Seagulls were not the only ones flying in Progressive Field on national television. Joba Chamberlain pitched eight strong innings and the Yankees (30-21) scored four in the seventh to beat the Indians (22-31) 5-2, while also setting a major league record.
The unexpected lift off from Progessive Field came in the bottom of the fifth in a first and second, no out situation. Kelly Shoppach popped up a bunt down the third base line, prompting Joba scurry off the mound and make a diving full-extension catch. After catching the ball inches before it hit the ground of the slow-motion leap, Joba doubled off Ryan Garko at second base. Joba topped it off with a big shouting fist pump, and deservingly so.
Indians reliever Greg Aquino pitched his way out of a bases loaded, no out jam in the sixth unscathed, but the Yankees weren’t so kind to him the next time he loaded the bases. In the seventh, three straight batters were walked for the second inning in a row, and Swisher doubled high off the wall in left field to score two. After Mark Teixeira was intentionally walked and our old friend Luis Vizcaino was called from the bullpen, Alex Rodriguez hit grounder just past the shortstop’s glove to score two more runs.
Prior to Monday night’s game, the longest Joba had pitched in a major league game was seven innings – a feat he accomplished on April 29. Joba allowed a run in the seventh, but continued into the eighth and had no trouble. Mariano Rivera made some sweet defensive plays, as he did his thing in the ninth. The flawless Yankees defense set the major league record for most consecutive game without an error with 18 in a row. During that stretch, the Yanks are 14-4 and have allowed 3.6 runs per game (2.5 runs lower than the prior RPG). Full box score here.