A day after the Yankees disappointed by losing the finale of the Mariners series, they came back to impress by taking the series opener from the Blue Jays, 4-2. The Yanks had it working from both sides of the ball, riding solid pitching for all nine innings and getting a few key offensive contributions along the way.
Robinson Cano staked the Yanks to an early lead, taking a first pitch from Brian Tallet deep for a 1-0 lead. That would last A.J. Burnett for a few innings. He had a slip-up when Lyle Overbay doubled to open the fourth. While Burnett quelled a threat when Marco Scutaro doubled to lead off the previous frame, he ran into some bad luck with a wild pitch, and then Alex Rios took advantage with an RBI single. It was the closest the Jays would get for the rest of the game.
Tallet seemingly lost it in the fifth, walking Brett Gardner and then Derek Jeter to put two runners on with none out. Johnny Damon wanted to make that second and third with one out for Teixeira by bunting, but Tallet rolled his underhand throw to Overbay and everyone was safe. Tex drew a walk to take the lead back, and a passed ball gave the Yanks a 2-1 lead. Vernon Wells would get one back with a no-doubt-about-it shot in the sixth, but Burnett would easily finish that inning and the next.
Girardi continued his love affair with match-ups, trotting out Phil Coke to start the eighth and then calling on Phil Hughes once Coke retired Adam Lind. Hughes started off rocky with a single to Scott Rolen, but he retired the next two batters to hand the ball to Mo. A-Rod would tack on an insurance run with an opposite-field homer off Jeremy Accardo in the eighth to ice the Yankees 4-2 win.
The Yankees face two games straight which they should have one, and it’s a bit disappointing that they only took one of them. Yeah, it happens. Teams lose games they’re supposed to win. But tomorrow they not only face Roy Halladay, but have a handicap on the mound with Chien-Ming Wang. Who knows. Maybe Wang works some July Fourth magic. He’d better. We don’t want our team losing to a bunch of Canadians on Independence Day.
(I say that in drunken jest. Please take it as such.)