Saturday, July 23, 2011

A's Melt, Yankees Win

On a sweltering night in the Bronx, a night that Phil Hughes would just as soon forget, the Yankees bats picked up the slack and then some and smashed the Oakland Athletics 17-7.

Hughes wasn't around long enough to get the win, but Nick Swisher tied a career high with 5 RBI and Mark Teixeira belted a grand slam as the Yankees had their biggest offensive output since scoring 15 runs against the Orioles back on April 23. A's starter Trevor Cahill is a very good pitcher, but not when he faces the Yankees. He entered the game with an 0 and 3 won-loss record and a 9.72 ERA against the Bronx Bombers. He won't want to look at those numbers tomorrow. The Yankees tagged him for 10 earned runs in just two innings pitched.

His counterpart, Hughes, didn't fare much better. Hoping to built off his solid start against Toronto five days ago, Hughes was bad from the start, and was unable to locate his pitches. He had a 14-2 lead at one point, but with the score 14-5 in the 5th, Hughes loaded the bases with just one out. Having seen his pitcher labor through 98 pitchers already, manager Joe Girardi said enough is enough and went to the bullpen. Hughes was charged with seven runs on his record after Hector Noesi allowed two inherited runners to score. Noesi settled down after that to earn the win (2-0) with 3.2 scoreless innings.

The game was all about offense though. Down 2-0 in the 2nd inning, the Yankees bats took over and battered Cahill. Eduardo Nunez and Brett Gardner reached on RBI singles to tie the game and Derek Jeter put the Yankees ahead for good with a 2-run single off first baseman Conor Jackson's glove. Curtis Granderson's sac fly brought in the fifth and final run of the inning.

The Yankees topped the 2nd inning with a nine run 3rd inning. Nick Swisher smashed a 3-run home run, reliever Michael Wuertz walked in two runs and then allowed Teixeira's slam. It was the first home run for the Yankees; first baseman (playing DH on Friday) since June 30, a span of 78 plate appearances. Swisher added a 2-run single in the 7th to complete his big ribbie night.

Yankees third baseman Brandon Laird made his Major League debut and achieved a bunch of firsts. To begin with, he got to pinch-hit for Derek Jeter. The first pitch to him from Joey Devine went behind his back. He ended up with a walk on a pitch that Harry Doyle would have said was "Jusssssssst outside". Laird scored on Swisher's 7th inning single and one inning later it was Laird with an RBI as he went back up the middle for his first Major League hit.


A's hitting coach Gerald Perry was ejected in the 4th inning after a horrible strike three call by home plate ump Marty Foster on outfielder Coco Crisp.

To honor Hideki Matsui's 500th home run, the Yankees showed a video of Matsui home runs over the years.

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