Mark Teixeira entered the weekend struggling with both his performance at the plate and a bronchial illness that’s been giving him coughing fits and other breathing problems. He sat out last weekend’s series with Cincinnati entirely, and then was dropped to seventh in the batting order upon his return Apparently a little rest and a trip to the Bay Area was exactly what the doctor ordered, however, because Tex has had himself a nice couple of games in Oakland, including one of his best games in some time yesterday, going 4-5 with two home runs and five RBI to carry the Yankees to a blowout 9-2 win over the A’s in their reunion with former teammate Bartolo Colon.
Things got off to a shaky start for the Yankees in the first, as Jemile Weeks scored the game’s first run for Oakland on a two out single by Jonny Gomes after Colon set the Yankees down in order in the top of the first. The Yankees got that run back on a lead off home run by Robinson Cano in the second inning, however, and then scored a run each in the third and fourth innings, the latter coming on Texeira’s first home run. The A’s got in the obligatory home run off of the Yankees’ starter off the bat of Josh Reddick in the third, so after three and a half innings the Yankees’ ace was holding a 3-2 lead.
That would prove to be all the big guy needed though, as Sabathia would settle in after the third inning to retire 12 of the 14 batters he faced between the fourth and 7th innings, the only blemishes being a pair of singles by Collin Cowgill. The Yankees were not done, however, and opened the game up in the fifth inning. Chris Stewart and Derek Jeter led off with singles, and a couple of sac flies by Curtis Granderson and Alex Rodriguez around to score. Not content to stop there, Robinson Cano added a two out double to put two runners in scoring position for Teixeira, and the Yankees’ first baseman came through by pulling a single through the Oakland shift to push the lead to 6-2. The Yankees would add a run in the eighth inning when a fielding error prolonged the inning and loaded the bases for Jeter, who was hit by a pitch to force the run home, and two more in the ninth via Tex’s second long ball.
On the whole, the Yankees offense continued to regress to the mean, picking up nine runs on fourteen hits, two walks, and one Oakland error. They also collected a total of six extra base hits. The win is their fourth in a row, and leaves them just 3.5 games behind first place Baltimore.
Mark Teixeira: The numbers speak for themselves, including his shiny new 104 wRC+. Yep, that’s right; Tex is finally a league average hitter again!
Robinson Cano: Another guy enjoying the time in Oakland, Cano is hitting the ball hard off of Oakland pitchers, including this 3-5 afternoon with a double and a home run.
Eric Chavez & Nick Swisher: The former A’s each picked up a couple of hits, with a double each.
None. Curtis Granderson and Raul Ibanez both had 0-fer days, but that’s not worth complaining about on a day like this.
The Yankees will look for a sweep this aftenoon, behind the arm of Hiroki Kuroda. Same bat time, same bat channel.
(Quick programming note: this post is going up later than usual due to holiday festivities around the office. The schedule should return to normalcy for the rest of the road trip, or, at least, as close to normal as you can get for 10:00 start times.)