July 21, 2009

Yankees walk into first place

People always say a walk is as good as a hit. The Yankees (56-37) proved that tonight, as they worked eight walks — four scored — and went on to beat the Orioles (41-52) 6-4. The Red Sox lost to the Rangers, giving the Yankees sole possession of first place for the first time since June 8.

Quick ‘Cap:
The traditional Orioles struck early off new Yankees starter Sergio Mitre. Brian Roberts doubled and Nick Markakis singled him home. The Yankees evened the score in the second without banging out a single hit. Alex Rodriguez walked, stole second, advanced to third on a flyout and scored on a sac fly from Nick Swisher.

Down one run again, A-Rod gave his team a 3-2 lead on a two-out, two-run single in the third. Robinson Cano hit a long two-run homer in the fourth, and Johnny Damon singled home Cody Ransom to make it 6-2.

Mitre was pitching well above expectations until the Orioles finally came through in the sixth. Melvin Mora poked a two-run single, and Mitre was relieved by Alfredo Aceves one batter later. After Phil Coke pitched the eighth, Mariano Rivera did his thing in the ninth for the 27th time this season. Full box score here.

I feel the Yankees got a little lucky with this one. The Orioles had their chances, but a couple of double plays helped the Yankees hold on to their lead.

Cano was the only Yankee with two hits, and he along with A-Rod and Ransom were the only ones to reach base three times. The Yankees totaled eight walks to go along with six hits.

Line of the Night:
Cano: 2-for-3, R, 2 RBI, BB. His 37 multi-hit games ranks him among the league leaders in that category.

Up Next:
The Yankees can sweep their second straight series with a win Wednesday afternoon. They will put A.J. Burnett (8-4, 3.81) to the task against Jason Berken (1-7, 6.44).

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