Cincy got some breathing room in the fifth, as Paul Janish singled to center and Heisey hit another homer, giving the Reds a 4-1 lead. The Yankees had few opportunities to climb back in the game, as Cueto managed to keep them off the bases. In the top of the seventh the Yankees finally had a chance. Alex Rodriguez led off with a single and Swisher worked a walk. An error landed Robinson Cano safely on first, giving the Yankees loaded bases with just one out. Ramiro Pena grounded into a force out, with Joey Votto throwing out Rodriguez a home. Jorge Posada then grounded out to end the inning and the Yankees’ threat.
After escaping the top of the seventh, the Reds abused Hector Noesi, who came in in relief. After striking out Ramon Hernandez, Noesi gave up a single to Miguel Cairo. Janish followed with a single of his own and Cairo scored on a double by Scott Rolen. Pena threw out Janish at home, but there were runners on the corners. Brandon Phillips grounded a ball to Pena, who tried to get the runner at second, but instead everyone was safe as another Reds’ player crossed the plate. Votto singled to left, loading the bases. Jay Bruce was hit by a pitch, plating Heisey before the inning mercifully ended with a fly out by Gomes, leaving the Yankees trailing 7-1.
The Bombers added a run in the top of the eighth. Curtis Granderson worked a walk and Rodriguez drove a deep double to center, plating Granderson and putting the score at 7-2. Noesi was in for more tough times in the bottom of the inning. A couple singles led to yet another homer from Heisey and the Reds took a commanding 10-2 lead that they would not relinquish.
Bronx Cheers: Hector Noesi: Noesi has actually pitched very well this season, as he has bounced between the Bronx and Scranton. He entered the evening with a 1.50 ERA over six outings (eighteen innings pitched), but this was definitely not the young hurler’s night. He went 1.2 innings and gave up eight hits and six runs. He struck out one and walked one. It was clear Noesi was struggling, and while I understand they wanted him to eat innings, sending him back out in the eighth and leaving him as long as they did seemed silly. As Brien points out, Noesi was due for an outing like this, and the way the Yankees have used him has probably not helped him develop much this season.
Ramiro Pena: Pena is making Cervelli look good right now. He had a terrible game this afternoon, picking up three ugly errors, and was not much better tonight. He was 0-4 at the plate, striking out once and stranding four runners. I also think that had he thrown to first and not second, with two outs in the seventh, he might have saved the Yankees a couple runs.
RISP: While the Yankees weren’t hitting much at all, they did have scoring opportunities. They were 0-9 with runners in scoring position and left seven runners on base.
Curtain Calls: Alex Rodriguez: Alex went 2-4 and had a RBI. He just missed a homer, sending a one hopper to the wall for a double.
Nick Swisher: Swisher continued to work his way out of his prolonged season starting slump, as he went 1-3 with a solo homer.
In the On Deck Circle: The Yankees get a day off on Thursday, which I am sure they will enjoy after the long day they had Wednesday. On Friday, the Pinstripes will host the Colorado Rockies. A.J. Burnett will take the ball for the Yankees. He has not faced most of the Rockies’ hitters, with Jason Giambi and Ty Wigginton being the exceptions. The Rockies will send Ubaldo Jiminez to the mound. He has struggled to get wins this season, going 2-7 with a 4.68 ERA, although his 3.84 FIP tells a different story. Russell Martin is the only Yankee to have more than a handful of at bats against Jiminez, going eight for 25 and picking up seven walks. First pitch is at 7:05 in the Bronx.