Notes: Dickerson stars in Grandy's absence

Until Sunday's game went south, Chris Dickerson was the story of the afternoon. AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek

Chris Dickerson certainly helped his cause to get more playing time in September.

The September call-up was the Yankees' best player on Sunday as he contributed to all three runs and had two fantastic catches in an 8-3 loss. Dickerson went 1-for-1 with a two-run homer and a walk and scored two runs in his first game of the season.

"It was good to be back. Some nerves to be honest being back in the starting lineup. (I was trying) to carry over everything I was doing down in Scranton and try(ing) to put a good swing on the ball," Dickerson said. "Wanted to come out there and take it step by step and do whatever I needed to do to help the club."

Dickerson was placed into the lineup to replace the scratched Curtis Granderson and was the main reason that the Yankees didn't get shut out. In his first at-bat of the year he crushed a two-run homer to give the Bombers a 2-0 lead in the second, and later walked and scored on a two-out single by Nick Swisher to give the Yankees a 3-1 lead in the fifth.

In the field, he made a leaping grab at the wall to rob Adam Jones of a two-run homer that would've given Baltimore a 7-3 lead in the seventh. Dickerson also had a great running grab of a well-hit ball to deep center hit by J.J. Hardy in the fourth inning. He was pinch hit for in the sixth inning, despite being the offensive star, but he didn't think much of it.

He received a rave review from his manager.

"He played well, extremely well," Joe Girardi said. "He was a big part of our offense. He made some really good defensive plays as well, going to his right one time and to his left, the other time. ... Nice day."

While Granderson's status is uncertain, as he deals with a tight hamstring, Dickerson's not focusing on his potential playing time.

"I don't know what's going to happen. We'll see what happens," Dickerson said. "I don't know what's predicated on my performance today but however and whenever they need me I'm going to be ready."

THOMAS DEBUT GOES SMOOTH: Reliever Justin Thomas made his debut with the Yankees and stuck out the only batter he faced in Chris Davis. The Yankees selected the lefty off waivers from the Red Sox earlier this year and his strikeout kept it at 5-3 in the sixth inning.

"It was good," Thomas said of his debut. "Just getting in there I thought I would have one lefty to face and it was good to get the job done when you're called up."

BAD VS. THE BIRDS: The Yankees went 3-6 against Baltimore at home this year, the most losses at home since going 1-8 in 1976. That's also the last time the Yankees lost three home series to Baltimore. The Orioles were 6-21 in the Bronx from 2009-11.