Things looked problematic in the top of the fifth. Yorvit Torrealba singled on a soft grounder to Derek Jeter, which was followed by a soft grounder to Sabathia from Julio Borbon. What should have been a routine play turned into a bad throw by the Yankees’ hurler and the Rangers had runners on first and second with one out. Sabathia battled back and got Ian Kinsler to fly out and Andrus to ground out to end the inning. The Yankees finally started to put together some hits in the bottom of the fifth. Eric Chavez singled to right and Martin drove a two-run homer to left to knot the score at 3-3.
The Bombers did not hold onto the tie for long, however, as the Rangers came back quickly in the sixth. Young singled and Beltre punished Sabathia again, this time with a double to center. Young scored and the Rangers were back out ahead 4-3.
Jeter singled to start the bottom half of the sixth. Curtis Granderson followed with a two-run homer to right and the Yankees took their first lead of the night. Ogando was able to stop any Yankee rally, however, as he sat Mark Teixeira, Cano and Nick Swisher down in order. Sabathia got Borbon to strikeout to start the seventh inning and Joba Chamberlain came in to relieve him. Joba walked Kinsler, who moved to second on a groundout by Andrus. Young followed with a ground-rule double to right and the Rangers had the score tied, 5-5.
In the bottom the eighth, Teixeira worked a one out walk off Arthur Rhodes. With two outs, Swisher singled to right and Chavez continued to show off his new pinstripes by belting a RBI single to center. Teixeira crossed the plate and the Yankees had retaken the lead. Mariano Rivera came in for the top of the ninth and did what he always does, made baseball look easy and opposing batters look foolish, locking up the 6-5 victory and the series win.
Brett Gardner: Gardner went 0-2 with a strikeout and leaving one runner on base. As Brien said during the game, Gardner looks overmatched every time he steps to the plate.
Jorge Posada: Jorge also struggled at the plate, going 0-2, but working a couple walks.
Joba Chamberlain: In his .2 innings of work, Joba gave up one run on a walk and a hit. He struck out no one and ruined another win opportunity for Sabathia (which really just continues to prove the pointlessness of wins).
Eric Chavez: Right now I cannot think of anyone I would want as a backup infielder, other than Chavez. He has a solid glove at third and has done a lot with his bat when he has gotten a chance to play. He went 2-4 with a RBI and a run. His RBI, of course, turned out to be a game-winning single. It is nice to see him making a comeback, especially in pinstripes!
Russell Martin: Now, Martin did have a throwing error and ended the Yankees rally in the eighth when he grounded out with the bases loaded, but overall he had a good day with the bat. He went 2-3 with a two-run homer.
Rafael Soriano: Soriano almost blew the game on Saturday but turned around Sunday and pitched a scoreless inning of relief. He gave up one hit and struck out a batter.
Mariano Rivera: Sometimes I think I don’t give Rivera enough credit. He is so reliable it almost feels like a foregone conclusion that he pitched an inning of scoreless, hitless baseball in the ninth, which is exactly what he did, picking up his seventh save of the season.
In The On Deck Circle:
The Yankees will take a day off on Monday, as they head north for a series against the Toronto Blue Jays. A.J. Burnett will take the ball in his old home. He is coming off what seemed to be a strong start against the Orioles. Burnett looked almost untouchable until the seventh inning, when he was left in for a bit too long and ended up allowing four runs on seven hits. Kyle Drabek will throw for the Blue Jays. The young righty has had control issues through the young season, allowing eleven walks over 18.2 innings of work, but has been able to limit the damage. No Yankee batter has more than three at bats against Drabek. First pitch is at 7:07pm at Rogers Centre on Tuesday.