Thursday, June 16, 2011

Gardners Bake Pies Too

Brett Gardner started the day as he did yesterday, sitting on the bench watching Andruw Jones play in left field against a left-handed pitcher. But in a case of "it's not who starts, but who finishes", Gardner got the last swing. His one out RBI in the 12th brought home Curtis Granderson for a 3-2 win over the Texas Rangers.

After the Boston Red Sox swept the Yankees in three games to start the homestand, the Bombers won six of the final seven games (the one loss was 1-0 to Cleveland). The Yankees also continued their solid play against the Rangers this season with their third series win and are 7-2 against the team that beat them in last year's ALCS.

The game started out with the unknown Brian Gordon making his first Major League start. The 32-yr old veteran of 15 minor league seasons was outstanding. He allowed two runs in 5.1 innings (7 H 3 BB 3 K) and threw 55 of 84 pitches for strikes. He managed the major jam he got into in the 5th inning and limited the Rangers to a pair of runs (on an Ian Kinsler double) despite having the bases loaded with one out.

Russell Martin had provided an RBI single in the 2nd inning (and threw out two would be base stealers) and Jorge Posada tied the game up in the 6th with an RBI double against starter C.J. Wilson. The Yankees bullpen provided 6.2 of scoreless relief with Corey Wade throwing the final two for first his win as a Yankee and his first victory in the majors since June 13, 2009. (The Yankees are now 18-3 (.857) in day games.)

The Yankees wasted a golden opportunity when they loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the 9th against Darren Oliver. After getting ahead in the count, 3-1, Granderson struck out for the second out of the inning and Mark Teixeira grounded out to end the inning. But Granderson started things in the 12th with his third hit of the day. Teixeira flew out, but lefty Michael Kirkman hit Robinson Cano with a controversial pitch. Texas manager Ron Washington came out to argue with home plate umpire Mike Everitt, feeling the ball hit the knob of the bat rather than Cano. (Replays were inconclusive, though Cano didn't show much reaction)

Gardner, who should be starting against left-handers rather than Jones, then singled through the right side to plate Granderson and sent the Yankees off to Wrigley Field with a victory.

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