The Yankees’ pitcher got into some trouble again in the fourth. He issued a walk to Joyce to start the inning before striking out Carlos Pena. B.J. Upton then grounded into a force out at second. A single by Jason Bartlett put two on with two out. Hughes walked Jaso to load the bases, but induced a grounder to first from Ben Zobrist to end the inning, with the Yankees still in the lead 5-2.
The pitching calmed for both teams through the middle of the game, but in the seventh, the Rays started to make some noise. Bartlett singled to left and moved to second on Jaso’s ground out. Javier Vazquez replaced Hughes and got Zobrist to fly out. Carl Crawford then singled to left, bringing Bartlett home before Vazquez made the final out of the inning.
The Yankee offense was not content with a 5-3 lead and quickly got back to work in the bottom of the inning. Swisher singled to right, but was out at second on Teixeira’s grounder to short. Rodriguez singled to right, moving Teixeira to third. Cano then followed with a big two-run double, giving the Yankees some more breathing room as the score sat at 7-3.
After two quick outs in the bottom of the eighth, Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter hit back-to-back doubles to add another insurance run. Joba Chamberlain, who had come in during the eighth, was back in for the ninth, sitting the Rays hitters down in order and picking up his third save of the season, as the Yankees won 8-5.
I didn’t find much to complain about in this game. Mark Teixeira was the only Yankee hitter not to pick up a hit, going 0-3, but he scored two runs, didn’t strike out and only stranded one runner on base. I continue to worry about his ability to hit right now, but I will save that concern for another day…
Phil Hughes: Hughes had a good outing and managed to get himself out of trouble a few times, which is always nice to see. He went 6.1 innings and gave up just three runs on four hits. He struggled with his command some, walking five while striking out six.
Joba Chamberlain: Joba went 1.2 innings and gave up just one hit. He closed the game out for his third save of the season and got the Yankees out of a tough spot in the eighth inning.
Nick Swisher: Swish got things started with a solo homer. He went 2-5 for the night.
Alex Rodriguez: A-Rod went 2-4 with two runs scored.
In The On Deck Circle:
The Pinstripes will try to keep their win streak alive when they send A.J. Burnett to the mound on Wednesday night. Burnett had a decent start against the Orioles Friday, going seven innings and giving up just three runs on six hits. Wade Davis will take the ball for the Rays. He is coming off a great outing against the Angels, going six innings and giving up just two runs on seven hits. He also picked up eight Ks in that game. Davis is 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA against the Yankees this year and hasn’t lost a game since June 27th, when he lost his fifth straight game. First pitch is at 7:05pm.