After six innings, the Yankees still held onto a 2-1 lead, but in the bottom of the seventh they started to shut the door on the Tribe’s chance to leave the Bronx with a series tie. Derek Jeter singled to center and was replaced by Ramiro Pena on the basepaths. Granderson singled, moving Pena to second. They each moved over when Fafael Perez threw a wild pitch to Mark Teixeira.
Perez then intentionally walked Mark Teixeira to load the bases for Rodriguez (which apparently few teams have realized is a really bad idea). Rodriguez smacked a grand slam to center and the Yankees jumped out to a 6-1 lead. Cano then followed with a solo homer and Swisher doubled to right. Juan Miranda hit a single and Francisco Cervelli hit a sac fly to center, plating Swisher and giving the Yankees a commanding 8-1 lead late in the game.
The Bombers weren’t done in the eighth, with Pena leading off with a single. Teixeira singled and Rodriguez drove a double to center, scoring Pena. Kevin Russo ran for Rodriguez and Cano connected with a single to right field, plating Teixeira and Russo and putting the Yankees ahead 11-1 heading into the ninth.
Chan Ho Park, who had pitched a 1-2-3 eighth, got two quick outs to start the ninth before hitting some trouble. First, he walked Travis Hafner and gave up a single to Peralta. Former Yankee, Shelley Duncan, singled to center, plating Hafner. Park was able to strike out Matt LaPorta to end the game and the Yankees won 11-2.
Once again, not a lot to complain about in this game. A couple events stand out in my mind though:
Brett Gardner had a good game offensively, but had some trouble on the bases. He was caught stealing twice. In his defense, he guessed wrong on one, getting caught on the pitch out, and he got gunned down by Cleveland catcher, Lou Marson, on the other steal attempt.
C.B. Bucknor made one of the worst calls I have seen in quite a while at second base. On a double play attempt in the second inning, Bucknor failed to call LaPorta out and second. This was despite the fact that Cano got the ball at second long before LaPorta got there and was clearly standing on the bag right in front of Umpire Magoo…I mean…Bucknor.
Andy Pettitte: Pettitte gave the Yankees seven stellar innings, giving up just one run on four hits. He struck out five and gave up no walks.
Alex Rodriguez: A-Rod went 3-4 with a homer, six RBIs and a run scored.
Robinson Cano: Robbie went 2-5 with a homer, three RBIs and a run scored. His average is up to .363.
Brett Gardner: Gardner had a great day at the plate, going 3-4 with a RBI.
In the On Deck Circle:
The Yankees will start June off by hosting the Baltimore Orioles in the Bronx. Brian Matusz, who started the season off pretty hot for the Orioles, has struggled as of late, losing five straight decisions and seeing his ERA rocket up to 5.76. He has struggled at the start of games lately, giving up four runs in the first inning against Oakland on Wednesday and getting shelled for seven runs against the Rangers in just 2.1 innings in his start before that. Meanwhile, the Yankees send Javier Vazquez to the mound. Javy looked like he had found his stride recently, but took a step back in his last outing, going just 5.2 innings and giving up 5 runs. He is 6-2 against Baltimore in his career, with a 4.80 ERA. First pitch is at 7:05pm in the Bronx.