Saturday, September 17, 2011

Yankees Rally, Rivera Ties Hoffman

With Bartolo Colon battered by the Toronto Blue Jays' hitters, it didn't appear any monumental records would be tied this afternoon's game between the Yankees and Toronto. But the Yankees slumbering bats woke up to give the team a 7-6 lead entering the bottom of the 9th. That's all Mariano Rivera would need as he retired the side in order to earn his 42nd save of the season and number 601 for his career, tying Trevor Hoffman for the all time record.

Rivera can thank Alex Rodriguez and Curtis Granderson most of all for the opportunity to enter Saturday's game with a lead. Down 6-1 in the 6th inning, the Yankees had already put a second run on the board when A-Rod came to the plate with two men on base. He promptly turned on an inside fastball from rookie Henderson Alvarez and drilled it over the left field fence to cut Toronto's lead to a single run.

After Aaron Laffey (3-2) held Toronto in check in the bottom of the inning, the Yankees went back to work in the 7th. Derek Jeter beat out an infielder grounder to start off the inning and Granderson then did battle with reliever Carlos Villanueva. After fouling off several 2-2 pitches, Granderson hit a pitch low in the zone and sent it over the fence in centerfield for his 40th home run of the season and the Yankees first lead of the day.

The Yankees pen made it stand up; after Scott Proctor and Laffey, Hector Noesi tossed a scoreless 7th and Rafael Soriano came on in the 8th to strike out the side for the second straight game. That left it all up to Rivera who was entering his 60th game for the 14th time in his career. He struck out Colby Rasmus looking, got Brett Lawrie on a ground out, and finished the save off when he retired pinch-hitter Eric Thames on a fly out to Granderson in center.


Alex Rodriguez's home run was the 629th of his career and his first since September 4.

Bartolo Colon's four inning start was his shortest outing since he lasted just 4.2 innings against Boston on August 5.

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