April 15, 2009

Jeter leads Yanks in comeback thriller

After dropping the first game fo the series 15-5, the Yankees stole the last two games away from the Rays in the late innings.  The Yankees move one game ahead of the Rays in the AL East for sole possession of third place, ironically trailing the Blue Jays and Orioles.

Quick 'Cap
B.J. Upton and Carl Crawford came through with back-to-back RBI doubles off Andy Pettitte in the third inning for the first two runs of the game.  The Yankees responded immediately in the top of the fourth to tie it up at two.  Nick Swisher led off with a single and then Robinson Cano drilled a two-run shot to center.  However, Carlos Pena regained the lead for the Rays in the bottom of the fourth with a bomb of his own.

It was a quiet game until the top of the eighth when the Yankees set off alarms in the Rays bullpen, again.  Derek Jeter led off with a double, and then Johnny Damon brought him around with a double of his own to tie the game at three.

Pettitte was pitching great, but was pulled with one out in the eighth after 96 pitches.  Brian Bruney stepped in and struck out Upton and Crawford to send it into the ninth.  After Brett Gardner struck out, Cody Ransom, who was 2-for-24 going into the at bat, lined a double to center.  Captain clutch, Derek Jeter, followed with a double over Upton's head to put the Yanks on top 4-3.  Mariano Rivera retired the side in order for his second save of the season.  Full box score here.

Peter Abraham reported before the game that Xavier Nady will need to undergo surgery on his elbow.  He left the game last night in the seventh inning.  Because of this sad news, I was not expecting an up-lifting game like this one.  Well done.

Offensive Notables:
- Jeter's two big hits in the last two innings proved to be the difference in this one.  His performance raised his batting average to .289.
- Cano has been quietly collecting hits in the No. 6 spot in the order.  He added two more tonight, and is batting .382.

Pitching Notables:
- Pettitte is eating innings for the Yanks, which is a big key to their success.  His final line tonight: 7.1 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 4 K.

Up Next:
Tomorrow is the day we have all been waiting for: the first game at the new Yankee Stadium.  At 1 p.m., CC Sabathia will duke it out with reigning Cy Young Award winner, Cliff Lee.  Yogi Berra will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the game (who else?).

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