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Sunday, September 16, 2012

YANKEE OFFENSE JUST ENOUGH FOR SERIES WIN OVER RAYS

On Saturday, the Yankees got a very encouraging start out of Ivan Nova, who was fresh off the disabled list. With the series tied at a game apiece, the Yankees were looking for a good start out of Hiroki Kuroda as well as some big hits from the offense. In a 6-4 win, they were able to accomplish just that.
Kuroda pitched pretty well in this game, at least better than his line suggests. He went 6 innings while allowing four runs on four hits, two walks, and 10 strikeouts. Three of the four runs he allowed came in a fluky three-run six inning; two walks sandwiched around an infield single before a bad hop off the bat of an Evan Longoria single past Alex Rodriguez at third plated two. Before the bad-hop single, Steve Pearce should have caught an Evan Longoria pop up that landed in the first row of seats. There was a fan that got in the way, however, but the ball hit Pearce’s glove before popping out. Thankfully all these fluky events didn’t cost the Yankees the game considering they’ve had to deal with a lot over the past two-plus months.
Following Kuroda were a quartet of relievers; Boone Logan, David Phelps, David Robertson, and Rafael Soriano. Logan retired the only man he faced, Ryan Roberts, in the seventh, before Phelps came in and allowed a double to Ben Francisco and a walk to Carlos Pena. Phelps did escape the inning unscathed, as he struck out Desmond Jennings to end the threat. This was Phelps’ first action out of the bullpen now that Andy Pettitte will be inserted back into the rotation on Tuesday, and they need him considering the bullpen is thin. Anyway, David Robertson and Rafael Soriano struck out a batter each in clean eighth and ninth innings, respectively. The save for Soriano was his 40th in 43 chances.
Five of the Yankees’ six runs came in the third inning. Eduardo Nunez started off with a walk before stealing his first of three bases on the afternoon, and then Derek Jeter got his 199th hit of the season on an RBI single. He ended up advancing to second on the throw home before scoring on an ARod single.
 Russell Martin capped off the five run rally with an opposite field three-run home run. All of this damage came off Matt Moore, who cruised through the first two innings before throwing 45 pitches in the third. That aforementioned third inning was his final inning of the day. The sixth run came in the following inning on an ARod sac-fly to score Nunez that was just short of landing in the right field seats. After going 2-for-3 on Saturday with RISP, the Bombers went 3-for-8 with RISP on Sunday.

Final was 6-4, Yankees

The win on Sunday guarantees the Yankees will be in first place by themselves when they next play on Tuesday. Andy Pettitte ( 3-3, 3.52 ERA) will make his return (hooray!) against the Blue Jays and struggling Ricky Romero (8-14, 5.87 ERA) at the Stadium.



--Jesse Schindler, BYB Lead Staff Writer
Follow me on Twitter @SchindlerJesse



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