The Yankees played the Texas Tornado to the White Sox Mr. Perfect on Sunday, touching up Mark Buehrle for 12 hits and 7 runs over 4.1 IP.
CC Sabathia wasn't particularly sharp, giving up four runs through the first three innings, leave the Yanks down a run. But he settled in from there, and finished the day scattering 1o hits over 7+ innings, giving up 5 runs, fanning five and walking none.
The story of the game however is Melky Cabrera, who homered in the first, doubled in the fourth, singled in the fifth, and tripled in the ninth, becoming the first Yankee to hit for the cycle in nearly 14 years.
Hey fans! Did you know that Tony Fernandez was the last Yankee to hit for the cycle, doing so on 9/3/95? Of course you did, YES only brings it up about once a week. Much like Derek Jeter's previous grand slam drought, this little nugget had become my pet peeve meaningless historical reference that the announcers beat into the ground. So as I texted to Jay, and he put up on our Twitter feed, the best part about Melky's cycle is that we never have to hear about Tony Fernandez again. I can only imagine what the next stat-to-beat-into-the-ground will be.
Melky finished at 4 for 5 with 3 runs scored and 4 RBI. He also made a nice diving catch. I've been critical of him as he cooled off considerably after his torrid April, but I have to say, since Gardner has gone down, Melky has really stepped it up, going 14 of his last 35 (.400), with 8 extra base hits and six walks. Now if he would just throw to the right base.
Nick Swisher also had a nice game against his former team, 2 for 3 with 2 BB and 2 runs scored. Jerry Hairston Jr started at third, giving A-Rod a half day off, and went 2 for 3 to raise his Yankee batting average to .500.
Phil Hughes and Mo closed it out. I don't quite understand Joe Girardi's rationale as to why Mo can nail down a four out save, but not a five out save, nor do I understand the rationale behind yanking Hughes mid inning at all. Maybe he'll tell us straight on WB Mason presents the Joe Girardi Show only on YES. It worked though, even if Mo had to sit through a 25 minute top of the ninth before getting back to work.
In all it was a nice to end an otherwise brutal series. The Yanks are still in first by a half game and I'm sure the Monday off day will be far more enjoyable having avoided a sweep - even if they do have to spend it in Canada.
(Photo from AP/ESPN)