2. The Yankees wasted little time in answering in the bottom half of the frame. Francisco Cervelli lined the first pitch of the inning to center field. Adam Jones gambled on a dive, and when it failed to pay off, Cervelli stood on third base with his first Major League triple. A groundout from Ramiro Pena brought Frankie home, tying the score at 1-1.
3. After falling in an 0-2 hole leading off the fifth, Brett Gardner battled back to work a walk. Cervelli followed, also falling behind 0-2, then dropping a bloop single in shallow right field, moving Gardner to second. Just as the O's had their number nine hitter lay on down on this situation in the third, Ramiro Pena did the same for the Yankees here. And just as A.J. Burnett's throw wound up in right field, so too did that of Brian Matusz. Gardner scored, Cervelli and Pena moved to third and second respectively. After Derek Jeter and Nick Swisher made outs without getting the run home, Mark Teixeira worked a walk. After nearly decapitating Cervelli with a pair of foul balls, A-Rod finally brought the run home with a bases loaded walk. Robinson Cano subsequently flied out of the first pitch of his at bat, ending the threat. 3-1 Yankees.
4. Brett Gardner led off the bottom of the eighth with his sixth infield single of the season, swiped second for his twelfth steal of the year, and moved to third on Cervelli's sacrifice bunt. A sacrifice fly from Ramiro Pena plated the game's final run. 4-1 Yankees.
IF, ANDs & BUTs
- In the early going, it appeared A.J. Burnett rediscovered his knack for fanning batters, striking out three through two innings, followed by striking out the side to escape a jam in the third. He would whiff only two more over his final four and a third, but his eight Ks are a season high and his curveball looked better than it has all year.
- I wish Jorge Posada a full and speedy recovery, but hot damn is it fun to watch Francisco Cervelli play. He went three for three tonight with a triple and a bunt single, a successful sacrifice, and two runs scored. On the defensive side, he called his usual strong game, kept the O's honest on the bases, and made a circus catch at the rail to nab a Garrett Atkins pop up and end the top of the fourth.
- Once again, the Yankees were driven by the bottom of the order. The bottom third of Gardner, Cervelli, and Pena combined to go 4 for 8 with a walk, a triple, a sac fly, two sac bunts, and a stolen base. They scored all four runs and contributed two RBI. Meanwhile the one through four hitters went 1 for 14 with three walks and an RBI.
- Greg Golson made his Yankees debut as a defensive replacement to start the eighth, replacing Marcus Thames. Golson took over in center, pushing Brett Gardner to left. Both are regarded as excellent center fielders. Gardner likely moved to left given his familiarity there; Golson has made just four career minor league appearances in left. Still, Gardner made sure he was still the boss out there, hauling in the game's final out as the two converged on the fly ball.
- After a one out eighth inning walk to Nick Markakis brought the tying run to the plate, Damaso Marte relieved Burnett and struck out Matt Wieters. Marte gave way to Alfredo Aceves who gave up a long flyball to the right center field warning track, but Golson hauled it in to retire the side.
- Wieters went 0 for 4 with 3 Ks. Francisco Cervelli went 3 for 3 with a triple and two runs scored, made the defensive play of the game, dodged two laser beams off the mighty bat of A-Rod, beat the 4, B, and D trains in the great subway race between innings, and flummoxed everyone in the Stadium by hiding the ball under his monstrous batting helmet during the cap game. Just saying. Maybe Frankie needs his own website.
- Joba Chamberlain recorded the save for the second straight night. It was nice to see him touch 96 on the gun and fan two. But for me, it was more encouraging to see him drop his curveball in a couple times. Perhaps it's nothing, but so long as I'm holding out hope that the guy still will be a starter at some point in the future, it's encouraging to see him use his third pitch from time to time.
- Mo threw a 15 pitch bullpen before the game and reportedly could have pitched if necessary. I'm sure the club wanted to give him an extra night off
Goodnight Fackers. And goodbye Ernie Harwell; you will be missed. Rest in peace.