Sparked by Brett Gardner’s first career home run, the Yankees (16-17) rallied past the Blue Jays (23-13) in the second inning and went on to win 8-2.
The Blue Jays took advantage of an early error by Robinson Cano to take a 1-0 lead. But in the second, the Yanks struck back in a big way highlighted by some unlikely heroes. Melky Cabrera led off with a double, and Gardner followed by lining a ball over the right field fence to give the Yankees the 2-1 lead. But the rally was just getting started.
Ramiro Pena immediately followed Gardner with a triple to the gap in right-center and then scored after Johnny Damon hit a triple of his own – marking his ninth straight game with an extra-base hit. Then with two out, the sub-.200-hitter Mark Teixeira doubled home Damon. After Alex Rodriguez walked for his second time in as many innings, Cano hit a hard single off Kevin Millar’s glove to plate Teixeira and give the Yanks a 5-1 lead.
It was another vintage Andy Pettitte outing as he battled out of jams and faced a high pitch count early on. He made it through six innings after allowing just one more run in the fourth. But the Yanks were in control and added two more in the fifth to make it 8-2. Alfredo Aceves and Jonathan Albaladejo finished the final three innings smoothly to preserve Pettitte’s third win of the season. Full box score here.
It was great to see cold-hitting Yankees like Gardner and Teixeira showing signs of warmth. Meanwhile, Damon is the hottest hitter on the planet, and is not slowing down. With all of the injuries heading into the game, it was nice to see the replacements succeed.
- Gardner notched his first career homer and his first triple of the season. He drove in three runs and also walked once.
- Teixeira tallied two hits to raise his batting average to .202. Let’s hope he doesn’t drop below .200 the rest of the season.
- Aceves pitched two scoreless innings, and provided a huge sigh of relief for the Yanks. He and Phil Coke have looked like the most consistent relievers so far this season.
The decisive game three will be played tomorrow night at 7:07 p.m. CC Sabathia (2-3, 3.94) will look to quiet the best hitting team in baseball, and will be opposed by Brian Tallet (2-1, 4.95).