|"Untuck, pass it on."|
Tuesday evening didn't start off as a good one for the Yankees. Monday night Mark Teixeira had to leave the game with a calf strain. Later we were told it was a contusion. Turns out the initial report was correct and it was announced Tuesday afternoon that Teixeira will most likely be out 10-14 days (hopefully not more).
Translation - a lineup that has been anemic of late just got a lower red blood cell count. With Baltimore and Tampa Bay breathing down the Yankees necks in the AL East, the not so Bronx Bombers needed a big outing from Phil Hughes. The right-hander came through big time with seven solid innings and the Yankees scratched out a 2-1 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.
Jays' starter Rickey Romero has been absolutely horrendous for much of the season (killing my keeper league team in the process) and walked eight hitters in last start. But against a lineup missing much of it's punch, Romero pitched his best game in weeks.
The lefty allowed a pair of runs on five hits, walked two and struck out six over seven innings. But Hughes was even better; his fortune was reversed from his last start when seven solid innings led to a 2-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox. This time out, Hughes allowed four hits in his seven innings, walked three and struck out five and allowed a single run on a home run by Adeiny Hechavarria in the 5th inning.
Nick Swisher would like the calendar to be stuck on August for the rest of the season. With Jayson Nix and Ichiro Suzuki on base with singles in the 3rd inning, Swisher delivered a two-out single of his own to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead. It was Swisher's 22nd RBI of the month, one less than his monthly high for the season that he established in April.
With Teixeira down, the Yankees reacquired veteran minor leaguer (he's also appeared in 235 Major League games) Steve Pearce from the Houston Astros. Pearce was originally in spring training with the Minnesota Twins, but was released on March 27. The Yankees picked him up two days later, but Pearce was then bought by the Baltimore Orioles in June.
After hitting .254 in 28 games for the O's, Houston grabbed him off of waivers. Ironically, Pearce also hit .254 with the Astros over a 21 game span. Tuesday night the 29-year old found himself in the starting lineup, batting cleanup as the DH for the NY Yankees. Though he was 0-2, Pearce hustled his way into an insurance run after he led off the 4th inning with a walk.
With Russell Martin at the plate, Romero (8-12) bounced a pitch in the dirt. As soon as the ball ricocheted off of Yorvit Torrealba, Pearce took off and reached second base easily. Martin moved him over to 3rd base with a ground out to the right side, and Curtis Granderson brought Pearce home with a deep fly to ceneter field.
Then it was all up to Hughes (13-11), who added a slider to his repertoire, and the bullpen. Oh, and a nifty little play by Robinson Cano to save the day. Hughes walked Colby Rasmus and Edwin Encarnacion to start the 6th, but after he retired Adam Lind, Hughes got a big assist from his Gold Glove second baseman.
Cano leaped to snare Yunel Escobar's line drive and then, flat-footed, threw a bullet to Jayson Nix to double off Rasmus from third. Why Rasmus was so far off the base is anyone's guess, but no one on the Yankees really cares. They're just thankful he was.
Robertson and Soriano appeared for third straight game, making them (most likely) unavailable for Wednesday's series finale which is scheduled to start at 1:05 pm. New daddy Robertson needed just five pitches to retire the side in the 8th and Soriano bounced back from Monday's blown save with an 11-pitch effort for his 34th save.
Derek Jeter missed three weeks last season with a Grade-1 strain of a calf, but Teixeira was told his strain, though Grade-1, is not as bad.
To make room on the roster for Pearce, Casey McGehee was sent down to class 'A' Charleston. He'll likely be recalled when the rosters expand on Saturday. September 1 couldn't come at a better time since it means Teixeira likely won't have to go on the DL.