YANKEES 7, INDIANS 3
What is the worst drought in history? Is it the 12-year drought that plagued Africa from 1968 through 1980 or is it Mark Teixeira’s 12-game RBI hit drought dating back to May 17?
Opinions from climatologists and Yankees fans might vary slightly.
But Teixiera finally ended that 12-game drought with a two-out, three-run home run on Sunday that rallied the Yankees from a 3-0 deficit in the seventh inning to a 7-3 victory over the Cleveland Indians.
Teixeira’s first home run since May 15 (a span of 14 games) followed a key two-run single by Derek Jeter with two out in the bottom of the seventh inning that chased Indians’ starting pitcher Justin Masterson.
Curtis Granderson then greeted reliever and losing pitcher Tony Sipp (0-1) with a double that advanced Jeter to third and Teixiera blasted a 2-2 hanging slider into the third deck of the left-field bleachers to give the Yankees a 5-3 lead.
Teixiera’s blast also made a winner out of A.J. Burnett (6-2), who pitched exceptional baseball for eight innings. Burnett allowed three runs, however, only one of those runs was earned. He gave up only five hits, walked none and struck out eight Indian batters.
The combination of he Yankees’ victory and the 8-5 loss of the Tampa Bay Rays to the Chicago White Sox on Sunday brought the Yankees to within 3 1/2 games of the Rays in the A.L. East. The Yankees are 30-20 on the season. The loss dropped the Indians’ record to 18-30.
- Burnett is having an exceptional season in 2010 after struggling with a 4.04 ERA last season. Burnett has allowed two or fewer earned runs in seven of his 11 starts this season. He also has helped the bullpen by pitching into the seventh inning in eight of starts. Burnett is 6-2 with a 3.28 ERA.
- Jeter’s clutch two-out, two-run single in the seventh inning proves that he is on a real tear at the plate. In his last seven games, Jeter is 15-for-32 (.469) with two home runs and six RBis. He has also raised his batting average 30 points to .297.
- Teixeira’s three RBIs on Sunday was his first three-RBI game since May 12 at Detroit. It is only the third time this season he has driven in three or more runs. It is hard to believe, but Teixiera is hitting .189 with the bases empty and .259 with runners in scoring position this season.
- Robinson Cano and Nick Swisher continue to deliver big hits in May. Both were 2-for-4 in Sunday’s game. Cano’s batting average dropped from .400 on May 1 to a season low of .322 on May 17. In his last 12 games, Cano has gone 24-for-50 (.480) with a home run and 13 RBIs. In his last five games he has two or more hits in all of them and he is 12 for 20 (.600).
- Swisher began May hitting .250. In this month he is 32-for-86 (.372) with seven home runs and 17 RBIs. He also has collected two or more hits in four of his last five games. Swsiher has raised his batting average to .315.
- Juan Miranda might be overlooked in Sunday’s heroes. Miranda was 2-for-4 including a ringing RBI double in the eighth inning.
- It was not a save situation but Mariano Rivera looked like his old dominant self in the ninth inning by striking out Russell Branyan and Jhonny Peralta. He also showed at age 40 he can still be nimble by leaping over the shattered bat of Luis Valbuena and still have the presence of mind to stop his come-backer and throw him out for the final out.
- Things looked really bleak for the Yankees when they were down 3-0 to start the bottom of the seventh inning because of the pitching of Justin Masterson. Masterson, who has not won a decision since Aug. 20, 2009, was breezing with a four-hit shutout for six innings with a walk and seven strikeouts. Masterson entered the game with an 0-5 record and a 6.13 record. But you would never have known it if you watched the Yankee offense flail away at his sinkers in the dirt for six innings.
- The usually reliable captain at shortstop made a costly error in the top of the seventh inning that really hurt the Yankees and Burnett at same the time. After two outs, Burnett hit Valbuena with a 1-2 pitch, Valbuena later stole second and scored on Jeter’s throwing error on a grounder off the bat of Lou Marson. Marson reached second and scored on a triple by Jason Donald.
- Alex Rodriguez also is struggling in May. He was 0-for-3 with a walk and did not hit a ball out of the infield. De
spite driving in three runs in Saturday’s game, Rodriguez has only one other RBI since his four-RBI game against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium on May 17.
Swisher banged his right shoulder into the right-field wall in right-field trying to catch Donald’s triple in the seventh inning. He stayed in the game and singled in his next two plate appearances. Swisher said the shoulder was still sore but that he hopes to be able to play on Monday. . . . Rodriguez was relieved on Sunday after talking with Indians left-hander David Huff. Huff told A-Rod he was fine despite being struck above the left ear by a wicked line drive off Rodriguez’s bat on Saturday. Tests on Huff at New York-Presbyterian Hospital were negative and Indians manager Manny Acta says the pitcher may make his next start. . . . Jorge Posada, who was placed on the disabled list May 16, took batting practice on Sunday and said he is close to being ready to return to action. Posada is eligible to be activated on Tuesday but manager Joe Girardi has not indicated when he will return. . . . Reliever David Robertson, who left Saturday’s game with pain in his lower back was held out of Sunday’s game and is listed as day-to-day. Robertson said he believes the pain may be associated with the lined shot he took off his back off the bat of Joe Mauer on Wednesday.
THE NEXT GAME
The Yankees have clinched a tie in their four-game series with the Indians and they can win the series outright with a win on Monday afternoon. They will send to the hill left-hander Andy Pettitte (6-1, 2.62 ERA).
Pettitte held the Twins to two runs on eight hits in eight innings on May 26. He walked none and struck out four in a crisp 94-pitch effort. Pettitte is 3-1 with a 3.33 ERA in four starts in May. Pettitte is 7-8 with a 4.41 ERA in 19 career starts against the Indians.
The Indians will send rookie right-hander Mitch Talbot (6-3, 3.73 ERA) to the mound. Talbot needed just 77 pitches to get through seven innings against the White Sox on Tuesday. Talbot gave up two runs on six hits and struck out four batters. This will be his first start against the Yankees.
Game-time will be 1:05 p.m. EDT and the game will be broadcast by the YES Network.