YANKEES 5, ATHLETICS 0
When Bartolo Colon pitched great in spring training, most observers thought it was a fluke. When he pitched well in relief and as a starter in April, most observers thought it was a fluke. But as the end of May has dawned and Coon is still pitching sensational, most observers now agree it is definitely NOT a fluke.
Colon painted the inside and outside corners at will on Monday and threw his first complete-game shutout since the 2006 season as New York whitewashed Oakland at Overstock.com Coliseum.
Colon (3-3) gave up only four hits, walked none and struck out six while the Yankees gave him all the support he really needed by scoring three runs in the first inning off right-hander Trevor Cahill (6-2), who entered play on Monday with the second-best ERA in the American League at 2.02.
Mark Teixeira struck the first big blow by following a Derek Jeter leadoff single with a two-run home run to right-center, his 16th home run of the season and his seventh homer in his last 11 games. Alex Rodriguez then drew a walk and Robinson Cano followed with a double to right-center to score Rodriguez.
The Yankees added a single run in the seventh on a sacrifice fly by Jeter, setup by a double steal by Brett Gardner and Francisco Cervelli, and another run in the ninth on a sacrifice fly by Cervelli.
But the story was the 37-year-old rotund right-hander Colon, who fashioned his first complete game since July 5, 2006 when he was a member of the Angels.
With the victory, the Yankees have pulled into a first-place tie with the Boston Red Sox in the American League East. Their record is now 29-23. Oakland dropped to 27-28.
- To show how good Colon has been, if you throw out the one bad inning he pitched against the Toronto Blue Jays in his last start in which he gave up five runs in the sixth, he would have an ERA of 2.38 in his eight starts. As it is, Colon lowered his season ERA to 3.26. He also has 66 strikeouts in 62 1/3 innings.
- Teixeira may only be a modest 12-for-46 (.261) over his last 11 games but he has seven home runs and 16 RBIs with those 12 hits. With his two RBIs in Monday’s game, Teixeira has now wrested the team lead in RBIs away from Curtis Granderson. Teixeira now has 38 RBIs, one better than Granderson.
- Cervelli was pressed into service to catch his second straight game because of an injury to Russell Martin and he delivered. He not only called a complete-game shutout for Colon, but he also was 1-for-2 with a walk, two stolen bases and an RBI.
- Cano was 2-for-4 in the game with a double and triple and drove in a run. He raised his season average to .284 and he appears to coming out of his May funk at the plate.
For the second game in a row, the Yankees scored early, their starting pitcher threw a near flawless game and the Yankees did not commit an error in the field. So what is left to criticize?
Martin was scratched from the lineup on Monday due to soreness in his big left toe. Martin fouled a ball off his toe in Saturday’s extra-inning loss to the Mariners. He was given the day off on Sunday but reported that he was still feeling soreness in his toe on Monday. So Manager Joe Girardi removed him from the lineup and replaced him with Cervelli. . . . Both teams wore blue and white caps with their team insignias in red, white and blue stripes on Monday to celebrate Memorial Day. The Athletics staged a pre-game ceremony to honor an Army unit stationed in Iraq and the A’s players all wore army caps sent by the unit. The game was beamed live to them in Iraq.
The Yankees will continue their three-game series with Oakland on Tuesday.
The Yankees will call on right-hander Freddy Garcia (3-4, 3.26 ERA) to pitch. Garcia is coming off a victory against the Blue Jays in which he gave up three runs in 6 1/3 innings on May 25. Garcia is 6-7 with a 5.30 ERA in his career against the A’s.
Oakland will start left-hander Brett Anderson (3-4, 2.84 ERA). Anderson shut out the Angels on just three hits and fanned four in eight innings in his last start. He is 0-3 with a 4.68 ERA lifetime against the Yankees.
Game-time will be at 10:05 p.m. EDT and the game will be telecast nationally by the MLB Network and locally by the YES Network.