In a game that had all the earmarks of an extended battle, Alfonso Soriano put to rest any thoughts of extra innings with an eighth inning blast to the left field seats off Blue Jays hurler RA Dickey that gave the Bombers a 4 – 2 win.
In the first four innings of the contest, Adam Warren limited the Toronto offense to four hits and two runs, yielding two walks and striking out four. But, after giving up a lead-off home run to Josh Thole (his first of the season) and then hitting Kevin Pillar with a pitch in the fourth, Joe Girardi brought in 28 year-old left-hander David Huff. From that point on the Blue Jays would manage just one hit off Huff – a chop over the mound by Brett Lawrie.
The value of what Huff gave the Yankees bullpen cannot be put into words as the group had been worked heavily in yesterday’s double-header sweep.
The blast by Soriano was his ninth as a Yankee (this season) and ruined an otherwise brilliant pitching performance by Dickey who remained sitting in the dugout until well after the game’s finish.
An early highlight of the game for the Yankees was Ichiro Suzuki’s 4,000th hit (MLB and Japanese baseball combined). Following a signature single to left, the game was halted to recognize the great hitter’s accomplishment.
For a majority of the game Dickey seemingly owned our boys in pinstripes, but from the fourth inning on Huff matched scoreless innings with the 2012 Cy Young winner. Both Huff and Warren proved that the Yankees have depth at starting pitching should they need it.
In spite of working both games yesterday, the great Mariano Rivera took the mound in the ninth inning and struck out Mark DeRosa before giving up a double down the left field line to Rajai Davis.
Mo responded by picking Davis off second, then striking out Edwin Encarnacion to end the game.
Also having a big night – yet again – was Robinson Cano. The second baseman went 2 for 4 with a double and two runs scored.
The excitement of tonight’s win is tempered by the fact that the team lost Jayson Nix for an extended period with a broken hand. He was hit by a Dickey pitch in the second. What move the Yankees make to fill in the hole that is left with the loss of Nix is yet to be determined, but David Adams might want to stay by his phone.
The Yankees hope to finish a sweep of the Blue Jays tomorrow at 1:05 when Andy Pettitte takes the mound. For now, the team is on a roll and has won its fourth consecutive series.
Anyone else feeling 1978-ish?
--Steve Skinner, BYB Guest Writer
The Bleeding Yankee Blue store is opened! CLICK HERE TO START SHOPPING! Also, follow me on Twitter @BleednYankeeBlu and join the group Bleeding Yankee Blue (Official) on Facebook, just type it in.