Monday, August 29, 2011

Garcia Seals Up Rotation Spot

With Joe Girardi announcing earlier in the day that he would go back to a five man rotation once the Yankees leave Boston Thursday night, Fredddy Garcia basically just had to prove his injured finger was healed in his start in Baltimore tonight. The 13 year veteran did more than that, holding the Orioles to a Mark Reynolds home run over six innings in a 3-2 Yankees win. The victory gave the Yankees a split of the four game series after losing the first two games.

After he allowed a 1st inning double to Adam Jones, Garcia retired 11 straight before he gave up Reynolds' 31st home run of the season. It would be the only two hits Garcia allowed. He walked just one batter and struck out four to improve 11-7 after sitting out three weeks due a kitchen mishap that left him with a cut finger on his pitching hand.

The Yankees got Garcia a run early on Orioles starter Alfredo Simon when Curtis Granderson drew a one out walk in the 1st inning and scored on Mark Teixeira's double. With no Derek Jeter or Alex Rodriguez in the lineup, the Yankees struggled on offense and managed just five hits on the night. But two big ones came in the 4th inning when Robinson Cano stroked a one out single and Nick Swisher followed with a 2-run home run over the high wall in right field for a 3-0 Yankees lead.

David Robertson allowed his first home run on the road this season, a solo shot by J.J. Hardy in the 8th, but Rafael Soriano and Mariano Rivera sandwiched scoreless innings around him to cut idle Boston's lead to 1 1/2 games. Rivera picked up his 34th save with a seamless 1-2-3 9th inning and is now just seven saves away from 600 for his career.


Curtis Granderson, who solely leads the AL in RBI and runs scored, is back in a tie for the home run lead after Toronto's Jose Bautista connected for his 38th of the season in a game against the Rays Monday night. Granderson struck out twice to raise his season total to 140. Just 10 strikeouts shy of 150, if he were to win the AL MVP Granderson would be just the fourth player to capture an MVP Award with at least 150 strikeouts. The others were Philly's Ryan Howard (181, 2006), the Cubs Sammy Sosa (171, 1998), and Boston's Mo Vaughn (150, 1995).

J.J. Hardy's home run tied his career high of 26 that he hit with Milwaukee in 2007.

Mark Teixeira's 1st inning RBI was his 100th of the season. It's the eighth straight season he's reached the century mark. His rookie year in Texas is the only time he fell short (84). Remarkably, Teixeira finished 5th in the AL Rookie of the Year voting that year behind winner Angel Berroa, Hideki Matsui (the rightful winner), Rocco Baldelli, and Jody Gerut. Seriously.

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