Yankees finally hit a homer, beat Blue Jays, 6-4

The New York Yankees scored six runs before the fourth inning was over, all off Blue Jays’ starter, Drew Hutchison. The last two runs were the result of a Brett Gardner line drive homer, the Yankees’ first of the season. Hutchison took the loss and is now 1-1. David Robertson put two base runners on in the ninth for a little tension, but got Colby Rasmus to pop out to third and Melky Cabrera on a line drive to right for his second save. CC Sabathia picked up the win to even his record to 1-1.

CC Sabathia’s outing was mostly encouraging. He gave up a home run to Melky Cabrera, the first batter he faced, but then shut down the Blue Jays for the next five innings. At one point, he had thrown first-pitch strikes to nineteen straight batters. He then got the first two outs in the sixth inning and ran into trouble.

Jose Bautista hit a pop up off the end of his bat that had all kinds of English on it. The outfielders were playing deep and could not come in on time and the ball fell in for a single. That was unfortunate because the next three batters smacked the ball hard. Edwin Encarnacion hit a stinging single and then Dioner Navarro hit a big double that scored Bautista.

The Yankees, who are doing a lot more shifting this year, fell victim to the strategy in the next at bat as catcher, Erik Kratz, singled out of Brian Roberts‘ reach to plate two more. Sabathia then induced Brett Lawrie to pop out to end the inning. His day was done

Sabathia’s final line was: six innings, four earned runs on seven hits. He struck out six and walked none. Adam Warren pitched a perfect seventh, Shawn Kelley worked around a single for a scoreless eighth and then Robertson picked up the save despite giving up a hit and a walk.

The Yankees’ offense was a bit more encouraging this game, but they did not do much beyond the fourth inning. They scored three runs in the first inning with only one hit. Gardner walked and stole second on the first pitch to Derek Jeter. Jeter then hit behind Gardner for a ground out to get Gardner to third and then Jacoby Ellsbury pushed Gardner home with a ground out. Brian McCann then walked and Alfonso Soriano was hit by a pitch and both were driven in by Kelly Johnson‘s double.

In the fourth inning, Brian Roberts walked and stole second and scored on a Yangervis Solarte‘s double deep to the right-center field gap. Gardner followed that up with the Yankees’ first homer of the season and that was the end of Hutchison’s day.

Derek Jeter had two singles and went two for five. The first single tied him for eighth place on the all time list with Paul Molitor and the second pushed him past Molitor. He now needs a hundred more hits to catch seventh place, so we won’t have to talk about that for a while. Alfonso Soriano hit a single in the game for his first safety of the season.

All in all, it was a good win. Sabathia looked better. The offense looked a little more dynamic. The relief pitching was good and they finish up a road trip at.500, which is not a bad thing. They finally get some home cooking tomorrow and open up a series at the Stadium against the Orioles.

William Tasker grew up in Bergenfield, New Jersey but has lived in New England since 1975 and in the far reaches of northern Maine since 1990. Tasker is the author of nine (non-baseball related) books and, besides writing here for three years, has written for his own site at www.passion4baseball.blogspot.com since 2003.

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