July 28, 2009

Brilliant Burnett leads to rout of Rays

The Yankees (61-38) banged out 15 hits while A.J. Burnett allowed just two in their 11-4 win over the Rays (54-46). The Yankees hold the best record in the AL by 2.5 games and are one game shy of tying the Dodgers for the best record in the majors.

Quick ‘Cap:
The Yanks started their hit barrage in the second inning when the first three batters scored after reaching base on hits. To open the sixth, Nick Swisher and Robinson Cano hit back-to-back homers. Tampa Bay managed their only run off Burnett when B.J. Upton, who reached base on a strikeout/passed ball, scored on Evan Longoria’s double play.

Burnett’s night was plagued by a high pitch count early on, but made it through the seventh inning with five Ks and two BBs. The birthday boy, Alex Rodriguez, lined a two-run double in the eighth to seal the game. Swisher’s solo shot in the ninth and Johnny Damon’s three-run job clinched the rout despite Jon Albaladejo and David Robertson struggling in the eighth and ninth. Full box score here.

Last night was a really big win for a team that was barely over .500 against AL East teams this season. Not only did they beat them, they crushed them. It is a huge tone-setter for the rest of the season, and was a disheartening blow to the Rays, who sent out “Big Game James (Shields).” To make it even harder on the Rays, the Yanks can take the series tonight with CC Sabathia.

Line of the Night:
Derek Jeter: 3-for-5, 2 R, BB. Jeter’s having a heck of a season at 35 years old, not showing any signs of slowing down.

Up Next:
Sabathia (10-6, 3.67) will face off against lefty Scott Kazmir (4-6, 6.69) tonight.

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