baltimore for the 1954 season, an 0-for-15 night at Seattle's Kingdome on Aug. 21, 1995.
"It's tough because there was a game there to be won today. There really was," Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said, disappointed with his team's approach against Hughes. "If we could wait him out and grind out some at-bats, we would've scored some runs today."
Baltimore's three-game winning streak was stopped as New York restored a 61/2-game lead in the AL East rather than have the Orioles creep within 41/2. Still, the Orioles are only 11/2 games back in the wild-card race.
"It's fun to be playing games at this point in the year," Adam Jones said. "It's my fifth year here, and it's the first time in August that the games really do matter. It's fun, and it's important. We knew today's game was really important. We wanted to sweep."
Britton (1-1), a third-round draft pick in 2006, allowed nine runs -- six earned -- and seven hits during last summer's meltdown, a 17-3 loss. He gave up seven runs, seven hits and three walks over 2 2-3 innings in this one, leaving him with a 19.13 ERA in the Bronx.
"I think it's just overthinking things at times, not being in a good rhythm on the mound, a good pace in the game," he said. "You saw that when guys were getting on today."
Britton, who started the season on the disabled list because of a sore left shoulder, is 1-1 with an 8.35 ERA in four starts since he joined the Orioles' rotation in mid-July.
"Pitches that people pass at the Triple-A level, they don't pass that up here," Showalter said. "Knowing Zach and what he needs to bring, he'll figure it out at some point in his career as a pitcher. We feel confident about that. It's just not happening right now. It's frustrating for him, and for us because we've seen glimpses of it."
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, a Bronx native, joined the Bleacher Creatures for their first-inning Roll Call, and it didn't take the Yankees long to move in front.
Curtis Granderson hit his 29th homer in the first and Andruw Jones added a sacrifice fly. Endy Chavez had an RBI groundout in the second, and RBI singles by Jeter and Nick Swisher opened a 4-1 lead in the bottom half.
Jayson Nix's RBI double chased Britton in the third as rain started to fall, and Jeter greeted Kevin Gregg with a two-run single. Cano, in a 1-for-17 slide entering the series finale, hit a drive to right for his second slam this season and the ninth of his career.
Hughes allowed nine hits but just one run in six innings.
"I could almost pitch with that kind of lead," Jones said. "I might give up five or six, but you give a guy a huge lead with a lead like that ..."
Notes: Baltimore's Matt Wieters started behind the plate in a day game after catching a night game for the third time this year. ... J.J. Hardy homered in the seventh on Chamberlain's second pitch after a 14-month layoff caused by elbow and ankle injuries. Chavez added an RBI double off Chamberlain in the eighth. ... Showalter said RHP Jason Hammel (right knee surgery) could soon resume baseball activities and will need 2-to-4 rehab starts.